Letter: Stony Brook offers students value

The campus of Stony Brook University University. The campus of Stony Brook University University. Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

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In the Oct. 23 article "College costs rise faster on Island" [News], Newsday reported how Long Island's private and public institutions stack up against the figures presented in the College Board's 2013 "Trends in College Pricing" report. Although the article may have been accurate, it did not discuss what students are getting for tuition and fees in New York. In fact, Stony Brook University represents an extraordinary value.

In 2011, after four years of debilitating budget cuts, SUNY implemented a rational tuition plan under NYSUNY 2020 legislation. Thanks to this gradual and predictable tuition increase formula, Stony Brook is finally able to invest in our students' academic experience by hiring more faculty and reducing student-faculty ratios.

Student fees are also strategically invested. They support growing technology needs and provide for on-campus student health care, transportation and activities, including our 17,000-square-foot recreation center. Fees also make possible the new Academic Success and Tutoring Center, which provides students with extra guidance to excel and graduate on time.

How does Stony Brook's $7,994 price tag compare? In-state residents attending Rutgers paid about $13,500 in tuition and fees this year. At Penn State University, the typical in-state student paid roughly $17,000.

Stony Brook is not only competitive in our region, but also nationally. Our tuition and fees are below the national average of $8,893 for in-state students at a public four-year institution -- not bad for a school ranked among the top 40 public universities in America.

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., Stony Brook

Editor's note: The writer is the president of Stony Brook University.
 

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