CUNY Application Fee Waived For More Low-Income Students

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A college counseling office at the High School of Fashion Industries.

Starting this October, more low-income students can apply free of charge to the City University of New York.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, joined by Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and CUNY Chancellor James Milliken, said on Monday that eligible students would be allowed to list up to six CUNY schools without having to pay the $65 application fee.

The effort will cost $2.4 million annually, with the city paying $2 million and CUNY contributing around $400,000. The mayor said eliminating the fee would make a big difference to many New Yorkers.

“Are they putting money into rent, are they putting it into food, are they putting it into medicine, are they putting it into clothing? In a lot of tough choices people make all the time, $65 matters,” he said.

The mayor made the announcement at Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Brooklyn. Brandon Razilov is a senior there. He said the fee waiver will help, a bit.

“It is allowing you to apply to more schools this way. It is easier and cheaper. But it doesn't really affect what kind of college I'm planning to go to," he said.

Currently, CUNY issues 6,500 waivers to students in need. The expansion would cover 37,500 high school seniors.  

Eligible students include those who are eligible for free or reduced price lunch or whose family receives public assistance. The waiver also applies to students living in federally subsidized public housing, a foster home or who are homeless. Undocumented students who are eligible also may receive the waiver. 

Over half of college-bound graduates of New York City public high schools enroll in CUNY colleges.