Governor Cuomo Directs SUNY and CUNY to Assist Students Impacted by Federal Shutdown With College-Related Expenses

January 22, 2019

From the office of Governor Cuomo

Provides Temporary Reprieve for Students Who Are Federal Employees, Dependents of Federal Employees, and Students Who Are Dependent on Loans from the Federal Government

Tuition Payments and Other Related Expenses Postponed; Late Fees and Penalties Waived

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has directed SUNY and CUNY to assist students with college-related expenses during the prolonged federal shutdown. Payments for tuition and related college expenses will be postponed, and no late fees or penalties will be charged to impacted students. This temporary reprieve will apply to federal employees, dependents of federal employees, and students who are dependent on loans from the federal government that may be delayed.

"As the federal shutdown continues to devastate the hardworking men and women of this country, New York's students are among those hit hardest by Washington's inaction," Governor Cuomo said. "We will not stand idly by as the federal administration undermines students' ability to achieve a higher education, and today's action will help ensure furloughed federal workers and their families get the support they need during this precarious time."

"While Trump puts people's lives at risk and the longest federal shutdown in U.S. history continues, we are stepping up to help New Yorkers," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "By postponing payments for tuition and other expenses, students can still receive the education they deserve and families who are impacted by the shutdown can get the assistance they need as they face this hardship."

SUNY and CUNY leadership will work with their respective campuses to make financial arrangements for impacted students and their families.

The move follows the Governor's call for the New York State Department of Labor to provide increased support to workers seeking unemployment insurance benefits and the State's Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance to help those working without pay apply for and obtain public assistance benefits.

SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said, "As the shutdown continues, our campuses have taken extraordinary efforts to accommodate our students, letting them know there are resources to help them return to their studies. We expect to welcome all our students back in the coming days, and are pleased to help our campuses make that possible. No one should stay home for fear of an extended federal shutdown."

CUNY Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz said, "We want to assure CUNY students whose families depend on paychecks from federal agencies that the one thing they should not worry about is their tuition payments and other college expenses. The shutdown is forcing so many in New York and across the country to confront financial adversity, but we are committed to opening the new semester without disruption, regardless of the situation in Washington."

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, 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. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-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 are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than 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 opportunities, visit

Share this:


Holly Liapis
Email the Office of Communications