SUNY Receives College Access Challenge Grant to Expand Support Services for Veterans and Active Military Personnel

January 24, 2013

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced that the university system has received an $83,000 award through the federal College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) administered by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). The award will be used to support veterans and active members of the military in securing a college degree and entering the workforce.

"With approximately one million veterans currently residing in New York and a growing veteran population anticipated over the next decade, time is of the essence as SUNY aims to serve as a beacon for military personnel as they return home or seek a new career," said Chancellor Zimpher. "We are thankful to the HESC for its support of veteran college students and look forward to helping more of them earn a degree and find employment in the State workforce."

"New York's colleges and universities have been strong supporters of our military men and women" said HESC Acting President Elsa Magee. "HESC is pleased to be able to support SUNY's efforts by awarding these CACG funds for support services to help our veterans successfully attain a college education."

SUNY campuses currently enroll about 10,000 students who are either veterans or active members of the military. With the grant, SUNY will increase capacity at each of its 64 campuses to work with veterans and active members of the military on the application and enrollment processes and provide additional support while these students are enrolled to increase their graduation rates and help them secure employment in the workforce. SUNY will:

  • develop new protocols to assist veterans and active military in the college application process;
  • help these individuals access GI benefits as well as other financial aid options;
  • develop a marketing strategy aimed at veterans and active military;
  • work with SUNY career services offices at each campus to develop processes specifically for working with veterans, including resume writing, interview skills, and transfer of military-to-workforce skills; and
  • work with government representatives at the state and county levels to carry out this effort.

CACG funds are awarded to schools, not-for-profit and community organizations to increase college enrollment and completion among at-risk and traditionally underserved populations across the State.

More than 22 million veterans live in the U.S and approximately 800,000 of them attend college. However, the drop-out rate of this group is approximately 70 percent, compared to 25-45 percent among non-veteran students, due in part to limited support services that meet the specific needs of veterans.

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, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2017, more than 430,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served nearly 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2016-17 academic year. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 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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