February 22, 2013
Herkimer County Community College is joining with the other 64 State University of New York campuses to adopt a standardized financial aid award letter as part of the SUNY Smart Track™ campaign, SUNY’s broader commitment to transparency in college financing. The new letter will allow students and their families to see clearly the cost of attendance and financial aid offerings at each campus, including campus-specific information.
“We applaud Chancellor Zimpher’s effort to make the financial aid process easier for students and their families, and we are pleased to do our part in supporting initiatives that promote transparency and access” said HCCC President Ann Marie Murray.
Development of the standard financial aid award letter was first announced when SUNY launched its Smart Track™ campaign in September. With the launch, SUNY adopted the concept of transparency of financial aid and college costs and the system began offering students the most proactive, comprehensive financial aid information and services in the country.
More recently, in the 2013 State of the University Address, Chancellor Zimpher announced that SUNY Smart Track™ would contribute to a wider system-wide goal of decreasing the loan default rate of SUNY students by at least five percent over the next five years.
The SUNY Smart Track™ Award Letter was developed by a committee of campus Financial Aid Directors, and others, who were tasked with adopting the intent of the federal Financial Aid Shopping Sheet while creating a unique version for SUNY. Additionally, the campaign calls for an expansion of SUNY’s Student Loan Service Center, early engagement of students at risk of default, and providing new and improved online resources such as a net price calculator, chats with financial aid experts, and financial literacy materials.