SUNY schools offer price match as enrollment drops

Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 5:35 PM EST
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POTSDAM, New York (WWNY) - Price match. You usually think about it in stores, not college. To offset a shrinking population, however, SUNY schools are doing something pretty similar.

SUNY schools are doing what they can to make themselves a more enticing option for out-of-state students. At SUNY Potsdam, attendance is down

“Our occupancy rate is not where it needs to be,” said Patrick Quinn, executive VP for enrollment services, SUNY Potsdam.

Over the past 10 years, the school has seen a drop in enrollment from 4,000 students to around 2,500. Quinn would like to see it stabilize at around 3,000.

“A lot of that is due to the decline in the high school graduation population that has happened over the past 10 years. Students and families questioning the value of college,” he said.

All SUNY colleges are seeing this trend. To offset the decline, SUNY is looking out of state.

Starting this past fall, it introduced a tuition match where if a non-New Yorker can pay a cheaper price to go to a public college in their own state, SUNY will match it.

Here’s an example: New Jersey students can pay $12,900 to go to Rutgers University, but at SUNY Potsdam, that student would pay the out-of-state tuition of $16,980. To lure that student to Potsdam, SUNY would charge a lesser amount.

“They eat in restaurants, they do shopping, family comes to visit for homecoming, parent weekends, things like that,” said Quinn.

State Senator Dan Stec (R. - 45th District) will represent Potsdam and Canton starting next year. He sees the price match as a good opportunity and a needed one.

“It’s a numbers game in order for these campuses to survive. They need to have enough students or they won’t survive,” said Stec.

Another idea SUNY Potsdam wants to try is allowing an out-of-state student who lives within a certain radius of the New York state border to pay an in-state tuition rate.