SUNY Chancellor King and NYC Public Schools Chancellor Banks Partner to Send Personalized College Application Letters to Every NYC High School Senior

October 25, 2023

Each Year About 41,000 Students From New York City’s Five Boroughs Attend a SUNY Campus

Chancellors Met with Students at The High School for Language and Diplomacy; Photos Are Available Here

New York, NY
– State University of New York Chancellor John B. King, Jr. and New York City Public Schools Chancellor David C. Banks today announced their partnership to send personalized welcome letters to every New York City high school senior within the five boroughs. Starting next week, about 61,000 letters will be mailed encouraging students to review their college options and apply for Fall 2024. About 41,000 students from the five boroughs attend a SUNY college or university each year.

As part of Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State Agenda to eliminate barriers to higher education, New York State is celebrating College Application Month in October. SUNY is waiving the application fee through October 29 for all students to apply to up to five campuses. In addition, students at a total of 412 New York City high schools have their application fees waived all year long thanks to SUNY’s fee waiver for high-need high schools, and all students who are eligible for free- and reduced-price lunch at any high school can also receive an application fee waiver. Students may visit to learn more.

Chancellors Banks and King met with and hand-delivered letters to high school seniors from The High School for Language and Diplomacy in Manhattan earlier today letting students know they have a place at SUNY. The school is one of many in New York City where students receive college and career advising and early exposure to careers, in this case marketing and entrepreneurship, and during today’s visit both Chancellors had the opportunity to hear students talk about their vision for college and their career goals.  Photos are available at this link here.

In addition to the letters announced today, SUNY is also increasing the number of campus bus trips available to prospective students in New York City and expanding support for high school counselors.

"There’s a place at SUNY for every New York student, and I’m proud to partner with Chancellor Banks and New York City Public Schools to help high school seniors pursue college success," said SUNY Chancellor King. "I look forward to high school seniors opening their application letter, being inspired to imagine themselves on a SUNY campus, and dreaming about their future. My thanks to Chancellor Banks, New York City Public Schools, and The High School for Language and Diplomacy Principal Lisa Wang for extending this opportunity for us to meet with students today."

"We are working to forge a clear path to higher education and a rewarding, well-paid career for every NYC Public School senior. We are proud to partner with SUNY to reinforce the message that a college education is a reachable reality for all of our students who want it," said New York City Public Schools Chancellor Banks. "I am moved by the partnership that made it possible for students to have these application fee waivers. Together, we are dismantling the barriers that have kept many young people from realizing their potential."

SUNY Board Vice Chairman Cesar Perales said, "Earning a college degree opens the door to infinite possibility throughout our lives and in our careers. It’s what fueled and enabled my quest to be a lawyer and why I have spent my career helping others get the most education they can, whether it was through the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund in the 1970s preparing underrepresented students to become lawyers, working with the CAP Institute to cultivate the next generation of Latinx leaders through free and affordable programs, or through my role as a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees assisting Chancellor King in building on SUNY’s work to encourage students to continue their education. I hope our high school seniors will take this step and apply!"

The letter from Chancellors Banks and King includes information about the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and financial aid options, including information about the simplified Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is expected to relaunch in December. Currently, 53% of NYS full-time-resident undergraduate SUNY students attend tuition free thanks to the combination of state investment from the Excelsior Scholarship and the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) as well as federal and institutional aid.

SUNY offers students at 500+ designated high-needs high schools statewide, including The High School for Language and Diplomacy, the ability to apply to up to seven SUNY campuses for free, saving up to $350, throughout the year. SUNY also has ongoing fee waivers that apply to 60 percent of all high school seniors, including students in foster care, from low-income households, or students with military connections. Learn more about ongoing application fee waiver programs.

To learn more about applying to SUNY, visit Applicants can apply at ApplySUNY or by using the Common App.

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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Holly Liapis
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