July 25, 2012
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Grants to Help Underrepresented and Low-Income Students in New York City Earn A College Degree

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Grants to Help...

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $2 million in awards to 22 programs across New York State to help low-income and first-generation students, foster care youth, veterans and other underrepresented groups obtain a college degree.


The grants are funded through a $7 million College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) award received by New York State from the U.S. Department of Education. New Yorks CACG program is administered by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), the states financial aid agency that helps students pay for college. 


"These funds are going directly to local, community-based organizations to help underrepresented and low-income students prepare to enroll and succeed in college," Governor Cuomo said. "In today's economy, a college degree is almost always needed to secure meaningful employment and launch a successful career, and communities across New York will benefit as more students from all social and economic backgrounds graduate from college with the skills to fill jobs right here in our state."


Elsa Magee, Acting President of HESC, said, "Last year, CACG funds administered by HESC helped more than 47,000 students who never thought they could go to college gain access to their dream of higher education. Whether these students are the first-in-family, foster care youth, or our combat veterans transitioning back to civilian life, HESC is proud to play a meaningful role in helping them go to college."


The programs, run by organizations across New York State, provide crucial services directly to students, including academic support, mentoring, college preparatory programs, college financial aid awareness, and training for school counselors.


In New York City, a dozen community organizations and schools will receive $800,000 in CACG funds to provide an array of college readiness programs for the Citys middle and high school students. Projects include instructional and academic support, mentoring with college students, college awareness workshops for parents and guardians, summer enrichment opportunities, outreach to students at risk of dropping out of high school and college and financial aid application assistance, among other innovative projects.


Senator Charles Schumer said, "Helping students from every background meet their academic goals is exactly the type of work our state and federal government should be supporting and fighting for. The College Access Challenge Grants will bring higher education within reach for many more students and, in turn, this next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs will help ensure a bright economic future for New York State."


Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "This critical federal funding will open doors to higher education for underrepresented young people and help our New York students reach their full potential. Supporting education and training for our youth is one of the smartest investments we can make that will help rebuild our local economy and pay dividends over the long term."


U.S. Representative Nita Lowey, Member on the Education Appropriations Subcommittee, said, "Every student who is willing to work hard deserves the opportunity to achieve through higher education. I am pleased the federal government is helping deserving New York students achieve their potential."


U.S. Representative Jerry Nadler said, "These federal funds are an important resource to help low-income and immigrant children receive a quality education and compete in the workforce. I am pleased to support Governor Cuomo in these efforts, and proud to help provide grants to outstanding institutions in New York, like Goddard Riverside, the YMCA, and Brooklyn College."


U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke said, "Many of my constituents have been struggling to obtain access to adequate job training to join a competitive global workforce. The College Access Challenge Grant is a step in the right direction for many New Yorkers, providing them with access to an affordable and quality education. I am pleased to learn that the next generation of leaders and the new generation of American workers will have the opportunity to succeed thanks to this wonderful initiative."


U.S. Representative Charles B. Rangel said, "I have always strongly believed that we must give maximum support to our educational community so that future generations will have the ability to succeed in a global economy and face the challenges of tomorrow. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for securing federal grants that will be distributed to educational institutions serving my constituents. I applaud his leadership role in continuing to provide opportunities for youth, veterans, and low-income students throughout my congressional district and across the great State of New York."


U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo and his administration for providing $2 million in College Access Challenge Grant awards around our state. The CACG program is a great example of how federal funding can help keep New York State competitive and ensure that our workforce remains among the most highly educated and skilled in the nation."


U.S. Representative Edolphus Towns said, "The cost of obtaining a college education continues to escalate at a rapid pace virtually shutting the door to getting a degree for too many young people today, particularly youth in low-income households, youth in foster care and for many of our returning veterans. I applaud Governor Cuomo for providing these resources to help aspiring students in Brooklyn and the state of New York move closer to achieving their dreams."


U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks said, "Governor Andrew Cuomos announcement reaffirms his commitment to expanding access to higher education. I congratulate St. Johns University for being one of the 22 programs across New York State to receive the College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) sub-grant awards specifically to help low-income and first-generation students, foster care youth, veterans and other underrepresented young people from Southeast Queens attain knowledge and gain skills that will help them rebuild their communities and prepare them for a global economy."


The following organizations received individual CACG grants of $250,000:
  • City School District of Albany, Albany
  • Jamestown Community College, Jamestown
  • St. Johns University, Queens
  • The College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle
  • On Point for College, Inc., Syracuse
  • Research Foundation of CUNY Brooklyn College


The following organizations received CACG awards of $50,000
  • New Settlement Apartments, Bronx
  • Moshulu Montefiore Community Center, Bronx
  • Generation Schools Network, Brooklyn
  • Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry
  • Ulster BOCES, New Paltz
  • Goddard Riverside Community Center, New York
  • Good Shepherd Services, New York
  • Harlem Center for Education, New York
  • Harlem RBI, Inc., New York
  • The Boys Club of New York, New York
  • University Settlement Society of New York, New York
  • YMCA of Greater New York, New York
  • St. Johns University, Queens
  • Veterans Outreach Center, Rochester
  • CSTEP Program of LeMoyne College, Syracuse
  • Jefferson Community College, Watertown


New York's College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) program works to increase the number of low-income, minority and underserved students who are prepared to apply for, get accepted to and succeed in college, with a priority on families living below the poverty-level. For more information visit: http://www.hesc.ny.gov/content.nsf/SFC/College_Access_Challenge_Grant


HESC is New York States student financial aid agency that helps people pay for college and a national leader in providing need-based grant and scholarship award money to college-going students. At HESCs core are programs like the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), numerous state scholarships, federal college access grants and a highly successful College Savings program. HESC puts college within the reach of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers each year through programs like these and through the guidance it provides to students, families and counselors. In 2010-11, HESC helped more than 413,000 students achieve their college dreams by providing $991 million in grants, scholarships and federal student loan guarantees, including $855 million awarded through the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). For more information visit: http://www.hesc.ny.gov/content.nsf