CUNY to Distribute Over $3 Million to Cover Summer Tuition and Fees for Student-Parents

A CUNY student holding their child's hand outside of a playground.

Dear Commons Community,

The City University of New York is distributing $3.1 million to pay the summer session tuition and fees of about 3,700 student-parents, underscoring the University’s commitment to supporting the needs of thousands of its students who are raising children.

“We recognize the extraordinary effort that it takes for student-parents to balance coursework with the responsibilities of raising their children, particularly during the summer months,” said Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “We always support our students who are most in need, and this is just one way we ensure that as many New Yorkers as possible are able to pursue a college education.”  As announced by CUNY.

The funds are the latest disbursement from the Chancellor’s Emergency Relief Fund, established in the spring of 2020, before federal stimulus funds were available to college students, to address the extraordinary hardships that CUNY students and their families were facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Since its launch, the fund has disbursed almost $10 million to support more than 17,500 students in need, including single parents, undocumented students, international students, students with disabilities and students from foster care.

For student-parent Penelope Rodriguez, the latest funds covered the cost of a summer course she’s taking at the New York City College of Technology in pursuit of a degree in marketing. “I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honor, and I am deeply appreciative of your support, as I am a struggling unemployed mother,” Rodriguez wrote to the Chancellor. “The financial assistance you provided will be of great help to me in paying my educational expenses, and it will allow me to concentrate more of my time on studying.”

Rodriguez, the mother of a 4-year-old boy, hopes to open a nonprofit organization for children with autism since she struggled for months to access resources for her son’s special needs.

More than 10% of CUNY’s undergraduate students are parents. The $3.1 million in funds are just the latest efforts to help those students.

Good move by the Chancellor!


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