New York, NY – Countless New York City students and their families pay hundreds of dollars in college application fees to CUNY institutions each year, disincentivizing chances for higher education opportunities for aspiring college students. A bill introduced today by New York City Council Member Ben Kallos will expand access to City University of New York colleges by getting rid of the applications fees for all city public school graduates
“I’m fighting to equalize access here in public higher education for the same reason I fought for school lunch for all city kids” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Kids can’t learn if their family’s current economic realities are impacting their ability to go to class with peers learning together, competing together, and applying together for higher educational opportunities. This is a concrete way to alleviate some of this burden on our city families next year.”
"I'm glad to co-sponsor Council Member Kallos' bill providing assistance for application fees for public school students applying to CUNY," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "College application fees can be a financial burden for our public school students. This legislation will make applying to CUNY more accessible for high schoolers and will help make their dreams of a college education possible.”
The eligibility would include any student of a high school in the city school district of the city of New York, including a charter school, projected to graduate in the current school year or any student who has received a high school diploma from such school. If the legislation is passed by the end of the year, the program could begin next year.
The proposed legislation Int 2308-2021 requires the city’s Department of Youth and Community Development, in consultation with the Department of Education, to establish a program to provide financial grants to cover the application fee for New York public school graduates applying to any two or four-year degree program at the City University of New York.
The current CUNY freshman application fee is $65; fees are as high as $78 at some private universities. Students are required to submit payment using MasterCard, Visa, American Express, eCheck or CUNY fee waiver, with limited current eligibility of veterans, certain low-income students and other groups. It does not accept waivers distributed by the College Board, NACAC or any other organization. Assuming an average cost of $55 per application, a student applying to ten colleges will have $550 in costs for fees alone.
By Council Member Kallos
A LOCAL LAW
To amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the provision of financial grants to public school applicants to be used for city university of New York application fees
Be it enacted by the Council as follows:
1 Section 1. Chapter 4 of title 21 of the administrative code of the city of New York is 2 amended by adding a new section 21-414 to read as follows:
3 § 21-414 Application grants for city university of New York. a. Definitions. For the 4 purpose of this section, the following terms have the following meanings: 5 Financial grant. The term “financial grant” means the provision of money to an individual 6 or entity without an obligation of repayment.
7 Public school applicant. The term “public school applicant” means any student of a high 8 school in the city school district of the city of New York, including a charter school, projected to 9 graduate in the current school year or any student who has received a high school diploma from 10 such school.
11 b. In consultation with the department of education, and any other agency the commissioner 12 deems necessary, the department shall establish and operate a program, subject to appropriation, 13 to annually provide financial grants for the purpose of paying the application fee of all public 14 school applicants applying for admission to any two or four-year degree program at the city 15 university of New York.
16 c. The commissioner shall establish criteria and procedures for the disbursement of grants 17 pursuant to this section. Such criteria and procedures shall be made publicly available on the 18 department’s website.
1 § 2. This local law takes effect 90 days after it becomes law, provided that the 2 commissioner of youth services may take all actions necessary for its implementation, including 3 the promulgation of rules, before such effective date.