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City Schools Get Big Bucks to Help Provide College Ed.

Will Assist Low-Income Students

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced $2 million in awards to 22 programs across the state to help low-income and firstgeneration 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 York’s CACG program is administered by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), the state’s financial aid agency that helps students pay for college.

St. John’s University in Jamaica was among the award recipients, as the state will provide the school with $250,000 in individual CACG grants and another $50,000 in CACG awards. The Research Foundation of CUNY at Brooklyn College also received

$250,000 in individual CACG grants and the Generation Schools Network in Brooklyn also received a $50,000 CACG award.

“These funds are going directly to local, community-based organizations to help underrepresented and low-income students prepare to enroll and succeed in college,” 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.”

“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,” added Elsa Magee, acting president of HESC. “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 the 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 city’s 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.

“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,” said Sen. Charles Schumer. “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.”

“This critical federal funding will open doors to higher education for underrepresented young people and help our New York students reach their full potential,” added Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. “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.”

“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,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney.

“I congratulate St. John’s 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 firstgeneration 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,” added Rep. Gregory Meeks.

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: https://www.hesc.ny.gov/content.nsf/S FC/College_ Access_ Challenge_ Gra nt.

HESC is the state’s student financial aid agency that helps people pay for college and a national leader in providing need-based grant and scholarship award money to collegegoing students. At HESC’s 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 www.hesc.ny.gov/content.nsf.

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