SUNY Empire State College Students

Black male at computer

SUNY Empire State College students represent a diverse community of learners. They are motivated and enthusiastic. They are busy adults with jobs, families and real lives that simply won’t accommodate the conventional college experience.

Most of the college’s students are between 25 to 55 years old, with a median age of 36, and are in the prime of their working lives. They are employed as professionals, managers or as skilled workers. They may be anyone from the CEO of a company to a working performing artist to a Veteran transitioning to civilian life. More than 60 percent study part time. Most students are New York state residents, and they reflect the diversity that can be found from the Canadian border to Long Island’s eastern shore.

Students come from large metropolitan areas, suburbs, small towns and rural communities. Sixty-one percent are white; 14 percent are African American; 6 percent are Hispanic; and 2 percent are Asian/Pacific Islanders or American Indians. The college enrolls students from every state in the U.S. and from 50 other countries. Nonresidents of New York state, representing one in six of our undergraduate students, generally enroll through SUNY Empire Online.

Two women study

About half of the college’s students study through one of the college’s 35 locations across New York state, where they receive personal, one-to-one attention and guidance from faculty mentors. In addition, approximately 40 percent of the college’s undergraduate students, state residents and nonresidents enroll through SUNY Empire Online. Another 19 percent enroll through other centers and programs, such as the college’s Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies or the Center for International Education.