Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn and Queens CUNYs seek to lessen student hardship with single stop

December 5, 2018 By Jonathan Sperling Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn College in Flatbush. Photo courtesy of CUNY.

When you’re a student facing hardship, every bit of help counts.

That’s the message behind the City University of New York’s “Single Stop” initiative, a program providing crucial financial resources at CUNY’s seven community colleges and one four-year college, including three in Brooklyn and Queens.

“The demands of college can overwhelm a student facing hardships outside the classroom,” said CUNY’s Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz. “The campus-based Single Stop makes it easier for students to get a range of non-academic help so they can stay focused on their studies.  This initiative is another way that CUNY works to help students overcome obstacles to academic success and degree completion.”

Through Single Stop, CUNY students can learn how to obtain nutrition benefits, health insurance, legal and financial services and tax preparation assistance — typically overwhelming and tedious processes.

From 2009 through 2017, Single Stop and its partner programs have connected 107,569 families and individuals with $274,113,613 in benefits, tax refunds and supportive services CUNY-wide, according to CUNY, including at Kingsborough Community College in Manhattan Beach, LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City and Queensborough Community College in Bayside.

Single Stop also helps to streamline the benefit eligibility process by way of a short question-and-answer session with on-campus counselors. Students can also find out their eligibility status through an online screener.

The following services are offered through Single Stop, free of charge:

 

  • Benefit screening for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Temporary
  • Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); and Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
  • Available food pantries
  • Financial Counseling
  • Legal Counseling
  • Tax Assistance
  • Health Care Enrollment

 

CUNY’s Brooklyn and Queens colleges have long been a site of vertical economic mobility, thanks in part to the Single Stop program. In October 2018, LaGuardia ranked among the top one percent of colleges out of 604 two-year colleges nationwide “with the greatest success in lifting the poorest students into jobs where they earn good wages and create better lives for themselves and their families,” according to a Stanford University analysis.

Brooklyn’s New York City College of Technology and Brooklyn College also ranked among the top 15 in the list, at No. 5 and No. 7, respectively.