Posts tagged ‘State University of New York’

June 3, 2013

MOOCs may cut the price of a SUNY degree by one-third

by Grace

The State University of New York’s new agreement to offer massive open online courses (MOOCs) opens the possibility of obtaining a SUNY degree at about one-third discount off full price.

SUNY announced Thursday that it signed an agreement to partner with Coursera, a website with 3.7 million users that is a leader in offering what are called “massive open online courses.” Universities worldwide, including private schools in New York like the University of Rochester, upload video lectures and course materials onto the website in an effort to enhance educational access.

Starting with a course from Stony Brook University in the fall, SUNY is planning to offer some courses through the site, although how many is unclear.

Exact details are still to be worked out, but students could be granted prior learning assessment credits for MOOC courses taken through a SUNY campus or even elsewhere.  These “would essentially act as transfer credits” that would require a fee, but not a tuition charge for each course.  Presumably the credit transfer fees would be minimal, well below tuition costs.

A student might be able to get his SUNY degree at about two-thirds the cost of a traditional program.

SUNY allows only one-third of the coursework for a degree to be transferred.

“There would be a limit,” SUNY spokesman David Doyle said. “It’s not like you could get a free degree.”

This strikes me as not very different from the Advanced Placement program, which allows college students credit for up to one year ‘s worth of college courses.


March 12, 2013

Kiplinger’s best values in public colleges

by Grace

Kiplinger’s recently released its list of best values in public colleges.  Here are the top ten for in-state (IS) and for out-of-state(OOS) students.


California students seeking a bargain are still paying relatively hefty costs approaching $30,000 per year, assuming they can get in to the more selective state schools.


New York stands out in offering a good value for OOS students.  Geneseo seems to attracs very few OOS students, perhaps due to its isolated rural setting.  On the other hand, Binghamton’s higher percentage of OOS students has been the target of complaints that state residents are being crowded out.  Unlike California and Virginia, New York has no formal rules on limiting OOS students.

Percentage OOS Students – School
 02% – SUNY Geneseo
18% – Univ. North Carolina Chapel Hill
12% – Binghamton University (SUNY)
27% – University of Virginia
06% – College of New Jersey
32% – College of William and Mary
07% – Univ. of California, Los Angeles
11% – Univ. of California, Berkeley
08% – Stony Brook University (SUNY)
23% – Univ. of Maryland, College Park

Kiplinger’s uses measures of “academic quality and affordability” to compile these lists.  The entire list of 100 colleges can be found here.

January 18, 2013

‘SUNY to boost online offerings, push early graduation’

by Grace

The State University of New York (SUNY) is taking a leadership position regarding online education.

For the first time, SUNY students will be able to complete a bachelor’s degree online, Zimpher announced. Three degrees in high-demand fields like information technology and health care will launch this fall, and seven more will be available in fall 2014. SUNY will be a leader in online education.

Additionally, students will be able to take online courses from any other SUNY college while earning credit and paying tuition to their home campuses.

“No institution in America – not even the for-profits – will be able to match the number of offerings and the quality of instruction,” Zimpher said. “In three years, we will enroll 100,000 degree-seeking students in Open SUNY, making us the largest public online provider of education in the nation.”

Credit for MOOCs

As part of SUNY’s online efforts, top professors will begin to provide “massive open online courses.” Many of the country’s most prestigious universities present such courses, which are online for free with the aim of extending access to education. Generally, these courses are not credit bearing.

The system will develop a system of assessing higher-learning experiences, so students who’ve taken some courses, such as free courses online from accredited institutions, can get credit for their work.

Credit for internships

SUNY will also focus on providing experiential education to students — even those enrolled only in online courses — helping them to secure internships, research or volunteer opportunities during their studies. These experiences will be recorded on an extracurricular transcript and be designated on their diplomas.

Encouraging early graduation as a way for students to save money

“We are committed to the idea that students should have the choice to graduate in three years,” she said during the speech. “We believe that by 2015, 25 percent of SUNY students will be able to do this.”…

“It allows students to reduce their student loans. It reduces their tuition because they’re only paying three years of tuition instead of four,” Stenger said. “The students can stay and get their master’s degree in an accelerated fashion and have a little extra value at the same time.”

Even assuming that online courses will cost the same as classroom courses, online students should be able to save money on transportation, housing, and other costs.

My future online scholar?
Even though she’s never taken an online course*, my high school daughter has lately mentioned that she might be interested in attending an online college.  I’m not completely sure why she’s interested and I’m not sold on the idea, but it looks as if SUNY might soon be able to accommodate her.

