With college applications across the country facing a steep decline, the State University of New York (SUNY) has launched a program as part of its SUNY for All campaign called Big Dreams, Small Step to “close the college equity gap.”
Chancellor Jim Malatras announced that the initiative serves as outreach to assist underprivileged high school students in attaining a college degree. The school shared data that illustrates the predicament of underprivileged students faced even before the pandemic.
Taking into account the current global economic recession, SUNY believes that fewer will have access to higher education and its subsequent benefits.
“SUNY was created to deliver an affordable high-quality education for all New Yorkers, and if students aren’t coming to us, we need to be where they are to make sure they get that fair shot at college,” said Malatras.
“College is necessary for the post-COVID jobs ahead. It is our moral obligation to close persistent equity gaps in education by making sure New York’s students aren’t left behind when there is tremendous financial and academic support from New York State and SUNY to help them earn that degree,” he added.
Through the Big Dreams program, high school seniors can easily apply to one of SUNY’s 64 campuses and this includes degree programs offered online.
Students can expect attentive and highly personalized service such as fee waiver assistance, one-on-one meetings with advisors to discuss programs, and individual appointments for “first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented high school students.”
Acknowledging the benefits of this initiative, SUNY Trustee Stan Litow said, “College is too important in making a difference between a successful life versus a life of poverty, and it is vitally important to do everything we can to provide access to any student.”