The 3% tuition increases at SUNY and CUNY schools proposed by Gov. Kathy Hochul did not make it into a budget approved by the New York State Legislature on May 2, according to New York State Public Media.
Despite support from SUNY Chancellor John King, state legislators nixed the proposal.
Gov. Hochul wanted to increase tuition by 3% with an additional 6% increase for SUNY’s university centers (UB, Binghamton, Stony Brook and Albany) to ensure that the institutions can “reliably invest in their long-term futures as costs rise, while prioritizing the evolving needs of students, ensuring academic excellence, and continuing to maintain low-cost and stable tuition rates for in-state residents,” according to recommendations from the Division of Budget.
John Della Contrada, a UB spokesperson, said that SUNY, UB and other public universities advocated for the 6% differential tuition increase, which was intended to “benefit students” by providing mental health resources, “recruiting world-class faculty,” and expanding internship and research opportunities, and more. That differential would’ve generated $50 million per year over the next five years for the university centers.
But UB will still see some additional funding from the state.
“We are receiving additional operating funds, which is preferred to tuition increases, and other funding, both of which will provide the revenue we need to achieve adding programs, resources and facilities for students and faculty,” Della Contrada said.
The SUNY Student Assembly (SUNY SA), a SUNY-wide student government organization, lobbied against the tuition increase.
“These costs should not fall on the shoulders of students,” Brennan Gorman, the Executive Director of Policy for SUNY SA and incoming MBA student, said. “They already pay enough to go to school. These additional costs to make sure that our SUNY system is operated should not be another burden.”
The SUNY SA instead proposed increasing operating funds by $250 million in place of the tuition increase.
According to the State budget briefing book, the average tuition and fees at New York State’s four-year public institutions was $8,556 in 2023, 22% lower than the national average for four-year public institutions. In-state UB undergraduates paid more than that — $10,782 — in tuition and fees during the 2021-22 academic year, according to the UB Factbook.
State funding for SUNY institutions has stayed virtually flat for the past 10 years, according to the UB Budget Book.
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