New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced an initiative that ensures every graduating high school senior in the state is given an offer to attend either the State University of New York (SUNY) or the City University of New York (CUNY).
As part of this plan, SUNY is slated to send letters to an estimated 125,000 senior students, automatically accepting them into local community colleges for the coming fall term.
In a statement, Governor Hochul expressed her commitment to promoting higher education accessibility and affordability for students from various backgrounds.
She said, “Access to quality higher education is an engine for social mobility, and we are taking comprehensive steps to ensure that college is affordable and accessible for students from all backgrounds.” The governor’s office anticipates that these personalized letters will prompt more students to enroll in college.
Earlier this year, CUNY, facing financial challenges, collaborated with New York City Public Schools to offer personalized admission letters to 65,000 graduating seniors. These letters will inform students about their available college choices within the CUNY system and invite them to submit an application.
According to CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, this initiative not only aids seniors and their families in making informed college decisions but also bolsters New York’s workforce and addresses systemic inequalities. He said, “More than 80% of CUNY freshmen come from New York City public schools and we want to make the transition as smooth as possible. That means connecting students before they start at one of our campuses. CUNY is sending seniors and their families the tools they need to find the right program at the right price. This partnership will increase the number of seniors going to college, enhance New York’s workforce and help end systemic inequities.”
Both SUNY and CUNY are prepared to answer students’ queries regarding financial aid applications. Governor Hochul initially proposed this initiative in her 2023 State of the State agenda to remove obstacles to higher education. She said, “My administration remains committed to removing barriers and easing the pathway to higher education for all high school seniors – lifting up students to build a brighter future for themselves and New York.”