A campaign to send personalized letters to every Buffalo high school senior encouraging college application has begun, as part of a partnership between SUNY and the Buffalo Public Schools and a larger systemwide outreach effort, “You Belong at SUNY.”
SUNY Chancellor John B. King Jr. was in Buffalo on Monday to hand-deliver those letters to high school seniors from School 355, the New Buffalo School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. Buffalo State University Interim President Bonita R. Durand, Ph.D., addressed the seniors as part of the ceremony.
The letter from King and Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Tonja M. Williams emphasizes to students that each has a place at SUNY. The letter also includes information about SUNY’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and financial aid options. Starting next week, about 2,000 letters will be mailed across the City of Buffalo encouraging students to apply to college for the fall 2024 semester.
“Buffalo State University is delighted to support this tremendous initiative along with SUNY and the Buffalo Public Schools to help every student realize their goals of higher education,” Durand said. “Buffalo State has a variety of academic programs to choose from, along with an exceptional Honors Program, Say Yes Buffalo partnership, and one of the most robust Educational Opportunity Programs in the state, all of which provide valuable support services for our students. We thank the chancellor, the SUNY Board of Trustees, and the governor for advocating this great partnership.”
Buffalo State University Interim President Bonita R. Durand, Ph.D., with SUNY Chancellor John B. King Jr.
SUNY offers students at more than 500 designated high-needs high schools statewide, including 15 Buffalo Public Schools, the ability to apply for free to up to seven SUNY campuses throughout the year, saving up to $350.
SUNY also has ongoing fee waivers that apply to 60 percent of all high school seniors, including students in foster care, students from low-income households, and students with military connections. In addition, the application fee waiver applies to students on track for receiving an associate’s degree at a SUNY community college so they can apply to a bachelor’s degree–granting SUNY campus like Buffalo State University.
“There is a place at SUNY for every New Yorker,” King said, “and it is an honor to collaborate with Superintendent Williams and the Buffalo Public Schools to encourage more high school seniors to explore the excellence and affordability that SUNY offers. My thanks to the students of PS 355 for sharing their vision for college and their career goals. SUNY campuses are eager to help Buffalo students achieve their college dreams.”
Durand was joined at the downtown Buffalo ceremony by other SUNY presidents in the region, including William Murabito, ’66, president of Niagara County Community College. Others who spoke at the ceremony were New York Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, ’74, ’02, a recipient of Buffalo State’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2012; and Assembly Member William Conrad, ’04.