providing opportunity


Scholarships & Experiential Learning
Priority Goal: $11.5 Million

When we think about student support, it is usually as tuition assistance. Soaring Higher—The Campaign for SUNY New Paltz aims to significantly increase this fundamental kind of student support – and so much more. It will also increase support for opportunities that help lay a path for graduate studies, careers and purposeful lives.

We can make this a reality by establishing, building and providing endowed and annual scholarships, internships, research and creative activities, and study abroad opportunities.

students sitting on the grass under a night sky


Scholarships provide life-changing opportunities and allow students to focus on academics by reducing the need for excessive paid work, participate in experiential learning and explore career options, graduate in a timely way, and minimize loans and post-college debt.

We compete for the best and brightest students, who have aspirations to attend either top-tier public colleges like SUNY New Paltz or regional private colleges.

Because of the broad array of majors we offer, we also compete with the large research universities in SUNY. This competition for incoming students is happening while numbers of high school graduates in our region are declining, a trend projected to continue through much of the next decade.

Beyond our reputation for academic quality and an exceptional learning community, increasing scholarship support will provide an additional edge when competing for new students, both first year and transfer.


Philanthropic support ensures that SUNY New Paltz:

  • Recruits students from a broad range of socio-economic communities, providing first-generation college opportunities
  • Enrolls and retains students with varied interests and the ability to select from among 125 majors and 200+ student organizations
  • Recognizes students for both their aspirations and their accomplishments

    Eight Kyncl Scholars toured YouTube with Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl ’95


  • The total cost for an in-state undergraduate student in 2019-20, including tuition, fees, room & board, was $22,540.
  • 40% of our students qualify for New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), a grant for income-eligible families. Compared with many other colleges—even many public institutions—New Paltz serves more students from low- and modest-income families.
  • During the 2018-2019 academic year alone, undergraduate students received over $23M from federal, state and private grants and scholarships, and took on jobs and $30M in loans.



Our nation is experiencing a $1.5 trillion student debt crisis that has far-reaching implications for our economy. New Paltz students graduate at a higher rate than their peers at public institutions nationwide. While many students graduate with zero debt, 60% of our graduates have loan debt averaging $25,800—lower than the national average. And only 2% go into default—far below the national default rate of 10.8%. Still, it is vitally important—for our students and national prosperity—to invest in student support that doesn’t require financial repayment.


Experiential Learning

Experiential learning takes place beyond the classroom, putting theory into practice. It comes in many forms—internships related to an academic major, travelling and studying in a foreign country, research and creative activities—all of which bridge academic life with aspirations and future endeavors. These experiences allow students to investigate career options, connect classroom learning to the world, share their reflections with classmates, develop career-related skills, and become more competitive job candidates.

Research, scholarship and creative activities

Students eager for inquiry into an area beyond their course work—and desiring to make an original contribution to their discipline—can engage in faculty-mentored research, scholarship or creative activity during the academic year or as an immersive summer experience. While projects take many forms, each follows a process based on disciplinary (or interdisciplinary) methodology.  

Students may participate in professional academic conferences like the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, or performances around the country where they share their work with peers and hone their presentation skills. Indeed, many students tell us that the experience of presenting their research is as impactful as conducting the research. A recent SUNY New Paltz Summer Undergraduate Research Experience abstract includes topics ranging from “Coastal Erosion from Super Storm Sandy” to “Ideologies About Race and Bodies in Latinas.”


Internships are extremely valuable for any student, academically and pragmatically. Students apply classroom lessons in a professional environment, giving them a more profound understanding of the discipline. They can test the fit of their chosen field, build their resume and make connections that lead to their next step.

Most SUNY New Paltz students hold summer jobs and work during the school year as they put themselves through school, leaving little time for an internship.

Additionally, most internships provide only a nominal stipend, or none at all—and the internship itself can incur additional expenses, like commuting and business attire—putting this opportunity further out of reach. Many regional employers, including non-profits, would welcome student interns but cannot afford to provide compensation.

