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For Immediate Release
February 20, 2013

For more information, contact
David Mihalyov
(585) 395-2577
dmihalyo@brockport.edu

SUNY Campuses Standardize Financial Aid Award Letter for Fall Semester

Campus-Specific Costs and Financial Aid Opportunities Clearly Communicated

BROCKPORT, N.Y.— The State University of New York today announced that all of the system’s 64 campuses— including The College at Brockport—will use a standardized Financial Aid Award Letter for the 2013-14 academic year, as part of the SUNY Smart Track™ campaign, SUNY’s broader commitment to transparency in college financing.

“The new SUNY Award Letter will be a valuable tool for perspective students and their families. The use of a standard award document by all SUNY schools in a consistent format will allow them to easily compare the financial aid awards that the various schools have offered them,” said Scott Atkinson, director of financial aid for Brockport. “Important information will also be available regarding the school’s cost, graduation rates, default rates and median federal student loan borrowing as well as the average monthly payment that it would represent.”

“While college students across the country are taking on more loan debt than ever before, SUNY Smart Track™ gives our prospective students the most comprehensive and transparent financial aid information available so that they can make informed decisions about how to pay for their college education,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “The standard award letter will allow prospective students and their families to easily compare colleges within SUNY and view a full outline of the financial commitment associated with their education.”

Development of the standard financial aid award letter was first announced when SUNY launched its Smart Track™ campaign in September. With the launch, SUNY adopted the concept of transparency of financial aid and college costs and the system began offering students the most proactive, comprehensive financial aid information and services in the country.

More recently, in the 2013 State of the University Address, Chancellor Zimpher announced that SUNY Smart Track™ would contribute to a wider system-wide goal of decreasing the loan default rate of SUNY students by at least five percent over the next five years.

The average indebtedness of a SUNY graduate is $22,575, well below the national average of $26,600. The vast majority of SUNY student loan borrowers repay their loans successfully.

The SUNY Smart Track™ Award Letter was developed by a committee of campus Financial Aid Directors, and others, who were tasked with adopting the intent of the federal Financial Aid Shopping Sheet while creating a unique version for SUNY. Additionally, the campaign calls for an expansion of SUNY’s Student Loan Service Center, early engagement of students at risk of default, and providing new and improved online resources such as a net price calculator, chats with financial aid experts, and financial literacy materials.

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