Chancellor Jim Malatras announced on Wednesday that SUNY will be forming a Veteran and Military Action Council that will work to increase college access for all current and prospective military-connected students.

The council will work to close the current gap in tuition assistance for all those serving in Active Duty, Reserve, and in the National Guard. This means that military-connected students would be paying about $250 per credit.

It would also establish ways these students can have priority registering and transfer their military service to college credit at all SUNY schools.

This council will be implementing these changes by the fall of 2021.

"These heroes who have put their lives on the line for this country deserve all the assistance we can provide to make it possible to pursue a higher education and transition to their next career," Chancellor Malatras said. "Our new Veteran and Military Action Council includes professionals who understand the unique needs of student active service members and veterans, some of them being veterans themselves serving our country. They will work collaboratively with colleges, elected officials, and state agencies to reduce the cost of tuition for veterans, count military service for college credit, and reduce barriers for veterans’ families. We want to make SUNY the most inclusive system of higher education for these heroes and their families."

This council will be co-chaired by University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez and Finger Lakes Community College President Robert Nye.

"My service in the Air Force was a critical part of shaping the person I am today, including making it possible for me to complete my undergraduate degree," University at Albany President and SUNY Veteran and Military Advisory Council Co-Chair Havidán Rodríguez said. "I am honored to be a part of this new council, and thank Chancellor Malatras for ensuring our veterans have the benefit of a life-changing education worthy of the selfless sacrifices they make on our behalf every single day."

"Our military and veteran students have much to offer our institutions and communities," Finger Lakes Community College President and SUNY Veteran and Military Advisory Council Co-Chair Robert Nye said. "I am proud to be part of a team seeking more ways to make them feel welcome and to foster their academic and personal success."