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SUNY Reports First Increase in Student Enrollment in Ten Years


It has been quite some time since the state has been able to announce an increase in enrollment across the State University of New York campuses. For the first time in a decade, year-to-year total system-wide student enrollment increased, up 1.1 percent overall from Fall 2022 to Fall 2023 for a total of 367,542 students. Undergraduate first-time enrollment – a leading indicator – was up across all sectors at 4.3 percent, a promising increase as SUNY works to fulfill the Governor’s vision to transform higher education into a path to upward mobility. The technology sector showed the strongest increase at 13.3 percent, followed by community colleges at 3.9 percent.

“New York continues to make important progress towards building the best public higher education system in the country and as a result, more young students are choosing SUNY,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “I know firsthand that access to higher education is an engine for social mobility. That’s why I will continue to make important investments in our higher education systems and take steps to ensure college is affordable and accessible for students of all backgrounds.”

SUNY Chancellor John King, Jr. presented the enrollment data during a special meeting of the SUNY Board of Trustees. His presentation can be found at this link here, which provides a breakdown per sector and by campus.

Last spring SUNY sent a personalized letter to every New York State high school senior outside of New York City confirming they were automatically admitted at their local community college to attend this fall. High school seniors in New York City received personalized letters this fall encouraging them to explore their future at SUNY.

Chancellor King and the SUNY Board of Trustees thanked former Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley for her contributions to increasing enrollment during her year-long term, including launching the first-ever two-week college application fee waiver initiative.

Additional enrollment initiatives include the SUNY Match – where students who are not admitted to their initial choices are admitted to participating campuses; Transfer Match – in which participating campuses offer direct admission to students graduating from SUNY community colleges; and the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Match – in which EOP applicants who are not admitted to their initial choice campuses on academic criteria are offered EOP consideration to participating campuses, pending financial eligibility review.

Last month, the SUNY Board of Trustees also approved an application fee waiver for all AmeriCorps alumni. SUNY has ongoing fee waivers that apply to 60 percent of all high school seniors. Students in foster care, with military connections, low-income students, and students at 500+ designated high schools can apply to up to seven SUNY campuses for free, saving up to $350 any time during the year. In addition, the application fee waiver applies to students on track to receiving an associate degree at a SUNY community college so they can apply to a bachelor’s degree granting SUNY campus. For more information about ongoing application fee waiver programs, please visit this link.

SUNY is also expanding efforts to support students to complete their degrees, including through a 25-campus replication of Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) and Accelerate, Complete, and Engage (ACE) – national models to improve retention and completion, pioneered at CUNY, that have been proven effective through randomized controlled trials – as well as Re-Enroll to Complete, the SUNY campaign to work with and re-enroll students who had withdrawn from SUNY with earned credits, student loan debt, and no degree.

The application for Fall 2024 is open. To learn more about applying to SUNY, click on this link here. Applicants can apply at ApplySUNY or by using the Common App.

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