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NYS will spend $113M to turn around SUNY enrollment decline: How will funds be used?

The state is going to spend $113 million to bolster its SUNY campuses and overall enrollment.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the State University of New York Board of Trustees approved the criteria for allocating $113 million in direct funding.

The investment will support campus programs designed to increase services to SUNY students, bolster enrollment at SUNY institutions, and support college completion rates.

This has been a major issue for SUNY to tackle, since 95% of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of one its campuses. Despite this proximity, SUNY enrollment had fallen nearly 20% over the 10 year period leading up to 2021. This included a 4.7% decline between 2020 and 2021.

“SUNY has provided life changing educational opportunities for countless of students and we must continue to provide the resources needed for the next generation of students seeking a world class education,” Governor Hochul said. “With today’s approval by the SUNY Board of Trustees, we have delivered on the commitment made in the budget to revitalize the SUNY system, hire additional faculty, increase diversity among the student body, and expand the reach of our campuses to attract and retain students.”

How will those millions be spent?

Officials say $60 million will be distributed across SUNY’s campuses for investing in enrollment, academic programs, student services, and operational efficiencies.

An additional distributed across SUNY’s campuses for investing in enrollment, academic programs, student services, and operational efficiencies.

RELATED: Will SUNY schools make a comeback from the 92,000 students they’ve lost over the last decade?

Who will get the funding?

The state didn’t have exact figures for who will get part of that $60 million to address enrollment, academic programs, student services, and operational efficiencies. However, they said any campus receiving funds will have to report to administrators on how they will address enrollment issues, address academic program offerings, build on existing operational efficiencies while seeking new opportunities.

As for the $53 million for hiring full-time faculty- over 30 campuses were selected.

RELATED: SUNY schools’ lax policies led to out-of-state students getting discounted tuition, audit found

How will college applicants benefit?

The SUNY Board of Trustees also approved an automatic application fee waiver for any high school student choosing to apply to a SUNY campus from one of the 500 New York State public high schools that have more than 75 percent of their student population eligible for free and reduced-price lunch on a three-year rolling basis.

SUNY will begin promoting the fee waiver to ensure eligible students are aware of the program. The Board also voted to keep all state-operated campus tuition rates and board-based fees flat at 2021-2022 levels.

“As SUNY rises to the Governor’s challenge to innovate higher education to reach all learners and support their success, we are thankful for the direct funding to help our campuses exceed in this noble work,” SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley said. “Having a college education matters, even more so today as industries evolve, and earning a degree or credential from SUNY’s highly-ranked colleges and universities sets students on a course for greater achievements. Our students’ success drives us to do more, and on behalf of our campus leaders and the excellent faculty and staff that support and inspire our students, we are excited for this opportunity.”