Endowed internship funds at SUNY New Paltz create a permanent source of annual stipends for students, providing all students with the opportunity to gain valuable experience and be prepared for what lies ahead.

Study Abroad

Fifty years after Professor Emeritus Dr. Louis Saraceno launched the College’s first study abroad program in Spain, SUNY New Paltz students study in cities around the world from Buenos Aires, to Cairo, to Nanjing. Nearly 25% of SUNY New Paltz undergraduate students—among the highest rate in the SUNY system—enhance their coursework by spending an intercession, a semester or year abroad during their time at the College.

Students are exposed to new customs, climates and cultures.  They may have the chance to hone foreign language skills or experience a different style of education. Each becomes a citizen of the world, making them more competitive in the global workforce and for graduate program admissions. 


Gisell Huiracocha ’19 - International Business
Gisell Huirachocha

Gisell Huiracocha ’19 (International Business)

I want to better my life so I can help my family and my community. We have to look out for one another so we can all prosper."

“Being the first in my family to attend college came with a lot of trial and error,” concedes Gisell Huirachocha ’19 (International Business) who grew up, one of four children in her family, in Bushwick, Brooklyn. She recently completed her bachelor’s degree with a minor in psychology as a member of the highly-selective Honors Program.

“I was nervous to come to college. All my life I grew up around black and Latino people and I knew I was going to meet people from all backgrounds,” acknowledges Gisell. “But I got involved in different groups and that allowed me to become more open-minded.” She served as Vice-President of the Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, a peer mentor at the Center for Student Development, and a C.R.E.W member assisting with campus events.

Gisell made the most of her academic and extra-curricular life, and graduated in four years, even while holding a work-study job as a Student Activity Manager to help pay for room and board.

Like so many other New Paltz undergraduates, Gisell qualified for significant financial assistance. That includes the Business Association for Students of Color Scholarship, funded by an anonymous donor to support students in the School of Business.

Gisell is a candidate for an MBA at New Paltz and remains connected with the Business Association for Students of Color, a student-run organization that focuses on promoting diversity within the campus community and business world. She hopes to become a financial analyst one day.


Gisell Huiracocha ’19 (International Business) is pictured with her family at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie, New York, where she was inducted into the School of Business Hall of Fame and named 2019 Student Leader of the Year.



Gisell Huiracocha ’19 (International Business) is pictured with her family at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie, New York, where she was inducted into the School of Business Hall of Fame and named 2019 Student Leader of the Year.


Miriam Ward ’15 (Digital Media Production; History) is pictured above in her office holding The Rachel Maddow Show’s 2017 Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Interview
Miriam Ward

Miriam Ward '15 (Digital Media Production; History)

The support I’ve received from the New Paltz Foundation was incredibly rewarding,” said Miriam. “I was awarded the Ruth & Raymond DeRoberts Memorial Scholarship, which supported my tuition and allowed me to allocate more time to my studies instead of worrying about debt. At the end of my sophomore year, I was awarded the David E. Huyler Memorial Scholarship, both scholarships allowed me to seize so many opportunities I would not have otherwise.”

During her junior and senior years, Honors Program Student Miriam Ward ’15 (Digital Media Production; History) secured one internship at WNET Thirteen, the public television station in New York City, and another at NBC Universal. She went on shoots at the Metropolitan Museum and FDR Presidential Library. She assisted producers by transcribing footage for clips. Then she decided that she wanted to be a producer for a PBS or NBC News series where she could combine her passion for history with her love of media production.

Right after graduation, Miriam landed a spot in the highly competitive NBC Page Program, which serves as a training ground for careers in television broadcasting. Today, Miriam is an Associate Producer for The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. She says, “As a history major and Honors student I had to do so much research and writing and that really prepared me for this work. Every day I use the analytical and critical thinking skills I developed at New Paltz.”


