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NY Gov. Announces $3.2M in Grants to Expand College Access for Low-Income Students

  • Published: 2014-07-15 : New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (
  • Synopsis: Governor Cuomo announces release of $3.2M College Access Innovation Grant application to be used to increase college enrollment and completion among low-income students.

Main Document

Quote: "In New York State, fewer low-income high school students attend college, and successfully complete a degree, than their higher-income peers."

"New York's legacy is built on providing opportunities for all, and through this competitive grant we are continuing that reputation and investing in programs that work for the people," Governor Cuomo said. "This grant allows us to implement successful strategies that help low-income students entering college achieve greater educational and economic opportunities for their future."

The College Access Innovation Grant will support strategies for student success by:

The average college-educated worker in New York State earns an estimated $25,000 more each year than somebody with only a high school diploma, and an estimated 53 percent of new jobs are projected to require at least some college education. Low-income students are 30 percent less likely to attend college after graduating from high school.

The College Access Innovation Grant is New York's fifth federal College Access Challenge Grant award, which is awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. The Grant is administered by the New York State Higher Education Service Corporation (HESC), which has successfully applied for the State's four previous awards that total $29 million. In the last two academic years, the funds have provided services to more than 124,000 New Yorkers.

Elsa Magee, Acting President of HESC, said, "In New York State, fewer low-income high school students attend college, and successfully complete a degree, than their higher-income peers. To reverse these trends and create a system of opportunity and performance, the State is supporting high-quality, research-backed college access and success programs targeted to these students."

Congresswoman Nita Lowey said, "Access to higher education is essential to economic mobility and a stronger middle class. We need to do all we can to ensure each and every person has the opportunity to access a quality education, and this federal investment will help hard-working New Yorkers looking for a brighter future. As the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fight for funding that helps higher education dreams become reality."

Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy said, "Every student who can get into a college, university, or trade school should be given the opportunity to earn a degree, regardless of their financial situation. This grant will help students and their families make higher education a reality."

As a national leader for higher education, New York is the top destination for first-time freshmen nationwide and provides $1 billion annually in need-based grants through the State's Tuition Assistance Program.

HESC is New York State's student financial aid agency that helps people pay for college and a national leader in providing need based grant and scholarship award money to college-going students. At HESC's core are programs like the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), numerous state scholarships, federal college access grants and a highly successful College Savings program. Through programs like these and through the guidance it provides to students, families and counselors, HESC puts college within the reach for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers each year.

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