Chancellors Zimpher & Fariña Announce Agreement to Ease College Applications for New York City Students

July 9, 2015

Electronic Transcripts Process Could Provide Model for School Districts Statewide

New York City – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and New York City Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced a Memorandum of Understanding that will streamline the college application process for New York City public high school students seeking enrollment at SUNY by eliminating the need for paper transcripts.

The agreement, which enables schools to share pertinent student academic information from DOE to SUNY electronically, is already used successfully between DOE and the City University of New York (CUNY). It is one of several initiatives SUNY hopes to bring to scale across the state as it aims to increase the number of student completions from 93,000 to 150,000 annually.

“Approximately 10 percent of first-year SUNY students have attended a New York City high school, and today’s agreement is an historic step forward that we hope will attract even more of the city’s talented young students to our colleges and universities,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “This modernized, more effective system will encourage more students to apply to SUNY and make easier for the parents and high school counselors who help them navigate the process. We look forward to collaborating with Chancellor Fariña and the Department of Education on this important initiative.”

“We are committed to delivering rigorous, Common Core-aligned instruction and the supports our students need to be on the path to college and career readiness,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Today’s announcement supports our effort to give every student options for higher education and meaningful careers, and we’re thrilled to collaborate with SUNY to remove barriers between our students and college. We look forward to deepening this collaboration.” 

Currently, when a DOE student applies to one or more SUNY campuses, the student must either request that his or her transcript be shared with each institution by mail or scanned and sent as a PDF file. Alternatively, students can self-report their academic records online, listing each completed course and grade individually. Both processes create a significant additional workload for students and high school counselors. Allowing DOE to submit transcripts electronically will make the application process easier for students, and free up guidance counselors to worry less about paperwork.

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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