October 14, 2011 | News from the Chancellor
Dear Members of the CUNY Community:
In recent weeks, there have been a number of public protests in New York City and across the country. The concerns expressed include a range of economic and political issues. In turn, there has been much commentary about the objectives and methodologies of the protests.
Both the American economy and the quality of life in our society are inextricably linked to changing global developments. At the same time, our core democratic values must always be reflected in our responses to dialogue and dissent. At CUNY, we deeply value the exchange of ideas and the participation of the citizenry in the shaping of public policy. We are also mindful of the need to respect the interests of all members of our communities. We must ensure that expressions of protest do not infringe on others’ rights.
These principles will remain steadfast guideposts as we conduct the business of the University during these turbulent times. As always, your support of the University and the work of its faculty and students is appreciated.
Record Financial Aid Keeps CUNY Within Reach
An estimated $770 million in combined need-based federal Pell grants and New York State Tuition Assistance Program awards went to some 170,000 City University of New York undergraduates during the past academic year, keeping a college education within reach for a record number of CUNY’s neediest students, Chancellor Matthew Goldstein announced today.
Need-based financial aid is but one aspect of the support available to undergraduates at CUNY colleges, but an important one, the Chancellor said. He urged eligible students to visit the University’s web based financial aid center for opportunities to pursue an affordable college degree at the University, which is experiencing record high enrollment this year.
“It’s critical that eligible students avail themselves of financial aid,” he said. “TAP and Pell provided need-based funds that covered 100 percent of tuition costs last year for more than 90,000 CUNY students. For many CUNY undergraduates, this opportunity ensures their ability to complete their studies without accumulating debts that may be impossible to pay off.”
As University enrollment continued its ascent to this year’s record levels, CUNY administered about $541 million in Pell grants for 139,609 recipients and $228 million in TAP awards to 100,118 students for the 2010-11 academic year, which encompassed summer and fall of 2010 and spring 2011.
The 2010-11 financial aid enabled nearly 90,000 students to attend CUNY tuition-free. Another 10,000 had at least half their tuition covered by TAP and Pell and were eligible for a federal tax credit covering the balance of their tuition. All told, 50 percent of CUNY undergraduates had their tuition fully covered.
Overall, Pell and TAP aid are holding steady this fall as a record 269,300 students, drawn by the consistent value of a CUNY education, are expected to enroll at the University. They include 8,200 more undergraduates than last fall.
Preliminary figures for the current, 2011-12 year indicate at least $763 million in Pell and TAP aid will go to CUNY undergraduates, with some 140,000 students projected to receive at least $509 million in Pell grants and 100,450 to receive $253.6 million in TAP.
Pell and TAP will enable some 89,000 students, or 40 percent of all 221,000 CUNY undergraduates, to attend college tuition-free this academic year. These students include more than 51,000 at the senior colleges and more than 37,000 at the community colleges, according to the latest University figures.
An additional 9,700 students — 7,230 in CUNY’s senior colleges and 2,427 in the community colleges — are expected to have at least half of their tuition and fees covered by the need-based financial aid, and be eligible for full coverage of their tuition with the federal tax credits, worth up to $2,500.
Tuition this year is $5130 at CUNY’s senior colleges and $3,600 at the community colleges.
Additional sources of support and funding for CUNY students result from the efforts by the various colleges to raise private and philanthropic dollars from generous alumni, foundations, friends and other supporters of public higher education in New York City. Find out more about these opportunities on your campus.
The University’s figures for 2011-12 are preliminary and expected to change during the year. They reflect this year’s surge in the number of full-time and undergraduate students at CUNY, as well as Pell program reductions due to federal elimination of full-year Pell payments.
With further storm clouds ahead regarding federal financial aid for the nation’s neediest college students, CUNY remains in the forefront of efforts to urge federal officials to ensure continued Pell eligibility for students. Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent budget legislation, CUNY’s current funding level will be maintained for five years, supported by predictable tuition increases of up to $300 a year. The state’s TAP program also was enhanced, with a portion of the additional tuition revenue providing full tuition for needy students eligible for the full TAP grant.
The new state legislation also includes a provision for CUNY and SUNY to conduct studies on the TAP program, which will provide the opportunity for recommendations to further improve student financial aid in New York State.
This is the University’s 11th straight year of enrollment growth, with more high-achieving students than ever in the mix. This fall CUNY accepted 20,202 applicants with a high-school GPA of 85 or more — 7.8 percent more top applicants than in fall 2010 and 104.5 percent more than in fall 2002, illustrating CUNY’s steadily rising reputation for high-quality academics.