BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo will begin using a
standardized financial aid award letter beginning with the 2013-14
academic year that will allow students and their families to see
clearly the cost of attending UB and financial aid offerings to the
The standardized letter, to be used by all 64 campuses in the
State University of New York system, is part of the SUNY Smart
Track campaign, a commitment by SUNY to transparency in college
SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher joined Vice President Joe Biden
last June to announce that SUNY would be among the first
universities in the nation to embrace the Obama
administration’s new “Know before You Owe”
financial aid transparency initiative.
The SUNY Smart Track Award Letter, based on the federal
Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, provides each student with such
information as the estimated cost of attendance at the
student’s particular campus during the coming academic year,
grants and scholarships offered, estimated remaining cost after
grants and scholarships, loans offered, federal work study, and
student and family options.
The letter will enable students and their families to easily
compare colleges and make informed decisions on loan borrowing. It
also includes campus-specific information such as graduation rate,
loan default rate and median student loan debt.
“UB offers its students a high-quality education at an
affordable price, and we know that in this tough economy cost has
become an increasingly important consideration for students,”
says A. Scott Weber, senior vice provost for academic affairs.
“The SUNY Smart Track Award Letter will outline clearly the
cost of attendance and financial aid opportunities, providing
students and their families with the information they need to make
an informed decision about the financial commitment associated with
Weber adds that U.S. News and World Report “recently
ranked UB 19th nationwide for graduating students with the least
amount of debt, with more than half of UB students finishing
undergraduate school debt-free.”
The SUNY Smart Track initiative aims to reduce debt and loan
default rates among SUNY students, with a system-wide goal of
decreasing the loan default rate by at least 5 percent over the
next five years.