In related news, a hip hop music video promoting the SUNY system will be released to the public next month.

* I was recently told that our local high school expressly forbids students from taking any online course for credit, a rule that also applies to staff.  At a state level, New York does allow schools to grant credit for online courses.

August 30, 2012

SUNY reacts to state cuts by aligning enrollment with projected job growth

by Grace

The State University of New York (SUNY) reacts to state-aid cuts by curbing growth, but plans to align future enrollment expansion with projected areas of job growth.

After surges in recent years, enrollment at New York’s public universities and colleges has stabilized, with two consecutive incoming fall classes that are slightly smaller than the ones before.

The State University of New York’s flat enrollment — preliminary headcount for fall 2012 was down 0.2 percent from 2011, or by about 750 students — does not reflect waning interest in the state institutions, SUNY officials said. Rather, it’s an effort to contain enrollment amid state-aid cuts….

The 64-campus SUNY system, which includes community colleges, four-year colleges and doctoral-granting research universities, has been cut $1.4 billion over the last six years….

Many campuses have reached “right-size” enrollment, but student applications are still flooding in, with some four-year colleges receiving 10 to 12 times the number of bids for admission than they have spots in a freshman class, Lavallee said.

Community colleges are handling the overflow students.

The enrollment controls at the four-year colleges has fueled a surge in the growth of community colleges, which also provide a less expensive option in a difficult economy, officials said.

SUNY is realistic about not expecting increased state aid.

In a recent interview, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said complaining that the system needs more money is not a viable solution.

“Our longer-term solution is (to) help New York,” she said.

The way to “help” New York is to produce graduates who will play a role in stimulating the economy.

As a system that not only creates jobs but trains future members of the workforce, SUNY is particularly situated to stimulate economic recovery, Zimpher said.

“New York is never going to be able to realize its former level of investment if New York doesn’t get back on its feet,” Zimpher said. “So, the altruistic part of (SUNY’s strategic plan) is that we should help New York do that — that is our obligation.

“The more selfish rationale for helping New York get back on its feet is that New York will be able to invest more in public higher education,” she continued.

The Albany-approved plan for future growth in SUNY enrollment includes stabilized state funding and tuition increases.  Using this model, Binghamton is expected to “grow by 500 students a year for the next four years”.

Enrollment expansion will be managed to align closely with projected job growth.

But the increases will be targeted at programs that teach skills that are in high demand in the workforce, Zimpher said.

Student interest does not always align with the needs of employers, Zimpher said.

“We’re an enrollment management business, so we do have to pay attention to what students say they want,” she said.

“But we also have sort of a moral obligation to say to students: ‘You know, the truth of the matter is we’re not hiring social studies teachers right now, and I know if you’re wedded to that, we want to help you get that degree, but really we should be talking to you about a double major, or a major/minor,’ ” she said.

This SUNY strategy probably does not portend strong growth in liberal arts majors.


December 21, 2011

SUNY wants ‘D’ students, as long as they’re from out of state

by Grace

How else would you explain that the State University of New York Plattsburgh automatically awards out-of-state ‘D’ students $2,500 scholarships?

If you manage to graduate high school with a D-average (as low as a 68% grade) and you are NOT from New York, you will be offered a $2,500 “merit” scholarship to attend SUNY Plattsburgh.  In-state students with similar credentials receive no such merit aid.  Now, if you’re a real “standout” and graduate high school with a B-average, you will automatically receive up to $5,000 in merit money.   Admittedly, even with these awards an OOS student’s net cost to attend is slightly higher than that of any in-state (IS) student.

You can check it out for yourself on Plattsburgh’s Scholarship Calculator.

Plattsburgh’s strategy is probably driven by the desire to attract the higher tuition and diversity that OOS students bring to its campus, located on the shores of Lake Champlain about an hour’s drive from both Montreal and Burlington, VT.  Currently, 88% of its first-year students are from New York.  BusinessWeek labels this school as “selective”, with a rank of 91 on their list of Regional Universities (North).

This leads me to wonder if a “selective” school actually accepts D students.  It’s quite puzzling.

With apologies to Emma Lazarus:

SUNY Sonnet to Out-of-State Students

Give me your average, your mediocre students,
Your huddled masses barely passing history,
The wretched slackers of your high school graduates.
Send these, we have money for them, to me.

UPDATED – For more details on SUNY Plattsburgh scholarships, including those for in-state students, go to this post:  SUNY Plattsburgh automatic merit scholarships and more

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