New York State launches direct admission initiative

New York governor Kathy Hochul proposed a direct admission plan for SUNY and CUNY campuses at her annual State of the State address on Jan. 9.

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New York governor Kathy Hochul is championing an initiative to offer the top 10 percent of the state’s high school graduates direct admission to a public university. 

The State University of New York and City University of New York systems, both managed by the state government, would be included in the plan. CUNY already has a direct admission program and will work to expand it, while SUNY will work over the next year to develop its first direct admission program.

“Access to higher education has the potential to transform the lives of young New Yorkers,” Hochul said during her annual State of the State address Tuesday. “Through these bold initiatives, we are taking critical steps toward ensuring every New York student can continue their education, build their professional career and pursue their dreams.”

Direct admissions initiatives have been gaining traction in recent years, but Hochul’s plan is the latest to borrow specifically from a 1997 initiative in Texas, which pioneered the model to increase diversity at its public institutions after a circuit court banned affirmative action in the state the year before.

Many believe percentage plans are gaining traction as a way to offset the effects of last summer’s Supreme Court decision striking down affirmative action nationwide. Tennessee launched its own in September, and other individual institutions—including the University of South Carolina and Virginia Commonwealth University—announced top 10 percent admissions standards last year.

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