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Issue Background

STEM Incentive Program

  • Every other scholarship program currently in statute enable students to take their state-funded scholarship equal in value to SUNY tuition to the New York independent college or university of their choice.
  • The Independent Sector outpaces other sectors in the production of degrees in STEM fields. In 2012-13, the Independent Sector awarded 56% of the bachelor’s degrees and 73% of graduate degrees earned in STEM fields in New York State.

In New York today, there are 1.7 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs for every person looking for work.

New York State and the nation need more STEM-educated college graduates. Currently, of all the bachelor’s degrees awarded in the state, just one quarter are awarded to students pursuing STEM and related degrees.

The STEM Incentive Program grant a full-tuition scholarship to SUNY or CUNY for the top 10 percent of graduates at each New York State high school who pursue a math or science career and work in New York State for five years. In 2018 that program was expanded to include students at every college in New York.

Unfortunately, New York has not continued funding for students at private, not-for-profit colleges and universities, who produce the majority of all STEM degrees.

To leverage all of New York’s higher education assets in bolstering our STEM-educated workforce, the program should also include the Independent Sector of higher education. By continuing eligibility to students who wish to enroll at a private, not-for-profit college or university in New York State, it will enable talented students to take their scholarship dollars to the college or university that is the best fit for them in the area of STEM higher education.