Our Students

SUNY Empire State College students represent a diverse community of learners. They are motivated and enthusiastic. They are busy adults – with jobs, families and real lives that simply won’t accommodate the conventional college experience.

Most of our undergraduate students are between 25 and 55 years old (with a median age of 33), and are in the prime of their working lives. They are employed as professionals, managers or as skilled workers. They may be anyone from the CEO of a company to a working performing artist. Nearly 67 percent study part time. Most of our students are New York state residents, and they reflect the diversity that can be found from the Canadian border to Long Island’s eastern shore. They come from large metropolitan areas, suburbs, and small towns and rural communities. Fifty-three percent are white; 14 percent are African-American; 12 percent are Hispanic; 3 percent are Asian/Pacific Islanders or American Indians; and while just over 2 percent identified as multiracial.1 We also have students from most states in the U.S. and from many other countries. Nonresidents of New York state, representing 10 percent of our undergraduate students, generally enroll in online degree programs.

Just over 37 percent of the college’s students study in person at one of our locations across New York state while another 41 percent of our students – New York state resident and nonresident – enroll exclusively in online courses, with the remaining students participating in both in-person and online courses . Nearly 67 percent of the college's students are enrolled in the School for Undergraduate Studies, almost 14 percent are in our School for Graduate Studies, while the remaining 19 percent enroll through other programs, such as The Harry Van Arsdale Jr. School of Labor Studies, the School of Nursing and Allied Health or International Education.

As a public college, SUNY Empire State College’s mission includes helping military service members and veterans further their education. Our Office of Veteran and Military Education is staffed with experts who are knowledgeable and accessible and ready to help returning veterans and service members find the educational program that best meets their needs, whether stateside or on deployment.