Governor Hochul Announces Application Fee Waivers Across NYS Public and Private Colleges This October

October 5, 2023

From the office of Governor Hochul

For First Time, SUNY, CUNY, and More Than 40 Private Colleges and Universities Are Banding Together to Waive Application Fees During College Application Month 

A Complete List of Participating Campuses and Information About Fee Waivers Available Here; Students Encouraged to Apply

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the State University of New York, the City University of New York, and 40 private colleges and universities in New York State will have free application opportunities for high school seniors throughout the month of October. This is the first time that SUNY, CUNY, and New York's private institutions will join together to waive application fees for students applying during New York State College Application Month.

"Education is the backbone of our society, and I am committed to providing opportunities that support every student's journey to a higher education," Governor Hochul said. "As we celebrate College Application Month in New York State, I am thrilled that SUNY, CUNY, and several of New York's private institutions will waive application fees. Removing financial barriers enables students who may not have considered completing an application due to financial constraints to take the first steps of their educational journey. I urge all seniors in the state to apply to at least one college this month and make the most of this unprecedented initiative."

In support of college application month, SUNY is waiving application fees across all 64 colleges and universities for two weeks beginning October 16 through October 29 and CUNY is waiving application fees across all 25 campus all month for high school seniors in New York City public schools and for all New York State residents who will apply as a freshman between October 16 and 31. CUNY has also guaranteed admissions to all seven community colleges for any student who holds a high school diploma. Fee waivers at private institutions vary by participating institution during the month. 

The complete list of participating colleges and universities, information on when fees will be waived, and how to apply to each school can be found here.

HESC, SUNY, and CUNY have scheduled virtual and in-person events throughout the month to encourage students to learn more about the New York State financial aid, inform students about their college options, and assist them in completing their applications. For a list of more than 70 financial aid events hosted by HESC click here. SUNY sessions can be found here and a list of more than 100 events hosted by CUNY can be found here.

The New York State College Application Month initiative encourages high school seniors to apply for college early with a focus on students from low-income families, first-generation students, and students who may not otherwise apply for college.

October was proclaimed by the Governor as College Application Month in New York State to raise awareness of the vast higher education opportunities across New York State and to support students seeking to pursue higher education. The proclamation is available here.

In its tenth year, New York State College Application Month, which is a part of the national American College Application Campaign is coordinated by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation in partnership with the New York State Education Department, SUNY, CUNY, the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, the NYC Department of Education, and community organizations throughout the state. More than 600 high schools across New York State are registered to participate in this year's initiative.

President of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation Dr. Guillermo Linares said, "As we embark on College Application Month, we are reminded that higher education is a critical pathway to success, and we must break down every barrier that stands in the way of students achieving their dreams. Waived application fees provide an important tool for breaking down financial barriers and ensuring that every eligible student can realize their potential through higher education. Thank you, Governor Hochul, for declaring October as College Application Month in New York State and unlocking potential opportunities to put higher education within reach for more New Yorkers."

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, "There is a place at SUNY for every New Yorker, and College Application Month is an opportunity for SUNY to help every high school senior find theirs. Thank you to Governor Hochul for championing the importance of public higher education and making it easier for students to apply to college. We cannot wait to welcome prospective students to SUNY's 64 campuses and show them all the places their education journey can lead."

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, "We are delighted to join forces with higher education institutions across New York State for College Application Month and be able to waive the CUNY application fee for tens of thousands prospective students during the month of October. We thank Governor Hochul and our partners in government for supporting this initiative, which will simplify the application process, increase support for students who don't think college is an option for them and help close the equity gap in higher education."

New York State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said, "For many New Yorkers, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, college application fees can be a significant financial barrier that can deter otherwise qualified students from applying to higher education institutions. On behalf of the Board of Regents and Department, I'd like to thank Governor Hochul for spearheading efforts to waive application fees for students applying to our state's many public and private colleges and universities this month. This levels the playing field, ensuring that all aspiring students have access and an equal opportunity to pursue their academic goals."

New York City Public Schools Chancellor David C. Banks said, "We are embarking on a transformative journey with the colleges across New York State ensuring that every senior in our NYC Public Schools sees a clear path to higher education and a well-paid career. This initiative is reinforcing the message that a college education is not just a dream, but a reachable reality for all. I am ecstatic about the partnership between SUNY, CUNY and various private institutions that has made this all possible, and the doors it will open for our young people. Together, we are building a brighter future for our youth and dismantling barriers that have kept many from realizing their potential." 

President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities Lola W. Brabham said, "On behalf of New York's Independent Sector, CICU is proud to support College Application Month to increase the number of students applying to college, especially first-generation students and students from traditionally underrepresented groups. New York's independent colleges and universities remain committed to providing access and opportunity to ensure that all students can benefit from the transformative impact of higher education."

New York's College Application Month is part of the national American College Application Campaign, sponsored by ACT's Center for Equity in Learning. The first College Application Day began as a pilot at a single high school in North Carolina in 2005. Since then, the program has grown to include all 50 states and the District of Columbia and, as of 2022, assisted more than 4.2 million students in submitting more than 7.3 million applications. 

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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