Governor Cuomo Announces SUNY to Offer In-State Tuition for Students from the Bahamas Displaced by Hurricane Dorian

September 25, 2019

From the office of Governor Cuomo

In-State Tuition Rate to be Offered to Students Who are Unable to Return to the Bahamas

Supports the Governor's Donation Drive and Emergency Assistance Efforts to Those Affected by Hurricane Dorian

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the State University of New York to offer in-state tuition for the 2019-20 academic year to students from the Bahamas who have been displaced by Hurricanes Dorian. SUNY's Board of Trustees also encouraged the Boards of Trustees of its 30 community colleges and the statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred Ceramics to take similar action.

"In New York, we know all too well about the life-shattering damage a hurricane and other extreme weather can leave behind," Governor Cuomo said. "We will stand with our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean at this difficult time and send much more than thoughts and prayers to the Bahamas." 

"The impact of Hurricane Dorian has been devastating for the people of the Bahamas, and we are working to help everyone rebuild and recover," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "With this action, we are helping to ensure students who have been displaced have continued support from SUNY and New York State."

Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas on Sept. 1 of this year. In its wake, it left thousands of people homeless, and many dead or missing.  The hurricane destroyed most of the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco, whose people remain in shelters or displaced. New York has a strong bond with the islands of the Bahamas and continues to take action to assist those affected by this tragedy.

Today's action by the SUNY Board of Trustees follows emergency action taken in the wake of Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017 to assist students from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands who were unable to return to their homes. Similar action was taken by the SUNY Board of Trustees to assist students affected by the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A copy of the resolution adopted by the SUNY Board is available online.

Chair of SUNY Board of Trustees Dr. Merryl H. Tisch said, "All of us at SUNY were heartbroken with the devastation so many people suffered in the Bahamas following the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. We have a responsibility to help the people of Bahamas and stand with the Governor's continued leadership to offer in state tuition to any individual impacted by the storm in the Bahamas."

SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said, "SUNY has a strong bond with the people of the Bahamas and we stand ready to open our doors so that the education of the country's students may continue as the islands recover from the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian. Our campuses are ready to offer the financial support of in-state tuition, as well as academic support and compassion to help students cope during this difficult time."

New York's Ongoing Support for Dorian Victims

This is the latest effort to support those affected by Hurricane Dorian. Over the past several weeks, the Governor has partnered with nonprofit organizations to create a statewide donation drive to help the people of the Bahamas recover and rebuild following Hurricane Dorian.  

As the storm approached the Eastern Seaboard, Governor Cuomo dispatched specialized crews to assist states with emergency missions, including a 25-person Incident Management Team from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services which was sent to Florida and 34 water rescue personnel from the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and Department of Environmental Conservation which was sent to North Carolina. All crews have since returned to New York. 

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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