The number of New Yorkers and prospective students from out of state who have applied to a State University of New York school has doubled in the last year, driven by a two-week fee waiver for applications.
SUNY officials on Thursday announced the applications have increased by 110% as of Nov. 25, growing from 97,257 to 204,437 applications.
“SUNY’s fee waiver has been an incredible success and we are encouraged by the increase in potential students taking this step to pursue a college education," Interim Chancellor Deborah Stanley said. "Campuses will now be working to ensure that students choose a SUNY school for their academic pursuits, providing them with guidance and financial aid assistance, when necessary. New York State has significantly invested in higher education as a driving force for its economy, and we want to make sure all New Yorkers can avail themselves of a high-quality, affordable education across our state.”
The two-week fee waiver period allowed students to apply to up to five SUNY campuses, saving $250. Each applicant on average during that time applied to two SUNY campuses.
SUNY campuses have sought to expand enrollment in the wake of the pandemic, a period that's also brought mental health challenges to colleges and universities across New York.
The system started an out-of-state tuition match option during the application season, allowing residents in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Illinois, and California to receive in-state tuition and fees at a SUNY school.
Applications from all states outside of New York are up by about 70%, SUNY officials said.
“The increase in applications has far exceeded our expectations," said Deputy to the Chancellor for Enrollment Joel Wincowski. "It is a testament to the high-quality education for which SUNY is known, with some of the best faculty, staff, and campus communities in the nation. This increase is only the beginning of an upward trend we expect in enrollment across our campuses. To that end, we will work with campuses to help applicants make their final decision on which SUNY campus will be home next fall.”