Stony Brook University Statement on SUNY 2020 and the New York State Budget
STONY BROOK, NY – April 2, 2016 – In response to recent legislative action, Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., said today, ” I am disappointed that the New York State budget adopted by the Legislature did not include Governor Cuomo’s proposal for an extension of NYSUNY 2020 or the needed resources outlined by the SUNY Board.” Stanley further noted, “The predictable tuition plan and the maintenance of state support that have been the hallmarks of New York’s higher education funding for the past five years were instrumental in moving Stony Brook forward. I am hopeful that state lawmakers will consider extending NYSUNY 2020 as part of next year’s budget.”
As a result of NYSUNY 2020 Stony Brook students benefited from knowing what their tuition would be from year to year. This predictability enabled them and their families to better plan for the cost of their college education, and Stony Brook’s Undergraduate Student Government was a strong supporter of extending NYSUNY 2020. Under this rational tuition plan, Stony Brook University was able to invest in its students and to enhance its research and educational foundations. NYSUNY 2020 funding gave the campus the ability to plan long-term. During this five year period, Stony Brook University:
- Hired 246 new faculty, which enabled the addition of new sections and faculty placement in key courses to clear obstacles to graduation
- Raised the 4-year graduation rate to 51%
- Increased financial aid, including for TAP eligible students
- Added 19 new programs, with 22 in process
- Moved the faculty/student ratio from 28:1 to 24:1
- Increased research funding
- Avoided almost $50 million in cost via an in-depth administrative review process
- Exceeded its enrollment goal to the largest enrollment ever at 25,272
- Received the greatest number of first-time full time applications at 34,000
In spite of the modest tuition increases during this period, Stony Brook has one of the lowest tuitions of AAU and Northeast public research universities. Additionally, 40% of Stony Brook students graduate with no debt and the rest have less debt than the national average along with low loan default rates (below 3%).
“NYSUNY 2020 was arguably the most effective public higher education tuition-planning program,” said President Stanley. “In the absence of increased state support, the revenue generated from the modest and predictable tuition increases enabled Stony Brook to strategically invest in providing greater opportunities for all of our students.”
President Stanley also noted his appreciation to Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Flanagan and Senator LaValle for increased EOP/AIM funding and capital funding in the areas of critical maintenance, Stony Brook Hospital, Stony Brook Southampton classrooms, stadium expansion and, most significantly, the Long Island Research Corridor funding for a research and development initiative. These investments will have a positive impact on both the university and the region.