Tuesday, June 27, 2017


36,336 students saved $65 as a result of application fee elimination – a total of more than $2 million across New York City families  

  Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery, and CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken today announced that 36,336 students took advantage of the CUNY fee elimination when applying to college for the 2017-18 school year. In previous years, only 6,500 students received fee waivers annually. The expansion is only possible because of mayoral control of New York City schools, and the total savings for families across New York City amounts to $2,368,470.

The fee elimination was announced in September 2016 as part of Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña’s College Access for All initiative, removing a barrier to college for low-income students. College Access for All is one of the initiatives in the Equity and Excellence for All agenda, which builds on record-high graduation and college enrollment rates as a result of mayoral control of New York City schools, and aims to ensure that by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college-ready.

“We believe nothing should stand in the way of a path to college and a meaningful career. That’s why we eliminated the CUNY application fee for low-income students to help remove a barrier standing in the way for many families,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As we work towards equity and excellence for all students, we’ll continue to remove barriers and add resources to ensure our students have every opportunity afforded to them.”
“As the first person in my family to attend college, I understand how important it is to remove barriers. Eliminating the CUNY fee for low-income students has made the path to college a little smoother for 36,000 more families, and it goes hand-in-hand with our College Access for All work to level the playing field, like taking students on college trips in middle school, providing more support in high school, and offering the SAT for free during the school day,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

“We knew when we announced this policy last fall that it would make a world of difference for the City’s many talented young people who are discouraged from applying to college each year due to the financial burden of application fees. The jump from just over 6,000 students applying to CUNY for free in years past to more than 36,000 in the first year of the expansion alone demonstrates a critical need being met. This is a great example of the impact we can make with smart policies that will help children all across this City reach their full potential in their education and in their lives,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery.

Mayor de Blasio is making the announcement at the graduation ceremony of The Urban Assembly Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice, where he also met with seniors earlier this year and announced a 72.6 percent high school graduation rate – up from about 50 percent in the years before mayoral control of New York City schools. At The Urban Assembly Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice, almost all of the 95 graduating students took advantage of the CUNY fee elimination, up from fewer than 20 students who received a fee waiver last year. The Urban Assembly Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice received new training and support to build a college-going culture this year through the College Access for All initiative, and will be able to take all its 7th-graders to visit college campuses next school year. The school will also add new AP courses through AP for All next school year.

Building on record-high graduation rates, record-high college enrollment rates, record-low dropout rates, and a high-quality pre-K seat for every New York City 4-year-old – all achievements under mayoral control – Equity and Excellence for All is creating a path from pre-K to college and careers for every child in every neighborhood in New York City.

In addition to eliminating the CUNY application fee for tens of thousands of additional students, through College Access for All, by 2018-19, every middle school student will have the opportunity to visit a college campus and every high school student will graduate with an individual college and career plan. The initiative has also made the SAT exam available free of charge during the school day for all high school juniors. College Access for All is also supporting new training and funding for 100 high schools to build a schoolwide college and career culture; funding for 28 additional high schools to hire alumni “bridge coaches” to ensure graduating seniors follow through on their plans to enroll in college in the fall; and funding for new Student Success Centers – college and career planning hubs – serving 15 schools at 4 campuses. 

From Pre-K for All to College Access for All, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms through Diversity in New York City Public Schools, the City’s school diversity plan, are central to this pathway.

While this is an impressive number of applications, we are going to have to wait to see how many students are accepted, finish the first year of college, and then how many are able to graduate in four years. 
This was done many years ago when it was called Open Enrollment where if you were in the top half of your graduating class you were given free college acceptance into a CUNY College.
There is no mention of how many students are to be accepted and it will have to be seen how many do finish college or drop out. 

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