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Proposal raises SUNY tuition 30% at research campuses, like Stony Brook

Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis.
Joseph D'Alessandro
Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis.

Governor Kathy Hochul’s budget proposal will allow New York’s four research university centers — Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo and Stony Brook — to hike tuition for in-state students by 30% over the next five years.

Stony Brook students, like Stanley Yang, are concerned about how this could affect low-income households.

“For me, my tuition, right now, is relatively low because of the amount of financial aid I get, but that’s because my family’s not able to contribute a specific amount, like some families might be able to,” Yang said. “So, this 30% increase — it will probably affect me a lot in the future.”

“I don’t know what to say other than I can barely afford my tuition as it is, and I get zero financial aid,” echoed another student, Mali Hanauman.

During a visit to Stony Brook last month, SUNY Chancellor John King said affordability remains a priority for the state university system. He said tuition increases would support the operating costs of the universities, despite SUNY’s goal of increasing its enrollment.

At least 18 SUNY campuses are in “financial distress,” according to its largest union, United University Professions.

The other 60 SUNY campuses would be able to raise their in-state student tuition up to 3% — tied to the Higher Education Price Index. Tuition has already been raised for out-of-state students.

A spokesperson at Stony Brook did not specifically respond to questions about the prospect of raising tuition, but reiterated the university’s support for the governor’s budget proposals.

The SUNY Board of Trustees would vote on the increase at each school if the proposal is approved.

“The amount I’m paying feels like it’s high enough, considering I don’t need all the other things that people who live here need,” said Kimberlee Sokolowski, who commutes to school.

Joseph D’Alessandro is a former news intern at WSHU.