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New York Governor Proposes New For-Profit Regulations

January 16, 2019

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed increasing regulations on for-profit institutions as part of his 2019-20 budget plan.

Under his proposal released Tuesday, for-profit colleges would be required to regularly report their funding sources to the state and would not be allowed to operate with more than 80 percent of their funding from taxpayers. (The federal government caps taxpayer funding of for-profit colleges at 90 percent.)

Each for-profit institution would also be required to spend at least 50 percent of its budget on instruction and learning, and report the salaries and bonuses received by presidents and senior leadership.

The proposal would also prohibit leaders of the colleges from serving on boards of accreditation agencies.

In his 2020 budget book, Cuomo said the state would step in to protect student loan borrowers in the "absence of federal leadership."

The Association of Proprietary Colleges, which represents for-profit colleges in New York, criticized the governor's move.

"We are disappointed Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered remarks today in which he underscored New York’s commitment to choice and opportunity, while advancing a budget proposal that is unfairly punitive to our New York-based, degree-granting colleges that are committed to educational excellence, access and affordability," the association said in a statement.

The association said the proposed requirements would hurt the very people Cuomo often embraces -- first-generation college students, immigrants, women and middle-class families -- by limiting their education choices.

The governor's office estimates 33,000 students in New York attend degree-granting for-profit colleges and 180,000 attend non-degree-granting institutions.

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Ashley A. Smith

Ashley A. Smith, Reporter, covers community colleges, for-profit schools and non-traditional students for Inside Higher Ed. She joined the publication in 2015 after covering government and K-12 education for the Fort Myers News-Press in Florida for three years. Ashley also covered K-12 and higher education for three years at the Marshfield News-Herald in Wisconsin. She has interned with The Flint Journal, USA Today and the Detroit Free Press. Ashley grew up in Detroit and is a 2008 graduate of Michigan State University. 

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