Divorce and the Costs of College: Applying a SUNY Cap


The college application process can be an extremely stressful experience in a young person's life; adding to the child’s stress about deciding where to apply and which school to attend is the child's awareness that his or her choice of a college will provide yet another opportunity for parental conflict over who is going to pay for college. In New York, divorced parents oft seek to apply the "SUNY cap."

The SUNY cap is one of the devises employed by New York divorce attorneys to address the issue how to pay for children’s college education.

It is common in New York for divorcing parents to agree in their settlement agreements how college expenses will be paid. Sometimes the parties agree to split the actual costs of pursuing a higher education; other times one parent solely agrees to bear the burden. More often, the parties agree to limit their obligation to pay for their children’s college education to a percentage of the cost of a State University of New York (SUNY) school. This limitation is referred to as a “SUNY Cap.”

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