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Chancellor Cantor invited to White House event to announce new commitment to greater financial aid transparency

June 05, 2012

Kevin C. Quinn
(315) 443-8338

Today, Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor attended an event at the White House to announce that Syracuse University, along with nine other institutions across the nation are making a new commitment to promote greater clarity in student financial aid packages and college costs. Cantor is one of 10 college and university presidents who are making the commitment to provide students and their families with the greater information needed to make the best decisions about where to enroll, and what kind of financial commitment they are taking on with their important, long-term investment in higher education.  

At the announcement, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, and Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz met with the group of presidents who are each committing to providing financial information in one easy-to-understand place to all incoming students as part of their financial aid package, beginning with the 2013-14 school year. 

To read the full White House announcement and see details about the commitment, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/05/vice-president-biden-secretary-duncan-cfpb-director-cordray-and-college-

"We are proud to join with the White House, Department of Education, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and nine of our colleague institutions in making this new commitment,” says Chancellor Cantor. “This collaborative effort will provide greater clarity about access and affordability, help level the playing field for students and families, and convey the message that attending college is possible for students from all backgrounds.” 

During the past five years, Syracuse University has demonstrated an aggressive strategy to ensure access and affordability for a broader range of families across the income spectrum, continuing the legacy of SU as a place of opportunity for enterprising students from all economic and social backgrounds.   In addition, as a relatively large private research university, the strides SU makes in ensuring affordability and supporting Pell-eligible students have a significant impact, due to the size of its undergraduate student  body totaling nearly 14,000. Success in these efforts is illustrated by the following: 

  • Nearly two-thirds of undergraduate students receive SU institutional financial aid.  For fall 2012, undergraduate financial aid will total $204 million—a nearly 6 percent increase over fall 2011;
  • Since fall 2007, total SU institutional undergraduate financial aid has increased from $134 million to $204 million in fall 2012, an increase of 52 percent, significantly outpacing the increase in cost to attend SU during the same period;
  • In 2011-12, 27 percent of SU undergraduate students were Pell Grant eligible, an increase from 18 percent in 2006-07; 
  • SU ranked No. 4 in the nation in the proportion of undergraduates who received Pell Grants when compared to other private institutions with endowments above $500 million, according to latest analysis by The Chronicle of Higher Education;
  • In 2009, SU created the Money Awareness Program (M.A.P.), which buys back expensive private loans borrowed by SU students and replaces those funds with an institutional grant in an effort to further retain and graduate low- and middle-income families. To date, via the M.A.P, SU has bought back over $2.6 million worth of these private loans, with the average buy-back per student totaling nearly $12,500; 
  • SU recently created the nationally recognized "I Otto Know This!" program—a multi-level financial literacy program that provides students with the skills, resources and tools to successfully manage their money during and after college;
  • To increase college participation and create alternative and affordable pathways, SU has reached out in key areas of the nation to create strategic partnerships with community colleges, from Central New York to California, Georgia and Florida.  This includes the creation of articulation agreements and “2+2” partnerships, which provide students with guaranteed admission to SU after successful completion of community college. This model also includes a commitment to meet the full demonstrated need of students and provides them a detailed estimate of what they will receive in SU financial aid after completing community college;
  • SU has also played a leading role in creating Say Yes to Education: Syracuse, which provides all 21,000-plus K-12 students in the Syracuse City School District comprehensive supports, including the promise of free college tuition to SU or one of nearly 100 public and private colleges and universities.  Under the program, the four-year graduation rate has increased, the ninth grade dropout rate has been reduced by 44 percent, and more than 2,000 high school graduates have gone on to college.  

For more information on SU’s financial aid and scholarship programs, visit: http://www.syr.edu/financialaid/index.html.

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