March 11, 2011

SUNY Empire State College Council Unanimously Passes a Resolution Supporting a Five-Year Rational Tuition Policy

40th Anniversary Logo

[NOTE: the figures in this article were accurate in 2011 and no longer reflect current values.]

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – March 14, 2011) – The State University of New York Empire State College Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of a rational tuition policy for the SUNY system.

The resolution supports the creation of a five-year tuition plan for SUNY that is fair, responsible and predictable, urges the governor and the state Legislature to increase tuition for the fall of 2011, and to recommends retention of all new tuition revenue by SUNY campuses for the benefit of the students they serve.

“The Empire State College Council is adding its voice to the chorus calling for a rational tuition plan for SUNY,” said SUNY Empire State College Council Chairman James W. Lytle. “A tuition plan would drive resources to support the education of our adult learners across the state and partially compensate for reduced state support.”

“I am grateful for the complete support of the Empire State College Council,” said SUNY Empire State College President Alan R. Davis. “For the reasons set out in the resolution, the Council and I share the view of Chancellor Zimpher that a tuition policy is in the best interest of our adult learners, indeed all SUNY students, the college and the SUNY system.”

The council took this action at its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday March 9 and a copy of the resolution is available here.

During the last three years, the college has experienced a reduction of more than $8 million as a result of budget cuts brought on by repeated reductions in state support.

The 2011-12 executive budget proposes further cuts to SUNY in the amount of $150 million. For SUNY Empire State College that could mean an additional $3 million reduction in state support.

“The governor deserves credit for responding to the budget crisis by insisting that the state live within its fiscal means,” said college President Alan R. Davis. “At the same time, the college needs sufficient resources to fully function. A five-year tuition plan would enable access, and more importantly access to a high-quality education.

“Certainly New York’s Tuition Assistance Program has to be part of the dialog so the doors to higher education remain open to the financially neediest citizens.”

SUNY tuition for an instate undergraduate is $4,970 per year (2011 figure), among the lowest in the nation. In addition, for three consecutive years, the SUNY Student Assembly has voted in favor of a rational tuition policy.

During the last 48 years SUNY has been allowed to raise tuition only 13 times. Seventeen times since 1963, a first-year student entered SUNY and during his or her college career never had to pay a tuition increase while others saw two or three increases, placing a burden of uncertainty on students and their families.

About SUNY Empire State College

Celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout 2011, SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York. Students learn through independent studies, online courses, seminars and residencies. Learners also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience.The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at 34 locations in New York state and online. Its 60,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, not-for-profit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.For additional information, visit For more on the 40th anniversary, please follow this link.
Reporters and editors please note: The tuition plan would not apply to SUNY’s 30 community colleges because tuition at the community colleges is set locally on a campus-by-campus basis.

Media Contact

David M. Henahan, Director of Communications
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