Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 81.67
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.27 / 4.00 Dr. Malika Carter
Chief Diversity Officer
Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

ESF participates in the "Say Yes to Education" program, which provides full-tuition scholarships to every low-income student graduating from the Syracuse City School District. See www.sayyessyracuse.org

ESF also participates in the "Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)," which provides extra monetary and academic support to students who are disadvantaged both financially and academically. Specific support is provided through EOP grants and directed orientation, tutoring, and other support programming.

A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

The Mercy Works SYNERGY Summer Internship Program is a strategic partnership between ESF and Mercy Works, Inc. As a professional development program, it targets goal-oriented minority students from the City of Syracuse who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate college program. The goal of the program is to provide students with skills that will not only advance their academic and professional careers, but contribute to the future of Central New York's workforce and community.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

The ESF Office of Experiential Learning and Outreach provides mentoring programs and a college level environmental science class for students in the Syracuse City School District, and other low-income school districts across New York State. Most of these students are low income and racially underrepresented.

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

ESF’s Financial Aid Philosophy:

Financial aid at ESF is intended to assist students with education and essential cost-of-living expenses. Funds are awarded primarily on the basis of financial need and are coordinated to supplement parental support, student employment earnings, savings, and assistance from other sources. Some scholarships and fellowships are awarded based on additional criteria, such as academic achievement or minority student status. Graduate student assistant ships, tuition scholarships, and fellowships are not based on financial need.

A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

Native American students have been targeted for special recruitment and scholarships supported through a USDA grant. ESF is also working with The Nature Conservancy on recruitment of low income students from New York City.

A brief description of the institution’s other policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

The inaugural “SEO Scholars ‘Branching Out’ Program” in 2015 brought roughly 15 students from New York City to ESF for a week-long residential summer program (ESF avoids the use of the word “camp”—but it’s fair to think of this as being similar). These students represent all five major boroughs and many walks off life. The first year, ESF presented its “ESF SCIENCE” (Summer Camps Investigating Ecology in Neighborhood and City Environments) program, which has been a staple program delivered to well over 1,500 students from Syracuse City Schools and community organizations since 2004. The program exposes students to urban environmental science topics and uses a lot of inquiry based, hands-on, in-the-field learning and utilizes a 4-5 person team comprised of ESF Undergraduate and Graduate Students. The College continues the trend of using traditional “SCIENCE” programming.

In 2016-17, the College shifted the focus of the program slightly to accentuate urban planning, and environmental justice topics (that have always been woven into the program), and brought them to the forefront of the discussion. To achieve this, local, real-world case studies are utilized.

Does the institution have policies and programs to support non-traditional students?:

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:


A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

Division of Child Care Services “Find Child Care” online search tool for regulated child care:


Child Care Solutions “Find Child Care” online search tool for regulated child care:


Contract to do resource and referral with the Division of Child Care Services.

President’s Response to GSA Resolution No. 3.2017 (PDF):


A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

List of resources to connect with students who are parents:


Information about the lactation room on the ESF campus and all-gender bathrooms as outlined by the ESF Women’s Caucus:


Online information on the brief history and overview of related issue of childcare, breastfeeding, and related issues as outlined by the ESF Women’s Caucus:


Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):

On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data for Part 2:

A. 21% of the students received Pell Grant funds for the 2017-18 IPEDS reporting year (IPEDS SFA component)
B. For cohort year 2011, 79% of Pell Grant recipients in that cohort completed their Bachelor’s program within 150% of normal time. (n = 52; 41 completers within 150%)
C. On average, the percentage of need that was met of students who were awarded any need-based aid. Exclude any aid that was awarded in excess of need as well as any resources that were awarded to replace EFC (PLUS loans, unsubsidized loans, and private alternative loans) 70% (FTFT Freshmen) 66% (FT UG incl Freshmen) 37% (less than FT UG)
D. For IPEDS reporting year 2017-18, 57% of FTFT students received loans as part of their financial aid. 55% Federal loan sources, 8% Non-federal loan sources.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.