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SUNY, CUNY to waive app fees for veterans and spouses

by Panagiotis Argitis - Editor-in-Chief
Tue, Nov 19th 2019 10:50 am
New York State recently announced the fee associated with applying to SUNY and CUNY schools will be waived for veterans and their spouses. Photo Credit: Mathieu Starke/ Staff Photographer
New York State recently announced the fee associated with applying to SUNY and CUNY schools will be waived for veterans and their spouses. Photo Credit: Mathieu Starke/ Staff Photographer

On Sunday, Nov. 10, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the wavering of SUNY and CUNY college application fees for veterans and their spouses. While the notice was recently served by Cuomo, SUNY and CUNY’s Board of Trustees will carry out the change in the days to come.    

The standard application fees for state-operated college institutions range from $50 to $65, waving the payment will allow those who have served in the military and their spouses to be further supported in their pursuit for a higher education.  

“Generations of New Yorkers have fought to preserve the freedoms and ideals of this state and nation at great personal sacrifice,” Cuomo said at the announcement. “We must do everything we can to support them once they get home.” 

Along with other SUNYs, The College at Brockport is set to implement the change to its application process once approved by the commanding board of SUNY and CUNY. Currently, Brockport provides various benefits for veterans enrolled in the college, such as tuition awards, monthly reductions from campus expenses and more. 

The introduction of Cuomo’s proposal to waive application fees for veterans who wish to attend SUNY or CUNY college is expected to increase enrollment but also further promote accessibility. 

“There are first generation veterans out there that don’t have parents or family members that could provide support to attend college,” Brockport Academic Advisor Sarah Kennedy said. “I think we can never do enough to make an equal sacrifice as veterans do, but it’s about starting somewhere and this is a great way to do so.” 

SUNY and CUNY institutions are responsible for providing education tools for over 5,000 service men and women. For many veterans, adapting to civilian life is not a one-step process, including attending college.

The current efforts made by public universities have allowed for more access to resources that aid veterans with ambitions toward a higher education after service. Despite the additional assistance provided by proposals such as the wavering of state-operated college applications, there is a greater need behind sustaining an inclusive ground for learning. 

“Within the utopia of every campus, SUNY and CUNY colleges should have a person dedicated to veteran services, more so than just financial aid centers,” Brockport Transfer Experience Coordinator Erin Rickman said. “This is just a small step, but it could lead to many bigger things for the veteran community.” 

Cuomo’s measure to include spouses of those who have served as veterans maintains the proposal’s mission for an easier transition into life after the military. The thinking process behind this component stems from sustaining a comfortable environment for student-veterans while applying for or studying at college. 

While future student-veterans await the approval of Cuomo’s motion from SUNY and CUNY’s Board of Trustees, the families of those who have served in the military will be able to rely on New York’s public colleges to provide a head start for their veteran members. 

Despite the application fees that may appear merely in cost upon first sight, taking strides toward the betterment of those who serve for a greater purpose is set to further improve both the veteran and overall community. 

 

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Taken by Vinny Croce:
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