White House Urged to Support Pell Grant Increase

March 1, 2002 | CUNY Matters Columns

On January 10, Chancellor Matthew Goldstein wrote President George W. Bush to express his enthusiastic support for increased Pell Grant funding that was part of the education bill recently approved by Congress. The bill raises the maximum Pell Grant by $250 to $4,000, which would result in an increase of $14 million in tuition assistance for the 83,000 CUNY students projected to receive Pell Grants next year.

The Chancellor also applauded the education bill’s $34 million increase in funds for the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program. “This legislation,” Goldstein wrote, will have “a beneficial impact on the more than 400,000 students who attend the twenty campuses of The City University.” Recalling Benjamin Franklin’s observation, “an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest,” the Chancellor noted in his letter, “With a total impact on local economies estimated at nearly $13 billion, CUNY and its graduates will help leverage the funding provided in this bill into a robust and thriving economy throughout the country.”

Law to Aid Undocumented

Students On January 14, the Chancellor wrote to Bronx State Assemblyman Peter M. Rivera to express support for his bill (A9556) designed to allow undocumented and out-of-status immigrants to attend CUNY at the resident tuition rate. Approving of this legislation, the Chancellor emphasized his “great pride in CUNY’s historic role as a ladder of upward mobility for many generations of immigrants and migrants.” He also added, “I support the principles and remedy inherent in your legislation, consistent with CUNY’s historic commitment to access.”

Goldstein also informed Assemblyman Rivera that he has asked the colleges to make students affected by the 1998 law eligible for the University’s Hardship Deferral Program. The University ceased allowing students this benefit in order to conform with federal law. Free legal assistance for students is available from the CUNY Citizenship Project.

$1.5M Grant for Honors

College at CCNY Early in February, the Chancellor announced a $1.5 million grant from the Herman Muehlstein Foundation to support the Herman Muehlstein Honors College at City College. The Foundation, founded over 50 years ago and dedicated to education, will be funding enhanced math and science outreach, pre-freshman summer math and science programs, and increased faculty supervision.

The University’s Honors College, said Goldstein, “helps our City and State attract and retain the best and the brightest.” Next fall, two new Honors Colleges (on the Lehman and Staten Island campuses) will join the existing five.