NYSUNY 2020 and Predictable Tuition

Updated September 17, 2019

NYSUNY 2020 was signed into law by Governor Cuomo in 2011. UB supports an extension of the legislation, which includes a predictable tuition program.

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Over the eight-year period since NYSUNY 2020 was enacted, UB has implemented the Finish in 4 program enabling on-time graduation for all students; launched PhD Excellence, a program to elevate doctoral programs within UB’s schools and academic departments; expanded experiential learning opportunities for students; and, over the past 5 years (2015 to 2019), the University at Buffalo has provided an average annual figure of $343,784,747 in financial aid to 21,965 students each year.

With NYSUNY 2020 in place, tuition at UB has increased $150 per semester, making it possible for students and their families plan for the future. An extension of this predictable tuition program would enable UB to build on the momentum of the first eight years of NYSUNY 2020 by continuing to invest in students' education through:

"Before NYSUNY 2020, we would have these long periods where nothing occurred with tuition changes, and then we would have these incredible spikes,” says Scott Weber, vice president for student life. "Unpredictable and high tuition increases made financial planning difficult for students. NYSUNY 2020 has provided students with an ability to plan for a future where the tuition will not increase too much, as SUNY schools can only increase tuition $300 in a single year."

Prior to NYSUNY 2020, a lot of the revenue generated from tuition increases went to Albany, he said. "With NYSUNY 2020, the revenue stays on campus. Those tuition increases, modest as they are, still stay on campus for the betterment of our students,” Weber said.

Even with the tuition increases, UB is one of the most affordable universities among AAU public institutions for both residents and non-residents.

Extension of NYSUNY 2020 is supported by members of the Western New York legislative delegation, the SUNY Board of Trustees and by the SUNY Student Assembly. An editorial in the Buffalo News also called for extending NYSUNY 2020 and noted “NYSUNY 2020 made sense a few years ago and it will make sense going forward.” 

Key NYSUNY 2020 Achievements: 2010-2019

Since being signed into law by Gov. Cuomo in 2011, NYSUNY 2020 has enabled UB to make transformative investments in students’ education:

  • From the period 2015 to 2019, UB delivered a total of $1.72 billion in aid to nearly 110,000 students over the past five academic years.
  • UB’s student debt ranks among the lowest in the nation – approximately 40 percent of UB’s students graduate without any debt.
  • Adding more than 300 new course sections, 10,000 new course seats and 30,000 more contact hours – ensuring students are able to register for courses and stay on track for graduation.
  • UB’s Finish in 4 program, an initiative to help all students graduate in four years by providing additional resources and guidance needed to achieve this goal. Participants in Finish in 4 have higher GPAs, class standings and first-to-second year retention rates.
  • Improvements to UB’s four- and six-year graduation rates, which far exceed the national average, by 20 and 15 percentage points respectively. UB’s four-year graduation rate has increased from 39 percent in 2007 to 57 percent in 2018; UB’s six-year graduation rate is 73 percent. 
  • Launched PhD Excellence, an initiative to ensure UB’s doctoral programs are recognized as among the world’s strongest, as:
    • UB gains international recognition for its research, scholarship and creative activities,
    • And has risen in the rankings of the world’s best universities.
  • $3 million invested in creation of UB Curriculum, UB’s revamped general education program, that builds a cross-disciplinary foundation:
    • Promoting integrative learning.
    • Prioritizing shared ethical experiences, improved communications skills, critical thinking and ethical reasoning.
  • $6 million investment in interdisciplinary communities of scholars and students engaged in high-impact research.