By the University at Buffalo
Citing its significant role in keeping tuition affordable and providing additional resources to invest in students' education, University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi today urged state lawmakers to extend the NYSUNY 2020 program.
"Over the past five years, the NYSUNY 2020 program has helped students and families to plan for higher education costs while providing SUNY institutions with the means to make critical investments in our education and research missions," Tripathi said.
"We encourage our state's legislative leaders to strongly consider the positive and substantial effects of NYSUNY 2020 and support its extension. Our students have told us they value the investments we have made in their education," he added.
Over the five-year period since NYSUNY 2020 was enacted, UB has implemented the "Finish in 4" program enabling on-time graduation for all students; hired 291 top faculty in high-demand areas; expanded experiential learning opportunities for students; and provided $35.4 million in need-based financial aid to nearly 29,000 students.
"These investments are already having a powerful impact on our students' education," Tripathi said.
•UB's four- and six-year graduation rates - already well above national averages - have increased significantly over the past five years (from 43 percent to 53 percent and from 67 percent to 72 percent, respectively).
•UB remains among the most affordable AAU public universities, and its student debt is among the lowest in the nation.
•40 percent of UB students graduate with no debt, and UB students' loan default rate (4.5 percent) is approximately one-third of the national average.
"The NYSUNY 2020 extension is critical to enabling UB to sustain and build on the momentum created by the program," Tripathi said. "This is a priority for UB students and their families."
Renewing NYSUNY 2020, Tripathi noted, will further help SUNY students and their families "by ensuring predictable tuition costs over the next five years while continuing to hold TAP-eligible students harmless from any increases in tuition dating back to 2010."
UB is joined in supporting an extension of NYSUNY 2020 by the UB Student Association as well as by the SUNY board of trustees, shared governance leaders throughout SUNY, and elected student and faculty leaders in the SUNY student assembly and university faculty senate.
"A renewal of NYSUNY 2020 will keep the authority to set tuition with SUNY's board of trustees, ensuring that students and families will not return to a time when tuition hikes were unexpected and sometimes excessive," Tripathi said.