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New York Gov. Hochul unveils direct admissions, mandatory FAFSA proposals

New York Gov. Hochul unveils direct admissions, mandatory FAFSA proposals

Higher Ed Dive

Laura Spitalniak
January 10, 2024
Dive Brief:
  • New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a wide-ranging slate of higher education initiatives Tuesday, continuing her effort to boost enrollment at the state’s public systems and increase college access.
  • Under Hochul’s proposal, New York high school students who graduate in the top 10% of their class would receive automatic admissions offers to campuses within the State University of New York and the City University of New York systems.
  • The governor also intends to propose legislation requiring the state’s high school seniors to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, Hochul said during her State of the State address.
Dive Insight:
Hochul’s plan to offer top-performing New York seniors automatic admission to the state’s public colleges mirrors a model pioneered by Texas in the late ’90s, which has since been replicated by several states, and could help boost enrollment.
SUNY has struggled with declining enrollment for years. After a concerted policy effort, the 64-campus system saw a year-over-year enrollment increase of 1.1% in fall 2023, its first in a decade. But the total number of students that term — almost 368,000 — is well short of the governor’s goal of 500,000.
Hochul, who has made higher education and college access a focal point of her administration since taking office in 2021, has previously implemented automatic admissions initiatives.
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