NEW YORK — The State University of New York will offer in-state tuition to students from the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, as requested earlier this month by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
SUNY trustees, in a special meeting Friday, unanimously approved a resolution amending the residency requirement for students attending or planning to attend any of the state-operated public institutions for the 2017-18 academic year.
“When called upon, SUNY acts — and acts quickly,” said H. Carl McCall, chairman of the 18-member SUNY board, who noted the “historical relationship” that New York has with the islands.
McCall led the meeting from SUNY’s Global Center in Manhattan, with videoconferencing from Albany and other locations to accommodate trustees on short notice.
Crespo’s family is from Puerto Rico and his mother still lives there, he said.
Long Island’s SUNY schools are Farmingdale State College, Stony Brook University and SUNY Old Westbury. Officials at Nassau Community College and Suffolk County Community College, while not bound by the resolution, said they likely will honor it.
The City University of New York is expected to adopt a similar proposal.
Officials at the University of Central Florida (UCF) recently acted to offer in-state tuition to residents of those U.S. territories, and the Connecticut state system is expected to take the same action, SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson said.
Additionally, the New Jersey City University (NJCU) is offering $2,000 in free tuition to students from the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Cuomo this week called on the public college systems — SUNY and CUNY — to take the action, saying it would “alleviate a huge burden for these families as they try to repair and rebuild their lives.”
Officials with the governor’s office said 1.1 million Puerto Ricans live in New York.