Governor Hochul Congratulates High School Graduates and Welcomes Them to SUNY and CUNY

June 15, 2023

Video Message From Governor Hochul Sent to High School Graduates Can Be Viewed Here   

SUNY and CUNY Sending Personalized Letters, Tutorials, and Multiple Points of Contact to Assist High School Seniors with Enrolling in College and Applying for Financial Aid

Governor Kathy Hochul today sent high school graduates a congratulatory message, celebrating their achievements in completing high school and offering them a place at SUNY and CUNY. This message underscores Governor Hochul's efforts to eliminate barriers to higher education for all high school seniors - lifting up students to build a brighter future for themselves and New York. SUNY and CUNY schools are conducting outreach with personalized letters, tutorials, and multiple points of contact to assist students and their families with enrolling in college and applying to financial aid.    

"As these high school seniors embark on the next chapter in their educational journeys, I wanted to extend my personal congratulations and remind them that New York State will always have their back," Governor Hochul said. "Access to education is the great equalizer in our society, and I will never stop fighting to break down barriers and help every New York student navigate the path to higher education."

Prior to the Governor's personal outreach, SUNY sent letters to 125,000 graduating New York State students outside of New York City — confirming they have been automatically accepted at their local community college to attend this fall. Sending personalized letters to high school seniors and their parents has been demonstrated to help students make the decision to enroll.

This fall, CUNY is partnering with the New York City Public Schools to send 65,000 seniors on pace to graduate personalized letters welcoming them to CUNY. The letters will lay out their college options at CUNY and invite them to submit a CUNY application.   

SUNY and CUNY are also helping students with their financial aid questions through tutorials and multiple points of contact. The federal government's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available online here, is open for students to apply. In addition, New York State's Excelsior Scholarship application, which opened on May 23, is available online here, and accepted through August 31, 2023.   

New York State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said, "Congratulations to all of New York's class of 2023 graduates. For those of you that have chosen to attend one of our state's esteemed community colleges, I commend you on your decision to further your educational career and continue on the path to lifelong learning. Our community colleges are key in providing New York's students equitable access to postsecondary education. I wish you the best of luck on this next chapter." 

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, "To New York's high school graduating seniors, we hope as you walk across the graduation stage and receive your high school diploma that you have a moment to acknowledge your accomplishments as well as your dreams for the future. Higher education has never been more important for economic opportunity and upward mobility, and we look forward to welcoming many of you to the SUNY family this fall. There is a place at SUNY for every New Yorker, and thanks to Governor Hochul's leadership, we are able to provide an excellent education at an extraordinary value across SUNY's 64 campuses." 

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, "Congratulations to the high school class of 2023 for reaching this milestone in your academic career. We know going to college seems daunting but CUNY is committed to helping you find a home at one of our campuses. A high-quality, affordable education is a steppingstone to a prosperous future." 

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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