Veterans Day Message from SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher

November 11, 2014

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor L. Zimpher today highlighted services offered for veterans at SUNY campuses, including eligibility for in-state tuition rates as part of the federal GI Bills and new state legislation, and the increasing availability of online courses and degree programs through Open SUNY.

“SUNY joins all Americans today, as we honor veterans who have gone above and beyond to protect the many freedoms we enjoy in this country,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Those who serve our nation deserve open access to public higher education as well as programs and services specifically designed to ease their transition back into civilian life and the state workforce, and today, SUNY is more affordable and accessible to veterans and military personnel than ever before.” 

Expanded online course availability through Open SUNY, which includes more than 400 degrees and 12,000 course sections, enables students to attend SUNY from virtually anywhere in the world. More information about the services available to active military personnel and veterans through Open SUNY is available online, at:

Last month, 37 SUNY campuses were recognized as “military friendly” by top-rated national military publication, G.I. Jobs Magazine. In addition, several SUNY campuses have been recognized by national military and veterans organizations including the Military Advanced Education: Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities and Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges.

In addition, 48 SUNY campuses participate in President Obama’s Principles of Excellence, which provides guidance and institutional transparency regarding financial cost and high-quality academic and student support services for veterans and service members.

SUNY campuses across the state offer several programs to support veterans and members of the military as they work toward their degree, including for-credit prior-learning assessments of military experience, dedicated housing, mental health resources, veteran-specific websites or online tools, scholarships, peer mentoring, and more. For example:

  • SUNY Empire State College’s Office of Veterans and Military Education serves as a one-stop-shop for veterans and service members. Services provided include review of military transcripts and assistance with admissions applications, VA benefits applications, financial aid, and registration. The college also offers a Graduate Certificate in Veterans Services that provides professionals with the skills and knowledge they need to support veterans in their transition to civilian life.
  • Jefferson Community College established an extension program at Fort Drumm in the late 1980s to provide programs and services to the Fort Drum community. Currently, up to 20 courses per session are offered on location. JCC has also established a close working relationship with the Watertown Vets Center, which brings a mobile counseling center to campus regularly to meet with veterans and support their continued enrollment.
  • Onondaga Community College has a peer-to-peer mentoring program for first-year veterans, which helps students navigate college and VA requirements and procedures. The college also offers an Emergency Book Loan Fund to assist veterans to obtain books at the beginning of the semester.
  • Three pairs of SUNY campuses have created a shared position for a veterans’ affairs professional, allowing them to increase support services for veterans at a lower cost. The campuses are SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton; SUNY Cobleskill and SUNY Delhi; and SUNY Plattsburgh and Clinton Community College.

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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