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Tuition assistance for part-time CUNY students would help thousands in Brooklyn, report says

January 24, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Thousands of Brooklyn students attending CUNY colleges and community colleges stand to benefit if New York State moves forward with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposal to extend the Tuition Assistance Program to part-time students, according to a study released on Monday by the Center for an Urban Future. 

The study shows that nearly 20,000 undergraduate students at four CUNY campuses in Brooklyn—Kingsborough Community College, NYC College of Technology (City Tech), Brooklyn College and Medgar Evers College—attend on a part-time basis. 

Currently, most part-time students are shut out of the state’s main financial aid program, according to the think tank, which focuses on economic mobility, growing the economy and decreasing inequality.

According to the report, more than half of all students at Kingsborough Community College (50.3 percent) attend part-time — a higher share of students than at any other CUNY campus. 

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Meanwhile, 37.9 percent of undergrads at City Tech attend part-time, the second highest share of any CUNY senior college. Part-time students account for 29.0 percent of all undergrads at Medgar Evers and 25.3 percent at Brooklyn College.

Overall, 7,771 out of Kingsborough’s 15,443 undergraduate students attended on a part-time basis in the fall semester of 2019, the most recent period for which data is available. 

Part-timers also accounted for 6,464 out of 17,036 students at City Tech, 1,680 out of 5,798 students at Medgar Evers, and 3,781 out of 14,970 at Brooklyn College.

Citywide, nearly 79,000 undergraduate students at CUNY attend school on a part-time basis — amounting to more than 40 percent of the CUNY’s community college students and nearly one-third of all CUNY students.

The report shows that part-time students receive little to no state financial aid. The Center for an Urban Future’s prior research has shown that fewer than 1 percent of CUNY’s part-time community college students have received TAP awards. And only 1,738 CUNY community college students received funding through the state’s separate Aid for Part-Time Study program in 2019 — 4.7 percent of part-time students — and awards averaged just $743, according to the report.

“It’s time to make TAP available to part-time CUNY and SUNY students,” said Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the Center for an Urban Future. “Doing so will help thousands of low-income New Yorkers stay on the path to a college credential.”

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