Guarantee to Freeze Freshman
Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Robert L. King today announced a proposal for
the first tuition policy in the history of the State University of New York.
The tuition policy titled the "SUNY Tuition Guarantee," would, if
- Freeze tuition for all resident
undergraduates at the fall 2005 level. This would enable resident
undergraduate students and their families to more effectively plan for
financing the costs of higher education, and to be insulated from
unanticipated tuition increases;
- Beginning in fall 2006 and continuing
for freshman thereafter, the resident undergraduate tuition rate for
incoming freshmen would be the tuition level of the previous year
multiplied by the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI), which would then be
frozen at that level for the duration of the defined term of their degree
program (typically four years, with some exceptions for five-year
programs, military call up, other hardships);
- Over time, reinvest the new resources
generated by incremental annual tuition increases in the recruitment and
retention of full time tenure track faculty and other priority needs that
enhance academic quality for students;
- Help encourage students to graduate in
four years, while providing the flexibility to deal with individual
circumstances and, importantly;
- Provide the University with a
predictable source of incremental tuition revenue, while ensuring that
State funding is provided for mandatory cost increases (i.e. labor
contractual obligations, energy costs, etc.).
"In the past, tuition
increases, which were brought on by financial crisis beyond the control of the
state, have been large and unpredictable," said King. "This tuition
policy would help to protect students and families from large, unpredictable
increases and would provide sufficient resources for the university to invest
in additional full-time faculty and other areas, which will further improve the
quality of the education we provide our students and enhance academic
excellence across the university."
State University of New York at Buffalo President John Barclay Simpson said, "The
tuition plan signals a new kind of understanding about the critical place and
promise of the future of higher education in New
York State. It is both forward-looking and comprehensive; it will
benefit our students and their families by providing a measure of cost
predictability, and it will better support our universities in providing broad
access to an excellent educational experience.
"This tuition plan is perhaps
most significant, however, in its recognition that strong universities do the
cutting-edge research, attract the brilliant human capital, and enact the tech
transfer that enables and encourages new economic development and growth. I
congratulate Chancellor King and his staff for this plan, and for stimulating a
new kind of discussion about how the state and SUNY will balance taxpayer
support with tuition rate structures to build and maintain a world-class system
of public higher education in New York State."
State University of New York College at Purchase
President Thomas J. Schwarz said, "To support this plan is to support not
only the education of our future students but the economic stability of our
State University of New York College of Technology at Delhi President
Candace Vancko said, "This tuition proposal addresses one of the biggest
financial variables that families face. It is a fair and rational policy that
should be well received because it will allow families to more accurately plan
and budget what it will cost for their sons and daughters to attend college.
"I expect that it will help
increase SUNY enrollments and provide campuses with the resources they need to
continue to improve quality. At Delhi, it will allow us to invest in new technology for our
academic programs and add faculty to support new programs and the enrollment
increases we have seen over the last five years."
State University of New York
College at New Paltz President Steven G. Poskanzer said, "The strength of
this proposal is that it addresses two interlocking problems that have
bedeviled SUNY and its campuses for years, namely the unpredictability and
unfairness of lumpy and scattered tuition increases and several decades of
constrained state funding that have not allowed us to address the inevitable
rising costs of a top-quality education to students."
State University of New York College at Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley said, "Finding
the right balance between continued quality and access is a delicate process.
We can help students if we adopt a tuition policy that lets them know what they
can expect to pay as they start their college years. One way we work toward
this stability at our campus is our Oswego Guarantee, which includes a promise
to students who enter as freshmen that they will not experience an increase in
their room or meal plans for four consecutive years."
Professor Joseph Hildreth,
president of the State University of New York Faculty Senate said,
"Investing in quality higher education at the State University of New York
through the addition of full-time faculty is excellent public policy. The
tuition freeze and indexing components of the plan would provide students and
their families with the ability to better plan for future college costs. I am
very pleased to support the chancellor’s excellent proposal, which would
maintain access to academic excellence and quality."
The tuition proposal also calls
for differential tuition at the SUNY University Centers. Under the plan, annual
resident undergraduate tuition adjustment at the University Centers may be
greater than HEPI to reflect the comparatively higher level of State support
dedicated to these campuses, which on average is about three times that of the
comprehensive and technology college sectors.
The tuition increases for students
attending the University Centers would not be greater than 1.5 times HEPI. Over
time, the growth in tuition would be capped at 1.5 times the tuition of our comprehensive
colleges. This differential would mirror the differences seen in most other
Apart from the tuition proposal,
the Chancellor has recommended a $600 across-the-board tuition increase for all
students for the fall of 2005 This increase is necessary to offset the more
than $30 million in energy cost increases that University is absorbing in
2004-05, which will recur in 2005-06, as well as other major mandatory
recurring cost increases during the past several years, most significantly collective
These prior-year uncompensated
mandatory costs have a recurring annual value of approximately $100 million,
which is in addition to the $87 million in State tax dollar funding that the
University has requested to support new 2005-06 mandatory cost increases,
primarily for contractual salary increases and energy.
Managing a funding gap of this
magnitude has required the University to work very efficiently, effectively and
However, the continued pressures
of mandatory cost increases coupled with unfunded prior year increases suggests
that additional revenue is needed just to provide the University with the
stable financial foundation necessary to ensure that the commitment to students
under the SUNY Tuition Guarantee can be fulfilled.
A $600 tuition increase for all
students in fall 2005 would ensure that the University’s new Tuition Plan can
be implemented effectively.
The $600 adjustment would raise
resident undergraduate tuition from $4,350 to $4,950. However, under the
University’s Plan, an entering freshman would be guaranteed that tuition level
for four years. In fact, under the Plan, every full-time student enrolled in
fall 2005 would have their tuition rate guaranteed for the remainder of the
defined term of their degree program.
In addition, the projected 2005
resident undergraduate tuition and average fees of an estimated $5,868 would be
lower than the 2004 tuition and fees for New
England of $6,839, the Midwest at $6085 and
Mid-Atlantic region level of $6,300 as defined by the College Board Annual
Finally, more than two-thirds of
TAP recipients would have the tuition increase fully covered.
In order for the SUNY Tuition
Guarantee to become effective, the Legislature would have to approve the
proposal as part of the state’s enacted budget.
King added, "I have been
discussing the need to move toward a rational tuition policy for more than a
year, and will continue that discussion in the upcoming budget cycle."
Under the SUNY Tuition Guarantee,
the state would fund growth in costs such as salary increases and other
mandated costs and energy. This would be balanced by student tuition, which
would fund enhancements to academic quality, such as hiring additional
full-time tenure-track faculty and other needs such as scholarships,
laboratories and enhancements to libraries.
The SUNY Tuition Guarantee would
provide for certainty in college tuition costs for students and families and
predictability of expense for the state. Also, with a defined policy in place,
tuition would also be removed from the political process.
The State University’s past 10 years have been marked by historic
accomplishments. Enrollment has increased by 44,351 students, from 368,459 to
an estimated 413,000, or 12 percent; the academic profile of incoming students
to the University Centers is now comparable with the top public flagships in
California, Michigan, Texas and North Carolina; sponsored research has grown by
89 percent, from $455 million to and estimated $860 million; and, the
University is serving more than 1.2 million people who participate in
continuing education opportunities.
The State University of New York
is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating
more than 413,000 students in 6,688 degree and certificate programs on 64