Miriam celebrated with Pat Sullivan, director of the Honors Program and professor in the Department of Digital Media & Journalism



Miriam Ward ’15 (Digital Media Production; History) is pictured above in her office holding The Rachel Maddow Show’s 2017 Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Interview, on which Miriam served as a producer. At right: Miriam celebrated with Pat Sullivan, director of the Honors Program and professor in the Department of Digital Media & Journalism, at the 2019 40 Under Forty Awards. The event honored New Paltz alumni who are innovative leaders in their fields.


professor and student working in a lab
sigmund bereday

Sigmund “Siggy” Bereday ’18 (Mechanical Engineering)

Working with natural fibers is a growing opportunity—there are clear sustainability benefits of using natural fibers instead of synthetics, so there’s more testing being done, and more end-uses being developed all over the country.”

Jared Nelson—an assistant professor in the burgeoning mechanical engineering program—has been doing research into the potential of natural fibers to transform the way farmers and manufacturers do business in New York State.

Nelson received a grant to support the project, the scale of which created opportunities for students to participate in advanced research alongside him in his lab.

Sigmund “Siggy” Bereday ’18 (Mechanical Engineering) was one of the first students to join the project. He had conducted an independent study on fiber testing methods during his junior year, and he went on to assume a central role in Nelson’s research in his final semester at New Paltz. “There are many roads I could go down as a mechanical engineer,” Bereday said.




Siggy Bereday ’18 (Mechanical Engineering) and Assistant Professor Jared Nelson observe the laser micrometer analysis of a single fiber in a campus lab. Nelson received a grant to acquire equipment that allows him to test the structural properties of natural materials on the New Paltz campus, which has created opportunities for students like Siggy to conduct cutting-edge research.


Jeremy Luna ’20 (International Relations; Asian Studies) feeds deer in Japan.
Jeremy Luna ’20

Jeremy Luna ’20

I am thrilled to be a part of a cohort of gamechangers: people who are going to diversify the Foreign Service and represent America overseas in all of its diversity.

Ever since he was a child, Jeremy Luna ’20 (International Relations; Asian Studies) dreamed of going to Asia. He was given the chance several times in a series of study abroad and experiential learning opportunities at New Paltz that changed the course of Jeremy’s life.

He first spent a summer abroad in South Korea at Dankook University and later studied at Kanazawa University in Japan. Along with support from the College, he earned a scholarship from the distinguished Boren Awards, a program authorized by Congress to increase the number of experts in underrepresented cultures.

Jeremy complemented his studies with internships at: the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in Tokyo, the U.S. Department of State, Sumitomo Electric in Osaka, Japan, and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations as part of the SUNY Global Engagement Program. These experiences nurtured his desire to work at the crossroads of Japan-U.S. relations.

Jeremy was recently awarded a 2020 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship that will provide full support for him to attend Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The award also supports his placement in two internships (one on Capitol Hill and one overseas at a U.S. Embassy) prior to graduate school and an appointment to the U.S. Foreign Service afterward—at which point he will begin his career as a diplomat.


Jeremy is joined by his mentor, Bruce Sillner, former Dean of the Center for International Programs, who now serves as Senior Advisor on Global Strategy at the College.




Jeremy Luna ’20 (International Relations; Asian Studies) feeds deer in Japan. His study abroad experiences were supported in part by philanthropic funds from the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, including the Friends of Asian Studies Scholarship, the Robert Sillins Family Foundation Fund, and the Edward A. Carroll and Gina O’Brien Carroll Experiential Scholarship Fund, among others. At right: Jeremy is joined by his mentor, Bruce Sillner, former Dean of the Center for International Programs, who now serves as Senior Advisor on Global Strategy at the College.


If you would like to establish a new, named scholarship fund (either an endowed or annual fund), please contact the Development team by emailing, calling us at 845-257-3240, or contact a team member directly by visiting here.


Give to the Campaign for SUNY New Paltz


A copy of our most recently filed financial report is available from the Charities Registry on the New York State Attorney General’s website ( or, upon request, by contacting the New York State Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 28 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10005, or us at 1 Hawk Dr, New Paltz, NY 12561. You also may obtain information on charitable organizations from the New York State Office of the Attorney General at or (212) 416-8401.