Hartwick College Students at the NY Student Aid Alliance Advocacy Day

Hartwick Students Attend NY Student Aid Alliance Advocacy Day

February 13, 2013

Yesterday, several members of the Hartwick College community joined high school and college students, faculty and staff from across New York State. These representatives gathered together in Albany to share their stories about the value of state student aid programs during the "New York Student Aid Alliance Advocacy Day" event.

According to the NYS Aid Alliance (NYSAA) website, the day served as "an opportunity for New York State students, faculty, financial aid and opportunity program administrators and other staff, as well as legislators, higher education policymakers and staff to come together to show support for student aid funding and higher education."

Hartwick students who visited the State Capitol to participate included Jennifer Davis '13, Alyssa Galea '14, Stephanie Kroll '13 and Maria Mastroianni '13. 

The students agreed that their participation was vital in letting legislators know how significant financial aid is toward every student's ability to receive a college education.  

"Without financial aid, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to go to college," said Mastroianni. "That's why I believe that advocating is so important."

According to the New York State Education Department, nearly 1.3 million students enroll annually at colleges and universities in the state of New York. Of these students, 50% of New Yorkers attending college in-state as full-time undergraduates use Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funds to help meet their college expenses based on the Higher Education Services Corporation's 2011-2012 Annual Report.

"For someone like me who has financial aid support through TAP, this type of event is vital," said Davis. "Future generations are going to want to receive a higher education just like we are now. Because of this, we must keep this funding in place in order to assist these students in getting to college as well."

"I have a little sister and brother who will be pursuing college degrees eventually," agreed Kroll. "These programs and continued funding will assist them in getting into college as they did for me."

Beyond advocating, those in attendance also learned about various different financial aid programs available throughout New York State.

"It was interesting to learn about all of the different aid programs that are available to students, and to hear the personal stories of people who rely on these programs in order to receive a higher education," said Galea.

Hartwick College staff members also joined in the day's events in support of students, and spoke to the need for continued student financial aid support moving forward.

"It was important for Hartwick students to have a voice in this effort today," said Dr. Meg Nowak, vice president for student affairs. "I was impressed by the quantity of both private and public institutions that attended and spoke out during the lobbying effort in support of financial aid programs."

In addition to the lobbying event, the Hartwick students visited the Capitol in order to meet with Assemblyman William Magee, and a representative from the office of Hartwick College Alumni, Senator James L. Seward '73.

For more information on the event, which is supported by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu), please visit

For additional information on Hartwick's participation in the event, contact Nowak at 607-431-4502 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031