Two City University of New York (CUNY) colleges in Queens have received emergency funding under the American Rescue Plan, the most recent COVID-19 relief package that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden in March.
Congresswoman Grace Meng, who helped to pass the package, announced more than $93.6 million in emergency funding for colleges, universities and students in her congressional district. The funding includes $51,931,565 for Queens College in Flushing and $41,670,718 for Queensborough Community College in Bayside.
The funds will help the local institutions cope with the severe financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and continue safely serving their students. At least half of the funding each institution receives will be distributed in the form of emergency cash assistance grants to students who are facing hunger, homelessness and other hardship.
“These critical funds will be a huge boost to these two exceptional institutions in Queens and will provide needed relief to struggling students,” Meng said. “Our students are our future. We must make needed investments to ensure that COVID-19 is not a barrier to them finishing their studies. I am glad to see that funding from the American Rescue Plan continues to make its way to my district.”
The American Rescue Plan provides $36 billion for nearly 3,500 public and private, nonprofit colleges and universities nationwide.
Queens College President Frank Wu said the funds will benefit students eligible for federal financial aid with emergency grants to help cover expenses associated with any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to COVID-19, such as tuition, food, housing, healthcare (including mental health care) or childcare. It will also assist the college in offsetting any detrimental effects caused by the pandemic including revenue loss and extraordinary pandemic- related expenses.
“We are deeply appreciative to New York’s federal and local legislators, especially Congresswoman Grace Meng — a devoted friend of the college — for their continued support of our mission to educate a talented, diverse and hardworking student population,” Wu said.
Queensborough Community College President Dr. Christine Mangino shared Wu’s sentiments, saying they are “deeply grateful” to Meng for her tireless support of QCC and public higher education.
“The American Rescue Plan will help to ensure that our students can continue to achieve their dreams of earning a college degree and successfully enter the workforce, or continue their studies at some of the best colleges and universities across the country,” Mangino said.