The university has been in existence since it was founded as the New York State Normal School in 1844. The SUNY system was officially founded in 1948 when 29 different colleges statewide were consolidated into a single university system.
The mission statement for the university as a whole states that, “The mission of the state university system shall be to provide to the people of New York educational services of the highest quality, with the broadest possible access, fully representative of all segments of the population in a complete range of academic, professional and vocational postsecondary programs including such additional activities in pursuit of these objectives as are necessary or customary.”
Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and employment. 75% of the students in the system receive some form of financial aid. Students who seek financial aid will need to fill out the Federal Student Financial Aid Form, available on-line.
Graduate students may also receive financial aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships, including a stipend and a waiver of some or all of the tuition and other fees. Graduate students should consult with their individual department about what sort of assistantships or fellowships are available and about the details of the application process.
The campus is residential, with a rich student life. The independent student newspaper is known as the Albany Student Press and serves not only the student body, but the surrounding community as well. The culture of the campus puts a strong emphasis on sustainability, cultural exchange, and community service. School colors are purple and gold.
The athletics department competes in the NCAA Division I in a large number of sports. Teams are known as the Great Danes. In addition to university-funded teams, there is also a Student Association-funded competitive crew team and recreational rugby, hockey, fencing, and more.