Statement by SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall and Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher on Governor Cuomo’s Tuition-Free Plan

January 3, 2017

"Governor Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship Program takes college affordability to a dramatic new level. This plan positions New York State as the first in the nation to not only provide free tuition for students from low- and- middle-income families pursuing two- and- four-year degrees, but to also go a step further, incentivizing full-time enrollment and college completion – both of which are proven game changers in students success.

"This is what college affordability is all about. Governor Cuomo’s plan will ensure true success for our students while also protecting the state’s investment in public higher education. SUNY strongly supports the Excelsior Scholarship Program and we will be making it a top priority in the upcoming budget session."

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. As of Fall 2019, more than 415,500 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY serves throughout the year about 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide exceeded $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2019, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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