Legislator Tom Cilmi: Out of County Tuition -- Another Unfunded Mandate


Out of County Tuition -- Another Unfunded Mandate
New York Community Colleges provide an affordable alternative to earn an Associate's Degree or to learn skills necessary for a career change. Often, they serve as a valuable bridge between high school and a four year school.
State law requires counties to partially subsidize the education of residents who wish to attend community colleges outside their home county. This out of county tuition mandate costs Suffolk taxpayers $14 million annually. Ultimately, I believe a county with its own community college should not have to subsidize students who choose to attend other community colleges. But there's more.
Making matters worse, the Fashion Institute of Technology located in New York City, is considered a community college under state law, despite its highly specialized curriculum offering bachelors AND masters degrees...all subsidized by county taxpayers. Suffolk taxpayers pay $7 million annually to subsidize F.I.T. at a cost per student of nearly $11,000 a year. New York should change its out of county tuition policy altogether, but at the very least, counties need to be relieved of the burden of subsidizing bachelors and masters degrees for students at F.I.T.

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