Stony Brook University announced on Wednesday a cap on undergraduate enrollment, citing the need to maintain current levels of quality in programs and services in light of $59 million in state aid cuts over the past two years.
"We are at a crossroads," university President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said during his state-of-the-university address on Wednesday. "This is not something we take lightly."
Even though the school received a record number of applications, the current freshman enrollment of 2,700 will be maintained next year in order to keep student-to-teacher ratios under control and ensure that students have access to all the classes they need to graduate.
The announcement comes amid what Stanley called some of the university's most challenging times in its 50-year history. Major cuts to state aid coupled with the failure of the New York State legislature to allow SUNY schools to set their own tuition rates, he said, have forced difficult decisions like the closure of its Southampton campus.
Stanley reiterated his disappointment that the Public Higher Education and Empowerment and Innovation Act, which would have given Stony Brook the freedom to raise its own tuition, has not been passed. He said the university ranks fourth-lowest in the country on in-state undergraduate tuition.
"We're not receiving revenue commensurate with our peers," he said.
Stanley said the university will continue to push for the passage of PHEEIA.
"We believe that every high school student in New York should have the opportunity to be educated at a great – let me say that again – a great public university," he said. "We're not done fighting. This is simply too important to New York's future."