CUNY to use COVID funds to wipe out student debt

The Metropolis College of New York will use $125 million in federal coronavirus stimulus funds to wipe out debt for 50,000 college students who suffered hardships throughout the pandemic, it was introduced Wednesday.

The CUNY Comeback Program will cowl the prices of unpaid tuition and payment balances in addition to present emergency grants to college students who skilled different monetary woes Gov. Andrew Cuomo and CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez introduced.

The federal stimulus funds had been allotted to CUNY.

The monetary help will assist CUNY retain college students after enrollment plummeted amid the extreme COVID-19 outbreak final 12 months, after in-person courses had been cancelled and as a substitute had been supplied solely on-line. Many college students work and attend part-time.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted hardships within the lives of so many New Yorkers, and our college students had been amongst these most impacted,” Cuomo mentioned.

“This landmark new program eliminates tens of millions of {dollars} in unpaid debt, offering much-needed reduction to tens of hundreds of CUNY college students as they work to get again on their ft after the pandemic and plan for his or her futures.”

Chancellor Matos Rodriguez mentioned the transfer would assist the scholars get better for a troublesome 12 months.

“CUNY college students confirmed their nice resilience within the face of the immeasurable hardships they confronted over the previous 16 months, from employment and earnings loss to meals and housing insecurity, amid an unprecedented well being disaster that introduced illness and tragedy to hundreds of New York households,” he mentioned.

“This compassionate motion will enable CUNY college students and up to date graduates to maneuver forward in pursuit of their academic and profession targets with out the specter of unpaid tuition and charges. This landmark measure may also improve CUNY’s essential contributions to New York’s financial restoration.”

CUNY Graduate Center at 365 Fifth Avenue. New York, New York March 15, 2020
CUNY will use $125 million to cowl debt for 50,000 college students.
Kevin C Downs for New York Publish

CUNY scholar debt almost doubled throughout the pandemic.

The CUNY Board of Trustees permitted the usage of $125 million in federal stimulus funds for scholar reduction and retention at a July 6 assembly.

Whereas numbers should not but finalized, CUNY estimates that at the very least 50,000 college students will obtain a pandemic debt-relief profit.

The typical debt steadiness is about $2,000.

A spokesman for US Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer applauded CUNY’s use of stimulus funds to wipe out scholar debt, a pet challenge of the senator.

“Senator Schumer fought exhausting and can proceed to struggle exhausting for New York’s collegiate establishments — CUNY, SUNY and others,” mentioned his rep, Angelo Roefaro.

There are about 500,000 college students who take programs at CUNY’s 11 senior schools and 7 neighborhood schools.

Greater than two-thirds of undergraduate college students, or 69 %, attend tuition-free because of state and federal support. Three in 4 undergraduate college students have graduated debt-free.

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