NY’s Tuition-Free Scholarship Sends Waves Though Collegiate Swimming

by Charlie Nash 44

April 28th, 2017 College, National, News

On January 4th, 2017, New York governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a new bill to his congress, which would make New York the first state in the United States to provide free tuition for all in-state students to four-year public colleges. Cuomo’s legislation was approved this weekend by congress, and is set to be enacted as soon as this coming school year.

The new legislation will drastically cut the cost of education for many students in the state of New York, and make a college degree more attainable for some people who may not have been able to acquire one before.

For a student to be eligible for the free tuition scholarship, they must fulfill several different criteria. The student’s family must have an annual income below $100,000 a year, a number that will increase to $110,000 in 2018 and to $125,000 in 2019. It is at this income level that the New York legislators agreed that the family is able to afford the cost of college. The student must also be enrolled as a full time student, taking a minimum of 30 credit hours a year.

The new legislation seems as if it will have lasting impacts on the way that New York colleges can recruit athletes for their programs, but the way that they recruit will go largely unaffected. Amongst the 70 NCAA swimming programs in the state of New York, the law only applies to 36 of these programs, as it only pertains to public universities and the other 34 programs are from private universities.

Of the 36 public university programs in New York, only three programs previously offered athletic scholarships to swimmers: Division I programs Army and University at Buffalo, Binghamton, and Division II CUNY Queens. Army will not be affected by this legislation at all, as the academy offers free tuition to all students, regardless if they play a sport or not. The University at Buffalo recently cut their men’s program from the school’s offerings, which leaves only their women’s team, CUNY Queens, and Binghamton to reap the benefits of the law. Those schools now have the opportunity to allocate all of their scholarship funds to athletes that are out of state and to students who fall above the maximum annual income.

Although the change in law only directly governs Universities in the state of New York, this will affect schools from other states as well. For many athletes who are looking to go out of state, but may not be able to afford the added cost of being out of state, they may have to stay within the state and chose amongst the public New York Universities. This will create an added challenge for teams trying to recruit within New York, because the athletes they are going to go after will have a cheaper alternative.

It is yet to be seen what kinds of lasting effects this new law in New York will have on the landscape of college swimming, but there are several possible outcomes that could come out of it.  

List of college swimming programs in the state of New York (Public schools are in bold)

Division 1:

  •      Canisius College
  •      Colgate University
  •      Columbia University
  •      Cornell University
  •      Fordham University
  •      Iona College
  •      Manhattan College
  •      Marist College
  •      Niagara University
  •      Siena College
  •      Saint Bonaventure University
  •      SUNY Binghamton
  •      US Military Academy (Army)
  •      University of Buffalo
  •      Wagner College (women only)

Division 2:

  •      Adelphi University
  •      College of Saint Rose
  •      CUNY Queens College
  •      Le Moyne College
  •      LIU Post (women only)
  •      Pace University

Division 3:

  •      Alfred State
  •      Bard College
  •      Cazenovia College
  •      Clarkson University
  •      College of Mount Saint Vincent
  •      College of New Rochelle (women only)
  •      College of Staten Island CUNY
  •      CUNY Baruch College
  •      CUNY Brooklyn College
  •      CUNY Hunter College (women only)
  •      CUNY John Jay College (women only)
  •      CUNY Lehman College
  •      CUNY York
  •      Hamilton College
  •      Hartwick College
  •      Hobart William Smith Colleges (women only)
  •      Ithaca College
  •      Mount Saint Mary College
  •      Nazareth College
  •      New York University
  •      Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  •      Rochester Institute of Technology
  •      Sarah Lawrence College
  •      Skidmore College
  •      SUNY Fredonia
  •      SUNY New Paltz
  •      SUNY Oneonta
  •      SUNY Purchase
  •      SUNY Buffalo State
  •      SUNY College at Brockport
  •      SUNY College at Cortland
  •      SUNY College at Geneseo
  •      SUNY College at Old Westbury
  •      SUNY College at Oswego
  •      SUNY at Potsdam
  •      SUNY Maritime College
  •      Union College
  •      US Merchant Marine Academy
  •      University of Rochester
  •      Utica College
  •      Vassar College

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SUNY Binghamton has D1 swimming and scholarship money.


Also, it is CUNY Queens not SUNY


Also SUNY Geneseo not Greneseo.

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