SUNY makes tuition increase official

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The State University of New York Board of Trustees today approved a policy that will increase tuition $300 a year for the next five years, along with SUNY’s 2011-12 financial plan. Lawmakers gave final passage last Friday to legislation that authorizes SUNY to make the hikes, removing the topic of tuition from the annual state budget process for the next several years. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who agreed on legislation with the Senate and Assembly, has not signed the bill yet.

The increase will take effect this fall. Tuition for in-state undergraduate students at SUNY’s 29 state-operated campuses will increase from $4,970 to $5,270 this fall. Tuition for out-of-state undergraduate students will increase 10 percent a year over the five years.

“Today, the Board of Trustees adopted a plan that puts in motion historic reform of SUNY’s long-broken tuition policies,” SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said in a statement. “This will allow SUNY to flourish and enable SUNY students and their families to confidently plan for the cost of their education.”

SUNY refers to the five-year plan as “rational tuition” because it will increase in modest, predictable amounts.

“The Board’s adoption of rational tuition represents a lifeline for SUNY and the end to the era of uncertainty for students and their families,” Board of Trustees Chairman Carl T. Hayden said in a statement. “Rational tuition gives us a fighting chance to protect access to New York’s great public university and to make it stronger. I thank Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature for enabling SUNY to take this critical step toward a better future for SUNY students, and commend Chancellor Zimpher, our campus presidents, faculty, and students for their leadership and support, which has made this historic act possible.”

The additional tuition money will be invested in SUNY and will not go into the state’s general fund, as has happened in the past, SUNY officials said.

The legislation also adopted the NY SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program, which authorizes grants of up to $35 million — $20 million from the state and $15 million from SUNY — to each of SUNY’s four university centers to expand programs and promote economic development in their communities. The university centers are in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo and Stony Brook, Suffolk County.

This is the tuition policy that was adopted:

Amendment to Tuition Schedule

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