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Wednesday, October 3 is New York State Completion Day



The 37 State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) community colleges have set aside October 3 to send a simple message: Students who complete an associate degree have better prospects for jobs, scholarships and transfer to four-year schools.

The drive is empirically supported: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employee with an associate’s degree makes nearly $50 more per week than a worker with either some or no college at all.  That figure adds up to almost $200 per month, or $2400 over the course of a year—money that would surely benefit all New Yorkers.

Aside from the monetary benefits of holding a two-year degree, it also serves as a platform for a brighter future.  A student that holds and associate’s degree is guaranteed to get into four-year programs at SUNY schools and the types of jobs that a graduate may be qualified for drastically changes between holding a high school diploma and associate’s degree.

To help communicate this message, community colleges statewide will host workshops, guest lectures, special events, and counseling sessions to help students understand how completing a degree can change their lives, change their communities and change the nation.


Clinton Community College answers some basic questions about Completion Day:

Why community colleges?

  • About half of all undergraduate students in the country attend community colleges.
  • Nearly one million “middle-skill” job openings – positions that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year degree – are projected for New York State by 2018.

Why complete?

  • Students who complete an associate degree can expect to earn $400,000 more in a lifetime than a high school graduate.
  • Unemployment for community college graduates is typically 30 percent lower than for high school grads.
  • New York residents who transfer directly from a SUNY or CUNY two-year college with an associate degree are guaranteed entry to a four-year SUNY college.
  • The nation needs more college graduates to stay competitive. The United States used to lead the world in the percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds with college degrees. Now it ranks 12th among 36 developed nations.

What can I do?

  • If you are a student, make a commitment to complete your degree!
Maxwell Morgan

Written by Maxwell Morgan

Maxwell was a Coordinator of Digital Engagement for The State University of New York.



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