October 7, 2011
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Awards $2.5 Million in Grants to Help Thousands of Low Income Students Obtain a College Degree

TOP Governor Cuomo Awards $2.5 Million in Grants to...

Governor Cuomo today awarded $2.5 million in College Access Challenge Grants (CACG) to programs that will help thousands of low income students obtain a college degree.


These programs, run by organizations and schools across the state, provide crucial services including academic support for students at risk of dropping out, training for high school guidance counselors serving low income students and college financing workshops. Last year, these CACG funded programs helped more than 47,000 New Yorkers apply for and succeed in college.


"We are investing in a brighter future for students who might not otherwise get a degree or attend college," Governor Cuomo said. "Education is the key to success, and it's important that we create opportunities, especially for those who want to go to college but don't have the means. I want to thank our partners in the federal government and HESC for their effort and dedication to providing higher education to all New Yorkers."


The CACG grants were awarded by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) to fifteen community-based organizations statewide that support services for high need students and their families. Funding for these grants come from a $7.6 million grant received by the state in 2010.


"These funds help regional and statewide organizations reach thousands of students and families with services that build a solid foundation for achieving a college education," said Elsa Magee, Acting President of HESC. "HESC is proud to play such a meaningful role in carrying out higher education initiatives that help underrepresented students living in New York."


"Over the next decade, more than 60 percent of all jobs will require a college education. It is imperative that New York's students, especially minority students and first-time college attendees, be ready to meet that challenge," said Dr. David Wakelyn, Deputy Secretary of Education to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. "CACG funding helps students who never thought they could go to college understand that college is not only an attainable dream, but also the vehicle that will prepare them for better jobs in the future."


HESC will soon unveil a website, GoCollege!NY, for guidance counselors to assist all students seeking advice on applying to and staying in college.


The following organizations received individual CACG grants of $250,000: 

  • Bank Street College of Education: Liberty LEADS Program, New York;
  • College Summit New York, New York;
  • On Point for College, Inc., Syracuse;
  • Research Foundation of the City University of New York, Brooklyn;
  • Syracuse University, on behalf of Say Yes to Education, Syracuse.


The following organizations received individual CACG grants of $50,000: 

  • Bard College, Educational Opportunity Programs, Annandale-on-Hudson;
  • Bottom Line, Brooklyn;
  • Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, Brooklyn;
  • Harlem Center for Education, Inc., New York;
  • Generation Schools Network, Brooklyn;
  • Jamestown Community College, Jamestown;
  • Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry;
  • Moshulu Montefiore Community Center, Bronx;
  • New Settlement Apartments, Bronx;
  • Young Women's Leadership Network, New York. 

Regional services and activities provided through the sub grantees include the following: 

  • College readiness, academic skill building and tutoring programs;
  • Stay-in-school support programs for college students at risk for dropping out;
  • College admission application and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion assistance; 
  • Training for college advisors and counselors serving some of the highest need, low-income and educationally at risk students in the State;
  • Family workshops on college financing, completing FAFSA and applications;
  • Debt management and financial literacy workshops; 
  • Extra-curricular and summer residence opportunities.


A listing of previous award recipients can be found at www.hesc.org.


HESC is New York State's student financial aid agency, helping people pay for college and is a national leader in providing need-based grant and scholarship award money to college-going students. At HESC's core are programs like the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), numerous state scholarships, the New York Higher Education Loan Program (NYHELPs), 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 2009-10, HESC helped more than 605,000 students achieve their college dreams by providing $4.4 billion in grants, scholarships and loan guarantees, including $901 million awarded through the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).