Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 29, 2021 announced a plan to eliminate up to $ 125 million in unpaid debt for at least 50,000 students who attended CUNY students who suffered financial hardship during the COVID pandemic -19.

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The City University of New York is the largest urban public university system in the country with nearly six times as many low-income students in the middle class and beyond than all Ivy League schools combined. Since many CUNY students come from families hardest hit by the pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, on July 29 announced the CUNY Return Program, a sweeping plan to wipe out up to $ 125 million in unpaid debt for at least 50,000 students who attended CUNY and suffered financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor, announcing the new plan, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused hardship in the lives of so many New Yorkers, and our students have been among the hardest hit. This historic new program clears millions of dollars in unpaid debt, providing much-needed relief to tens of thousands of CUNY students as they work to recover from the pandemic and plan for their future. “

In addition, the program will be funded by federal stimulus aid allocated to CUNY through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund of the Supplementary Appropriations for Coronavirus Response and Relief Act in December 2020. .

“The goal of the CUNY Comeback program is to remove financial barriers to access the education New Yorkers with limited means need to move up the economic ladder.” The new program will focus on CUNY students and recent graduates to move forward in the pursuit of their educational and professional goals without the specter of tuition fees and unpaid fees. », Declared the chancellor of CUNY, Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.

The eligibility criteria for eligible students can be adjusted, and the tens of thousands of students who meet the criteria below will automatically have their tuition fees waived in August 2021. According to CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.

Here are the criteria to apply:

  1. The students determined they were having difficulty, using criteria similar to those used by CUNY to allocate emergency federal scholarships to students in spring 2020 and spring 2021.
  2. This may also include students who are eligible for the state tuition assistance program, but do not qualify for the maximum award.
  3. Students who have graduated from CUNY since the national emergency was declared on March 13, 2020 and owe any outstanding balance from spring 2020 to spring 2021.
  4. Students who have an outstanding balance of $ 100 or less per semester, for one of the Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters.


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