Statement by CUNY Interim Chancellor William P. Kelly on President Obama’s Higher Education Plan

August 22, 2013 | News

We commend President Barack Obama on continuing to make higher education a national priority and for proposing actions that put students first.

We are encouraged by the president’s emphasis on affordability and quality and his reaffirmation of the importance of access to a college education for all students.

This has been the mission of The City University of New York since 1847.  CUNY offers its diverse student body an outstanding value: affordable tuition and a high-quality education focused on outcomes.

In the last academic year (2012-13), nearly 60 percent of matriculated undergraduates at CUNY—133,468 students—received Pell grants totaling more than $483 million.  At the same time, a record number of high academic achievers are choosing to attend the University and are winning more competitive national awards than ever.

Thanks to CUNY’s low tuition, fewer CUNY students take out loans to help pay for their education, compared to students attending other institutions.  Those CUNY students who do borrow owe significantly less on average at graduation than their peers at public and private colleges and universities elsewhere.

All of us at CUNY take great pride in helping record numbers of students realize the many benefits of a college education. We look forward to working with the president and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to continue to assist students in achieving academic proficiency and social, economic, and professional advancement.