The New York State Assembly’s Higher Education Committee recently got to hear firsthand how St. Lawrence’s Higher Education Opportunity Program supports students academically and personally thanks to Michael Paulino ’20.
Michael was one of two independent private college students that testified before a hearing on the impact of COVID-19 on state-funded financial aid programs including the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) held by the committee and the Assembly Subcommittee on TAP. He accompanied Mary Beth Labate, president of The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) in New York, to the event, which was held virtually on Tuesday, Sept. 22.
“There is no denying that my enrollment at a great school like St. Lawrence University would not be possible without the financial support of programs like TAP and HEOP,” the senior from New York City said. “These programs are more than just lines on a state budget sheet. The impact of these programs stretches far beyond the financial support they provide. It’s the academic, personal, and emotional support that truly makes HEOP, particularly what it means to so many students and families across the State of New York. […] Without these programs, students like me would not be able to attend private schools like St. Lawrence University. We should be investing more into these programs, not less.”
Watch Michael’s testimony. (It begins around the 5:17:30 mark).