Chancellor King Announces Expansion of SUNY’s Efforts to Support FAFSA Completion

February 23, 2024

In Response to Federal FAFSA Delay, Additional In-Person and Virtual Financial Aid Sessions Will Support SUNY Applicants and Current Students 

SUNY Remains Committed to Promoting Access to Higher Education and Student Success by Ensuring All SUNY Students Receive the Financial Aid They are Entitled to 

Albany, NY

Building on SUNY Financial Aid Days, State University of New York Chancellor John B. King, Jr. today announced the expansion of SUNY’s efforts through the spring to provide applicants to all 64 campuses with more support to complete the FAFSA, which is necessary to receive federal and state financial aid.  

“The cost of a college education can be a barrier to students and with the new FAFSA application, our team at SUNY is doing all we can to ensure current and prospective students know about and get all the financial aid they are eligible for,” said SUNY Chancellor King. “There is a place at SUNY for every New Yorker, and we are dedicated to helping all students recognize the extraordinary value of a SUNY education.”  

By expanding SUNY’s efforts to support students completing the FAFSA application, high school seniors, working adults, and other SUNY applicants will be offered more opportunities to connect with financial aid experts so they can submit the FAFSA to determine what financial aid is available to them and make a more informed decision about the future of their education. All SUNY campuses will hold at least one additional in-person or virtual event during this period. These include: 

  • University at Buffalo will create evening FAFSA Completion one-on-one Zoom appointments 
  • Dutchess Community College will form a FAFSA Simplification Team to train volunteers across campus to support current and prospective students completing the FAFSA application  
  • Empire State University will offer virtual FAFSA Completion workshops that will be recorded and available for sharing 
  • SUNY Old Westbury will host FAFSA Completion events at local high schools to encourage students to complete the application  
  • SUNY Plattsburgh is mobilizing their student organizations, including athletics, the Educational Opportunity Program, and the ACE program, to encourage and support FAFSA Completion for both new and current students 
  • Purchase College will add a FAFSA Completion Information Session at the end of daily campus tours, as well as including a FAFSA Completion Information Session to their Accepted Students Day program 

In December 2023, the U.S. Department of Education unveiled a new, streamlined FAFSA form for this year – leading to significant delays for students and families and for campuses to receive data so they can prepare financial aid packages. The federal government expects campuses to receive FAFSA data in March, meaning it will take far longer than usual for prospective students to receive their financial aid packages. 

Today’s announcement follows last week’s guidance from Chancellor King to SUNY campuses to extend enrollment deposit deadlines for Fall 2024 to no earlier than May 15 for New York State resident students. By doing so, campuses can minimize the impact of FAFSA delays on current and prospective students.

As directed by Chancellor King, all SUNY campuses will increase their communication to potential and current students about the importance of completing the FAFSA. Campuses will send reminder messages to all applicants and current students who receive financial aid and are also required to complete the FAFSA each year to remain eligible.

According to an analysis by the National College Attainment Network, the high school class of 2023 left over $4 billion in Pell Grants nationwide unclaimed by not completing the FAFSA; in New York State, $226 million was left unclaimed in Pell Grants. For additional resources on completing the application, please see the National College Attainment Network’s Better FAFSA resource page

In an effort to boost completion rates, Governor Hochul this year proposed important legislation as a part of her 2024 State of the State to make the FAFSA universal for high school seniors. Studies show that students who complete the FAFSA are more likely to go to college. Specifically, 90% of high school seniors who complete the form go to college directly after graduation, compared to just 55% of seniors who do not fill out the aid application. Additional information about universal FAFSA can be found here

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

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Holly Liapis
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