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A New Academic Year is Here. Welcome to SUNY!

Female students at Buffalo State carry bags and boxes during move-in day.

Do you feel that? Days are slowly getting shorter and the heat and humidity is slowly fading, which means that another school year is here! That gets all of us at SUNY excited. But we want to make sure our students are fully prepared and also as excited as we are to start another academic year in the largest (and best) comprehensive system of higher education in the land. Whether you are attending class at a community college, four-year comprehensive, university center, or eve n online, the resources available to you as a SUNY student are many.

So as we welcome you to the SUNY family, let’s go over some of the new and exciting things at SUNY this year:

  • Excelsior Scholarship/Smart Track: Financial literacy in college is difficult. For many students its their first time alone away from home, learning how to manage a budget. Smart Track is a tool offered by SUNY to help students find ways to fund their degree smartly and finding a path to financial stability through college. The Excelsior Scholarship is another way to make college affordable, promising tuition-free college for many of New York’s students.
  • Completion Agenda: Our commitment at SUNY is to graduate as many students as we can and prepare them to be the leaders of tomorrow in whatever field they choose. Almost 96,000 were completed in the 2015-16 school year. That number is expected to grow for the 2016-17 academic year and onward. So this year’s class of 2021 will be key to continuing the rise in numbers of degrees earned at SUNY and successful graduates helping New York grow into the future.
  • Many paths to degree: At SUNY, there are over 64 campuses to choose from which provide more than 7,000 degree options to get you ready for your future life and career. And for those who are still deciding on a concentration, the seamless transfer policy at SUNY will assure students that the work they do at the beginning of college can be carried with them to any other SUNY school to help complete their chosen degree. OpenSUNY also continues to grow, which allows students to complete their degrees online, providing access to a high quality education for students who may need to balance work and home with school as they look to improve their lives.
  • Applied Learning: Applied Learning has become such an integral part of a well-rounded education. At SUNY, we’ve made a commitment to our students to provide each and every one an opportunity at an outside the classroom learning experience. When taking advantage of an applied learning opportunity, there are opportunities for undergrads and grad students to poke around in their prospective fields to see what specialty they might like! We’re even starting to see more partnerships between businesses and schools that provide guaranteed employment after an applied learning experience.
  • Being a part of tomorrow – Voter registration: All college students are adults and have the opportunity to guide their town/state/country’s future through elections. Now that you’re old enough to make these choices, SUNY schools make it easy to register to vote and fulfill your civic duty. Campuses are here to help you through the process and not get lost along the way.
  • New Chancellor: The new Chancellor, Dr. Kristina M. Johnson will be starting September 5th, and we eagerly await her introduction to the SUNY family. A successful scientist and entrepreneur, Johnson comes to us after serving as the co-founder and CEO of Cube Hydro Partners, former U.S. Under Secretary of Energy under President Barack Obama, and holder of many patents and inventions. What will the future bring? We’ll wait and see as we take the journey with her.

Welcome to school, and remember to start off the 2017-2018 year strong! We’ll be following along until you walk across that stage to completion.

Written by Sarah Petrak

Sarah Petrak is a student assistant with the Office of Communications and New Media for SUNY System Administration. She is a studying Public Policy at the University at Albany.

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