Chancellor John B. King, Jr. and SUNY Board of Trustees Statement on Governor Hochul’s State of the State Address

January 9, 2024

“Governor Kathy Hochul’s 2024 State of the State address outlines a clear vision of opportunity and advancement, building on SUNY’s strengths and momentum as an engine of excellence and upward mobility for New York State.

“We applaud Governor Hochul’s proposal to ensure that more of New York’s home-grown, high-achieving students attend outstanding selective SUNY campuses. SUNY looks forward to working with campuses and school districts to implement an ambitious direct admission initiative for the top 10% of graduates in every high school—including by ensuring participating students are college-ready and able to succeed in an academically rigorous environment. As we have seen in other states, this plan will advance equity while helping to retain our most talented students.

“We are also deeply grateful for Governor Hochul’s proposal to make completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid—or FAFSA—universal for high school students. New Yorkers leave $200 million per year in federal financial aid on the table by not completing the FAFSA, and state after state has shown that making the FAFSA universal expands college access and helps families receive financial aid. Governor Hochul’s plan envisions every high school senior either completing the FAFSA, the NYS Dream Act application, or signing a waiver passing on the opportunity to apply. No matter which choice they make, all students will still be able to graduate. Failing to make the FAFSA universal closes the door to college for students from low-income backgrounds and many who would be the first in their families to pursue higher education. Learn more at this link.

“SUNY strongly supports the Governor’s State of the State proposals—including the Empire AI initiative announced yesterday to focus the power of higher education on responsible advancements in artificial intelligence, which will accelerate research at SUNY’s University Centers and advance the Governor’s goal of doubling SUNY research. The Governor also announced an exciting expansion of community service opportunities for our students through the Empire State Service Corps Program, in partnership with Lieutenant Governor Delgado.

“In addition, State of the State workforce development initiatives like the ON-RAMP centers, one-stop shop for farm labor, and the veterinary workforce program represent extraordinary opportunities for our students, employer partners, and the entire state. Likewise, SUNY recognizes the importance of the Governor’s vision to increase cyber-resilience, provide mental health supports, and expand college programming to all state prisons.

“Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York is making a commitment to public higher education like no other state, and for that we are grateful.”

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. 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 2023, 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

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