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, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2018, more than 424,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2017-18 academic year. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Its students and faculty make significant contributions to research and discovery, contributing to a $1.6 billion research portfolio. There are 3 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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