By Tahj Arnold | February 5, 2024
Photo Credit: NYS MTA on Wikimedia Commons
Governor Hochul proposed an initiative which plans to directly admit students into SUNY and CUNY schools. Announced in the 2024 State of the State address on Jan. 9, Hochul’s initiative seeks to directly admit students in the top ten percent of their graduating class into schools within the SUNY and CUNY systems.
Hochul wrote, “Through these bold initiatives, we are taking critical steps toward ensuring every New York student can continue their education, build their professional career, and pursue their dreams.”
In addition to this, Hochul’s initiative will mandate New York state public school districts to ensure that their seniors complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The goal of this is to ensure that all students in New York are aware of their options for financing their post-secondary education.
“Anything that makes an affordable higher education – and there are few excellent educations more affordable than SUNY – more accessible to New Yorkers is a good thing,” wrote UAlbany Director of Communications Jordan Carleo-Evangelist.
The 2024 initiative additionally seeks to grow the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach on SUNY and CUNY campuses. With this, students will be given the knowledge to adequately access benefits that they may qualify for.
Hochul has pushed to advance student’s access to higher education previously. In the 2023 State of the State address, Hochul underscored that SUNY and CUNY would be sending out letters to graduating high school seniors — informing the students that they would be automatically accepted into their local community colleges. A total of 190,000 graduating high school seniors were informed that they would receive direct admissions into SUNY and CUNY.
In June 2023, the Supreme Court ruled to overturn affirmative action. More specifically, the ruling overturned the “practice or policy of favoring individuals belonging to groups regarded as disadvantaged or subject to discrimination.” The Supreme Court’s ruling limits students who were previously eligible for access to higher education as a result of affirmative action.
This disparity may be bridged, however, by Governor Hochul’s initiative by giving high achieving students who no longer qualify for affirmative action the opportunity to attend college within the SUNY and CUNY system with this proposal.
It might take some time to see Hochul’s initiative set in motion, but, in the meantime, SUNY and CUNY schools will continue to directly admit select graduating high school students.