Pace Students Rally in Albany for Student Aid Funding During the Annual New York Student Aid Alliance Advocacy Day with More than 1,000 High School and College Students from Across New York featured in "Pleasantville Patch"
Patch: "Pace Students Rally in Albany for Student Aid"
In the photo left to right: Larissa Szilagyi, STAFF – Program Coordinator, Office of Government and Community Relations, Pace alumna, class of 2017; Deidre Neafsey, a New York City-based senior in the Dyson School of Arts and Sciences; Jenna Hager, a New York City-based junior in the Pforzheimer Honors College; Emerald Rodriguez, a Pleasantville-based junior in the College of Health Professions; Bill Colona, Director, Office of Government and Community Relations.
More than 1,000 high school and college students from across New York gathered in Albany earlier this week to advocate for student aid funding during the annual New York Student Aid Alliance Advocacy Day.
Bundy Aid, the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), the Science and Technology Entry programs (STEP/C-STEP), the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) and the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) saw proposed funding cuts of a combined $50 million in this year's Executive Budget. On Tuesday, students met with lawmakers from across the state to urge them to restore critical student aid funding.
During a student "speak-out," high school and college students shared their personal stories about the value of student aid programs and opportunity programs like Bundy Aid, the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), the Science and Technology Entry programs (STEP/C-STEP), the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) and the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).
"Pace University offered me robust educational programs, incredible student leadership opportunities, and a stellar network for internships that have prepared me to enter the workforce," said Jenna Hager, a senior in the Pforzheimer Honors College. "Without a combination of generous scholarships and grants from Pace, and the state's Tuition Assistance Program, I wouldn't have been able to attend my dream school."
Students from about 65 public and private, not-for-profit campuses attended the rally to show their support for student aid programs and urge lawmakers to restore student aid funding. A virtual Advocacy Day was held simultaneously on Twitter with students and supporters from across the state sharing stories about what student aid and opportunity programs have meant to them using the hashtag #StandUp4StudentAid.
"The experience that Pace University has given me throughout the past few years has helped develop me into someone I am proud to be. Throughout my time at Pace I've had various leadership roles and challenging courses, and have been able to be a part of something bigger than myself," said Emerald Rodriguez, a junior in the College of Health Professions. "Because of these opportunities, I have grown into someone who is well-rounded and ready to be a part of the working world; none of this would have been possible without programs like the state's Tuition Assistance Program and the generous scholarships Pace has offered me."
Students across New York rely on student aid programs to enable them to achieve their college dreams. For example, Bundy Aid, a 50-year-old state aid program that provides funds for student aid and other student assistance at private, not-for-profit colleges and universities. Bundy Aid benefits nearly 500,000 students on those campuses across the state. The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) serves more than 300,000 New Yorkers attending college, providing them with more than $900 million in student aid.
The New York Student Aid Alliance is a coalition of colleges and universities and other stakeholder organizations that support funding vital student aid programs for students in New York. This is the 10th year the organization has hosted an Advocacy Day in Albany.
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