Chancellor Malatras Launches New ‘Stay Near, Go Far’ Campaign to Demonstrate Value of SUNY’s Community Colleges to Train New Yorkers for In-Demand Jobs or Affordable Pathways to Advanced Degrees

June 2, 2021

New Campaign Part of the Chancellor’s SUNY for All Program>

As National Student Debt Soars, Nearly Two-Thirds of SUNY Community College Grads Are Debt-Free; Applications for Fall 2021 Accepted through the Summer with No Application Fee

To View Videos Click Here; Alumni Are Encouraged to Share Their Stories in "Community College Got Me Here" Social Campaign; First Stories Shared Here

Albany, NY
– As part of the new SUNY for All program, State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras today announced the launch of a new campaign highlighting the opportunity and value offered by SUNY's 30 community colleges located in every region of the state. The "Stay Near, Go Far" campaign will run through September 1 and emphasizes real-life success stories from students at any stage of life. With applications for Fall 2021 accepted throughout the summer and no application fee, community colleges offer a great path to a SUNY education—or a career—especially for those who may be delaying a college decision this year due to the challenges imposed by the pandemic.

During a time when student debt is rising across the country, community colleges offer great value at half the average cost of college in the U.S. For SUNY’s community colleges, nearly 64 percent of associate degree graduates have zero student loan debt. In addition to offering industry credentials and certificates with direct career placements, they offer guaranteed transfer to a SUNY four-year institution for an associate of arts or associate of science graduate.

"SUNY community colleges are high quality, affordable access points for students of all ages and backgrounds throughout New York State—whether they’re looking for direct industry preparation, a mid-life career change, or a path to a Ph.D.," said Chancellor Malatras. "By using SUNY alumni, we are showing individuals seeking that opportunity to upward mobility that a SUNY education, especially at one of our community colleges, can put you on a path of prosperity. Now more than ever, jobs require upskilling and some post-secondary credential and as the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the country, SUNY will lead the way."

SUNY Board Trustee and Chair of the Community Colleges Committee Robert J. Duffy said, "The past 15 months have shown us that our community colleges matter now more than ever—they are a gateway to providing New Yorkers with access to a high-quality, accessible education, and in turn more educational and job opportunities. The stories shared through the 'Stay Near, Go Far' ad campaign highlight the many routes you can take after attending a community college and offer up inspiration for individuals of all ages and backgrounds who are looking to pursue an education. We know our colleges do so much for our communities, families, and workforce—no matter your dreams and goals, a SUNY community college can do the same for you."

Finger Lakes Community College alumnus Owen Colegrove said, "I hadn't planned on going to college, but it ended up being probably the best decision of my life. At college, I learned that I liked to learn, and I went on to get a bachelor's in physics at the University at Rochester, and from there, I worked towards and received a PhD in particle physics from UC Santa Barbara, working for one of the world’s most renowned particle physicists. These days, I am pursuing my own entrepreneurial path to create a startup, and was recently accepted into Y Combinator, which provides seed funding for startups. Ultimately, things have gone quite well for me since my time in community college, and I’d advise anyone thinking about what their options look like to consider community college—it might open up a path to options that you’d never expect."

Mohawk Valley Community College alumnus Jolene DiBrango said, "I was the first in my family to graduate from college, and I chose Mohawk Valley Community College because of the incredible education that it provided at a really affordable price, allowing me to work at home, work part-time, and achieve my goals. I went right to work from college and was employed at the Oneida County BOCES, where I realized I loved being with kids and in a school setting, so I went back to school to get my teaching degree. I worked as a teacher for 25 years, loving every minute of it, and the start of that career was at Mohawk Valley Community College."

Onondaga Community College alumnus Chalea Jones said, "I went back to school because I wasn't happy with the trajectory of my career and I wanted to choose my own career path. Community college allowed me to learn new skills and build on skills that I already had, all while going after my career goals and applying what I had learned. I was even offered a job before I graduated, and am now an accounting specialist doing something I really enjoy. I have an associate’s degree and a promising career, and community college got me here."

As part of the campaign, SUNY Community College alumni are encouraged to share their success stories on social media using the hashtag #CommunityCollegeGotMeHere or at

For more information on how you can begin your journey at a SUNY community college this fall, visit here.

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, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. As of Fall 2019, more than 415,500 students were enrolled in a degree-granting program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in 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 exceeded $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2019, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are 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 opportunity, visit

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