University at Buffalo statement regarding NYSUNY 2020 investments in students’ education

Release Date: March 4, 2016 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Over the past five years, the NYSUNY 2020 program has provided the University at Buffalo with funding to make vital investments in need-based financial aid and students’ education, as well as hire faculty to teach new course sections and perform research that advances the regional economy. These NYSUNY 2020 investments have included:

  • $35.4 million in aid to nearly 29,000 Tuition Assistance Program-eligible students over the past four 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 new 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 increased from 39 percent in 2007 to 55 percent in 2015; UB’s six-year graduation rate is 72 percent. 
  • 291 top faculty hired in high-demand areas.
  • $3 million to revamp UB’s general education program to focus on experiential learning opportunities, including internships, research experience and study abroad.
  • $6 million investment in interdisciplinary communities of scholars and students engaged in high-impact research.

These investments in UB students’ academic success are very attractive to new and prospective students and their parents.  For example, enrollment in UB’s Finish in 4 program has grown from approximately half of the freshman class in 2012 to 80 percent for fall 2015. 

Undergraduate applications to UB are 10 percent higher than at this time last year. Additionally, the diversity of current applicants to UB has increased by 13 percent over the same period. Applicants representing minority populations comprise 51 percent of all students applying to the university, compared to 49 percent in 2015. The most significant gains include:

  • Hispanic +21 percent.
  • African American +13.1 percent.
  • Asian +7.8 percent.

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. A 2015 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.”


Media Contact Information

John Della Contrada
Vice President for University Communications
521 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
Tel: 716-645-4094 (mobile: 716-361-3006)
Twitter: UBNewsSource