Food vouchers.
Emergency rent aid.
Scholarships for undocumented students.

In the 21st century, CUNY’s historic mission to educate the “whole people”
includes helping our most vulnerable students when hardship strikes. Many
CUNY students are low-income, single parents, recent immigrants, first in their families to attend college. Among society’s most at-risk, they may be one eviction away from homelessness, one job loss from feeding their children, one illness from dropping out of school. More than 68,000 CUNY students and families have received nearly $163 million in benefits and services — from emergency cash assistance and food stamps to free tax preparation and public health insurance — through Single Stop. Single Stop serves students at all seven CUNY community colleges and launches at John Jay College this fall. The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation Emergency Grant Fund has provided more than $9.8 million in emergency funds to over 5,000 CUNY students in need, and at least 2,000 additional students have received MetroCards from the foundation as emergency grants.

For students who choose a CUNY education, the benefits extend far beyond the University’s remarkable academics, affordability and financial aid. CUNY is also a fount of scholarships, thanks to philanthropic, private and public support. Since 2000, the University’s Invest in CUNY campaign has raised $2.93 billion in private donations. Approximately $960 million of that goes to scholarships, grants and other student support offered throughout the University and its 24 colleges and schools – based on merit, need, specialized interests and other factors. The CUNY Merit-Based Scholarship program, recently reinstated by the New York City Council, is expected to provide $16 million in $800 city-funded scholarships this year to some 16,000 CUNY freshmen and sophomores maintaining B or higher averages.



Sent from the Dominican Republic at 14 to live with an aunt in New York, Martinez (Bronx Community College ’15, City College ’19) didn’t see her parents and siblings for 13 years and feared deportation due to her undocumented status. But Martinez graduated from high school, worked to save for college, married and had a child. She entered BCC after President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) permitted her a Social Security number and eligibility for instate tuition. Martinez could afford BCC, from which she graduated as valedictorian, and CCNY, because of a scholarship from TheDream.US, which partners with CUNY to connect undocumented “DREAMers” with a college education.


TheDream.US scholarship, for DREAMers who are high school graduates/first-time college students or community college graduates working toward bachelor’s degrees.


To earn her B.A. In political science, help New York’s “marginalized communities” and start a community center providing youth outreach.