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Governor Cuomo Announces $500,000 Available to Increase College Enrollment among Low-income Students

September 08, 2015 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced up to $500,000 in state grants to increase college access for 2016 high school graduates. New York State’s College Action Grants will award up to $5,000 to eligible high schools and community organizations that promote activities aimed at increasing the rate of low-income New York State high school seniors who apply to college, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and ultimately enroll in a college.

“Increasing access to higher education is essential to strengthening this state's economy," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will help more low income and at risk students get access to a college education and unlock the potential that comes with it."

Eligible high schools are those in which 50 percent or more of the students are eligible to participate in the federal free and reduced-price lunch program. Qualified not-for-profit organizations serving low-income students from such high schools are also eligible to apply for this grant opportunity.

The College Action Grants are administered by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation and financed through a $6.5 million College Access Challenge Grant awarded to the State in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education to support college access services and activities.

Acting President of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation Elsa Magee said, “The federal College Access Challenge Grant funds awarded to New York State have allowed us to inspire and assist thousands of students who would have otherwise struggled in their pursuit of a postsecondary education. In this, CACG’s final year, we are pleased to offer these grants to help students navigate the three critical components required to make their college dreams a reality.”

College Action Grant applicants must agree to participate in three statewide college access initiatives:

  • College Application Week, October 26-30, 2015
  • New York State’s Student Financial Aid Awareness Campaign’s FAFSA Completion Hands-on Workshop, January – March, 2016
  • College Signing Day, May 2016

For more information, visit

About New York State Higher Education Services Corporation

The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation is the State’s student financial aid agency that helps people pay for college and a national leader in providing need based grant and scholarship award money to college-going students. At the Corporation's core are programs like the Tuition Assistance Program, numerous state scholarships, federal college access grants and a highly successful College Savings program. The Corporation puts college within the reach of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers each year through programs like these and through the guidance it provides to students, families and counselors. In 2013-14, the Corporation helped more than 388,000 students achieve their college dreams by providing more than $984 million in grants, scholarships and loan forgiveness benefits, including $935.5 million awarded through the Tuition Assistance Program.

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