As you may have heard, New York State recently introduced a program that offers New York residents free tuition at SUNY or CUNY schools – but it is conditional and unguaranteed, and the student must pay for room and board.

The Governor also approved conditional grant programs for students attending private colleges, like Sage, called Enhanced Tuition Awards. While we are still awaiting more information about the Enhanced Tuition Awards, it is important to note that both pieces of legislation have unrefined details and limitations, including:

  • Unpredictable or fleeting financial aid based on the student’s ability to maintain a certain GPA or fulfill 30 credit hours in one year
  • Students must be enrolled full-time and graduate in four years to be eligible
  • Limited future mobility, as students must agree to remain in New York state for as many years as they receive an award
  • Limited funding and high demand, resulting in the use of a lottery system to decide who, among eligible students, receives an award.  We know that the Governor’s Office has budgeted for 32,000 families to receive an award, out of 940,000 eligible families.

I want to take this opportunity to highlight that $21 million is awarded to Sage students each year in the form of institutional grants and scholarships. In fact, 99 percent of students that apply for financial aid receive financial support from Sage.

Sage’s mission has been, and will continue to be, to provide students with an exceptional college experience at a reasonable cost. Our ongoing capital campaign celebrating our Centennial has raised over $60 million – which allows us to invest in campus improvements and your collegiate experience.

For more information on the new programs and Sage’s commitment to affordability, visit

Thank you for being a part of the Sage community!

Susan C. Scrimshaw, PhD