INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
Legislature’s budget keeps funding intact for TAP, EOP
By : Katie Ellis
For the first time in two decades, the New York State Legislature approved an on-time budget, and that’s good news for the SUNY System and Binghamton University, said President Lois B. DeFleur.
“An on-time budget enables the University to plan effectively and helps our students and their families with their education plans,” she said. “I want to thank Sen. Thomas Libous and Assemblyperson Donna Lupardo for working so effectively with the University on issues that affect our faculty, staff and students.”
The budget approved by the legislature includes no tuition increase, but does include restoration of the $84.3 million requested by Chancellor Robert L. King for the SUNY baseline budget.
“We will work with the SUNY System as it determines how these funds will be allocated,” said DeFleur. “These items were requested to provide funds for mandated salary increases, increased energy costs and other baseline operational needs.”
The restoration of the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) will enable students who otherwise could not afford a quality education to attend SUNY institutions, graduate and become valued contributors to our state’s work force and economy. At Binghamton, 4,200 full-time, degree-seeking undergraduates received TAP funding in 2004, and the average TAP award for Binghamton students is $2,600.
The budget will now go to Gov. George Pataki for consideration. The Legislature also restored aid to the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP), which provides access to a high quality education for the neediest students in the state. In 2004, 600 degree-seeking undergraduates at Binghamton received EOP grant awards that averaged $1,000. “Our EOP program sets the standard throughout SUNY for academic achievement, retention and graduation rates of nearly 70 percent,” said DeFleur. “It has been the most successful in SUNY and one of the best in the nation.”
“The legislature has shown its commitment to quality higher education during a challenging budget year,” DeFleur added. “The budget is a clear demonstration of the legislature’s confi-dence in higher education as a powerful force in supporting our state economy.”