College applications just got cheaper for some New Yorkers; CUNY application fee waived for low-income families

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College money

The City will be waiving application fees to CUNY for low-income New Yorkers, officials announced Monday.

NEW YORK — College can be expensive even before tuition bills are due, but the city is making it just a little bit cheaper for some.

The City University of New York eliminated its $65 application fee for low-income students, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday. College application fees have long been considered a barrier to college application and enrollment.

“We need to give all our children – no matter the neighborhood they live in, or background they come from – the opportunity to succeed in the 21st century, and that means removing barriers to applying, enrolling and succeeding in college,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Eliminating the application fee for low-income seniors will have a profound impact for thousands of students and their families.”

An estimated 37,500 high school seniors at city public schools will be helped by the change. Nearly 60 percent of all college-bound graduates of city public schools apply to at least one CUNY college.

“For many students the costs associated with preparing for and applying to college can be very discouraging and burdensome,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said. “By eliminating application fees for CUNY schools for our most vulnerable youth, we can assure that every student has the opportunity to obtain higher education and secure a brighter future.”

The fee waivers will cost the $2.4 million a year – CUNY will fund about 20 percent of the waivers and the city will provide funding for the rest of the application fee waivers.

School administrators and counselors will be responsible for providing waiver codes to students.

“This dramatic increase in fee waivers eliminates a hurdle for thousands of low-income students seeking higher education and is consistent with CUNY’s historic mission to increase access to quality higher education,” said CUNY Chancellor James Milliken.

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