SUNY Chancellor Announces Major Expansion of National Student Success Model to Improve Student Support, Retention, and Completion

September 12, 2023

ASAP|ACE Programs To Support at Least 3,750 Students Across 25 SUNY Campuses Beginning This Spring

Initiative Is First Major Investment From SUNY Transformation Fund Included in Governor Hochul's Enacted State Budget

Albany, NY – During a meeting with the State University of New York Board of Trustees, SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. announced the major expansion of a national model of academic and wraparound support to help students succeed toward graduation. Beginning this spring, 25 SUNY campuses will replicate the City University of New York (CUNY) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), which dramatically increases associate degree completion, and Accelerate, Complete, and Engage (ACE), which is the baccalaureate version of ASAP.

ASAP|ACE have been shown in randomized controlled trials to significantly improve associate and bachelor's degree completion rates and help close opportunity gaps, offering resources and supports including tuition waivers, funding to offset transportation and textbook expenses, academic assistance, comprehensive personalized advisement, and career development activities. The expansion at SUNY will support at least 3,750 students, or inaugural cohorts of 150 students at each of the 25 participating campuses, including:

ASAP at community colleges:

Cayuga, Clinton, Erie, Finger Lakes, Herkimer, Hudson Valley, Jefferson, Nassau, Orange, Rockland, Schenectady, Suffolk, and Westchester.

ACE at state-operated campuses:

Buffalo State, University at Buffalo, Canton, Farmingdale, Fredonia, New Paltz, Morrisville, Oswego, Plattsburgh, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Potsdam, and Purchase.

This expansion is the first major investment from the Transformation Fund that was included in Governor Hochul's 2023-24 State Enacted Budget. It is also supported by grants from the Robin Hood Foundation and Brightway Education Foundation alongside a partial match from individual campuses.

The SUNY Board of Trustees stated, "Millions of Americans have some college education but no degree because of significant barriers that prohibited them from finishing as students. By providing more wraparound services through replication of CUNY's ASAP and ACE, SUNY is investing in student success with robust levels of support to ensure students not only start but finish college. Our Westchester Community College has had immense success replicating ASAP, and we look forward to seeing the expansion of the successful program to scale to 25 SUNY campuses. As the largest comprehensive system of public higher education in the nation, SUNY will continue to seek out partnerships and funding so we can get our students across the graduation stage."

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, "Programs like ASAP and ACE have a strong, nationally recognized track record of boosting student success by focusing on academic achievement and student support. With the guidance of SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for Student Success Donna Linderman, who was one of the key architects of and led ASAP and ACE at CUNY, we will be able to assist 3,750 students across 25 participating campuses to ensure their success through increased retention and graduation rates and establish the foundation for broader scaling of best practices. I am grateful to Governor Kathy Hochul and our legislative partners for committing resources to this expansion through the $75M SUNY Transformation Fund. Additionally, I would like to thank the Brightway Education Foundation and Robin Hood Foundation for partnering with SUNY to increase social mobility for lower-income students, including student parents, by working to remove educational barriers."

ASAP|ACE offer structured pathways to help students gain and maintain academic momentum toward a degree and create a connected community through integrated, comprehensive wraparound supports and engagement activities to enhance students' sense of belonging and provision of key financial resources that remove barriers to full-time study. Since its inception in 2007, ASAP|ACE have collectively served more than 90,000 students at CUNY and been replicated across seven states.

SUNY's Westchester Community College replicated ASAP and launched it as the Viking ROADS program in Fall 2018 with 100 students, then expanded to 150 students the following year. A rigorous, randomized controlled trial conducted by an independent third-party evaluator showed that WCC's program increased full-time enrollment levels by up to 20 percentage points over students in a control group. The program increased credit attainment by roughly three credits over the first two semesters.

Students were able to manage this increased course load and make faster progress toward graduation. Over 70% of the students involved in the study identified as Black or Latinx, and more than 30% were the first in their families to attend a college or university.

Michele Jolin, CEO and Co-Founder of Results for America, a national nonprofit that promotes evidence-based policymaking at all levels of government, said, "We commend the SUNY Board of Trustees and Chancellor King for using evidence to guide their investments in their students' futures. Evaluating programs and investing in what works will help more students achieve their dreams of graduation."

SUNY WCC President Belinda Miles said, "The Transformation Fund made possible by Governor Hochul and the SUNY system expands the successful CUNY ASAP model and gives more students access to proven high-impact student supports. The data informed learning we are gaining from our Viking ROADS replication is transforming how we help students achieve timely associate degree completion. We look forward to sharing best practices with peer institutions as we continue to benefit New York State students through this collaborative work."

Brightway Chair David Landau said, "We're excited to be partnering with the team at SUNY which shares our passion for helping parents get themselves and their kids out of poverty through earning a college degree. We are confident that the Brightway-SUNY initiative will be both efficient and effective because it is being implemented in concert with the SUNY Transformation Fund and ASAP and is under the leadership of Donna Linderman, who was responsible for building ASAP before she joined SUNY."

Robin Hood Foundation Chief Program and Impact Officer Matt Klein said, "Education is an incredible tool proven to create pathways out of poverty. Your starting point in life should not define where you end up. Robin Hood is proud to have supported the ASAP and ACE programs since their inception, and expanding these effective models on SUNY campuses will mean that more New Yorkers will graduate and benefit from the expanded opportunities that come with a college degree."

About ASAP|ACE Funding

Each SUNY campus will receive a set allocation from the NYS Transformation Fund and be required to contribute at least a 10% match, which could include philanthropic and other private funding.

Robin Hood Foundation, New York City's largest poverty-fighting organization, is providing a two-year grant of $1.5 million to support 375 low-income New York City residents who join a SUNY ASAP|ACE replication program anywhere in New York State. Robin Hood funds will add additional students to partner colleges beyond those supported with NYS Transformation Funds.

Brightway Education Foundation's mission is to help single moms break the cycle of intergenerational poverty for themselves and their kids through earning a community college or college degree. Brightway is providing a three-year matching grant of about $993,000 to support student parents from low-income households who join one of six ASAP campus programs starting in Spring 2024. Brightway and equal SUNY matching funds ($1.9 million combined) will provide direct student needs beyond those that ASAP covers for 225 student parents/year, specifically: subsidized on/off-campus childcare costs and the creation of an emergency fund for unexpected needs.

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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