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Spencerport, N.Y.- As families grapple with increasing costs for higher education, they could soon have new options for saving money. Tuesday, State University of New York Chancellor, Nancy Zimpher announced new plans for future of the SUNY system that includes developing a three-year-degree program as well as more online courses.
"We have every confidence that the great State University of New York is an impeccable model for higher education worldwide and that our campus presidents along with their faculty and staff and partners in communities across the State are willing, capable, and eager to get started on the new initiatives announced today," said Zimpher.
More online courses would give more opportunities for students and future students.
"I think it's a fantastic opportunity," said Gina Sullivan of Spencerport, a mother of two.
Her daughter, Samantha is a student at SUNY Cortland. The Sullivans wanted to give their daughter a chance to experience campus life away, but are starting to grow concerned over the debt associated with her studies.
"It's staggering because you look at everyday costs rising," said Sullivan. "We tried to find other options to look to finance her education and we find that we are taking the bulk of it and we weren't prepared for it."
The average cost for tuition, room, board and fees at a SUNY school without financial aid for the 2012-2013 year is $30,990, according to the SUNY website.
Under Zimpher's plan announced Tuesday, SUNY would add 10 online bachelor degree programs in high demand fields by 2014; develop a three-year-bachelors degree program, as well as a system called Smart Track which is geared toward helping simplify financial college costs, debt and comparisons.
Spokesman for the College at Brockport and SUNY Geneseo said they had not been given details on the chancellor's plan, but both schools expect to receive more details soon.