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SUNY gets sued over out-of-state tuition

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Not so fast: could you have gotten a discount on that degree?

Three SUNY Binghamton students are suing to be reimbursed for tuition, after finding out they didn't have to pay out-of-state fees.  Lisa Foderaro reports for the New York Times:

The little-known statute, enacted in 2002, requires that SUNY charge out-of-state residents the same tuition as New Yorkers if they meet certain criteria: among them are graduating from a New York State high school that they attended for at least two years and applying to a SUNY school within five years after graduation.

The lawsuit could open a floodgate of rebates for students who commuted to New York high schools, or students who got their GEDs here, moved away, and then came back to attend SUNY.

If successful, the class action could prove an embarrassment and an expense for SUNY. The 64-campus system has suffered huge reductions in state aid in recent years, and faces a 10 percent cut in the state budget proposed last week by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. A Binghamton spokeswoman, Gail Glover, said the university had not tried to evade any obligation, but she would not address the suit’s specific claims. “We followed both SUNY and campus policy,” Ms. Glover said, “and our actions will be found to have been appropriate.”

SUNY tuition autonomy
Jimmy Vielkind at the Times Union reports that the debate over allowing SUNY to set its own tuition rates is likely to resurface during this spring's budget process:

Politically, the issue doesn't split along party lines. Many in New York City, like [Assembly higher education committee chair Deborah] Glick, have concerns about access and came of age in a time when SUNY and CUNY educations were essentially free -- a public benefit afforded residents of the Empire State. But many lawmakers representing the big university centers -- particularly representatives from Buffalo, where the university is planning a major expansion into a distressed downtown called UB 2020 -- actively seek the change. In Amherst, Cuomo recommitted to UB 2020 and the changes needed to implement it, lauding it as an "exciting" regional strategy for economic revitalization.

Ithaca has approved a new wireless tower for Cornell, reports Rachel Stern at the Ithaca Journal.

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