Fund Helps Students Stay on Track With Proven, Cost-Effective Supports; Addresses Housing and Food Insecurity; and Increases Economic Mobility
Part of Governor Hochul's Historic Investment in SUNY and Higher Education Within FY 2024 Budget
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced guidance to advance the $75 million SUNY Transformation Fund to improve student success, support innovation, and help meet the state's future workforce needs. Part of the Governor's historic investment in SUNY and higher education within the 2024 enacted budget, the Transformation Fund is designed to help students stay on track toward a college degree or credential with proven, cost-effective supports, while addressing housing and food insecurity, and increasing economic mobility.
"Quality public higher education is an engine of social mobility that has the power to change lives, like it did for my own family," Governor Hochul said. "My administration is committed to creating the best public education institution in the country so that more students can build a bright future for themselves and be equipped to take on the jobs of the future."
As approved by the SUNY Board of Trustees, all SUNY campuses will receive funding during the 2023-2024 academic year. The Transformation Fund will also be used to enhance student support services, improve academic programs, increase enrollment, and modernize campus operations.
SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, "Thanks to Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, SUNY saw an unprecedented investment to bolster systemwide and campus initiatives, opening the doors to a college education for all New Yorkers. Through the Transformation Fund, SUNY and our 64 campuses will fund evidence-based strategies that prepare more students for careers in high-demand jobs and that overcome obstacles preventing students from completing their education in a timely manner."
New York State Senator and Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee Toby Ann Stavisky said, "As Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee I have worked closely with the Assembly and the Governor's office to secure historic investments in our SUNY system. We know that New York's future depends on educating the next generation of healthcare workers, technological innovators, and other critical, high demand professionals. This funding will help reverse declining enrollment by removing obstacles many of our students face in reaching their educational goals. It is essential that we educate a new generation of students today for the workplace and the jobs of tomorrow."
Assembly Higher Education Chair Patricia Fahy said, "We know that in order for New York students to succeed academically and beyond on our college campuses and universities, they must have a robust and holistic support system. This includes support for students when it comes to housing, food insecurity, and more, while ensuring they are prepared to enter the workforce, career-ready, and filling the high-need and skilled jobs of tomorrow's economy. I'm proud that New York's FY2024 budget invests the resources necessary to address these fundamental needs that will ultimately ensure more students are able to achieve their dream of attaining a higher education and strengthen our economy. I commend Governor Hochul, Chancellor King, and Senate Higher Education Chair Toby Ann Stavisky for their work, collaboration, and vision in making the SUNY Transformation Fund a reality."
President of the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association Rob Anderson said, "SUNY is leading the way in transformational programs to support students through higher education and into the workforce. We applaud this significant investment by New York to improve student success and look forward to seeing the impacts of putting student needs at the forefront."
President of The Institute for College Access & Success Sameer Gadkaree said, "We are excited to see New York investing statewide in comprehensive approaches to student success that have been proven, in New York and across the country, to help more students finish their degrees and move into successful careers. New York's investment can serve as a replicable model for other states."
Campuses will submit plans in line with the following categories:
- At least half of each campus's allocation must be used for:
- Enhancing Economic Mobility Through Expansion of Education and Workforce Training Opportunities: Expand education and workforce training opportunities in partnership with employers in high-demand fields such as semiconductor-related professions, artificial intelligence, cyber-security, and renewable energy; increase workforce development program spots for students and adult learners aligned with regional needs.
- Increasing Retention and Completion of Degree-seeking Students: Replicate the highly successful evidence-based completion program models Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) and Accelerate. Complete, and Engage (ACE), which have been shown in randomized controlled trials to significantly improve associate and bachelor's degree completion rates and help close opportunity gaps. Support includes tuition waivers, funding to help with commuting expenses and textbooks, academic assistance, comprehensive personalized advisement, and career development activities.
- Up to half of each campus's allocation may be used for:
- Expanding or Launching Seamless Transfer Pathways: Expand or launch joint/automatic admissions programs for students between community colleges and bachelor's degree-granting institutions (like the Binghamton Advantage Program), improve transfer advisement and streamline credit evaluation processes, and enhance or create orientation and advisement programs specifically for transfer students to improve the transition and enhance students' sense of belonging at baccalaureate colleges.
- Increasing Operational Efficiency and Eliminating Redundancy: Develop and implement shared services and administrative functions to streamline the delivery of services and realize cost savings for campuses, and improve regional specializations to deliver more focused recruitment efforts and respond to local workforce needs. An example of this work is jointly registered high-cost programs where students complete general education requirements on one campus and receive specialized education and training on another campus.
- Delivering Essential Student Supports for Targeted Under-served Populations: Address barriers faced by specific student groups—e.g., Pell recipients, students with housing insecurity, veterans, students with disabilities—through clearly defined supports such as addressing food insecurity, mental health, and transportation solutions using evidence-based models.