Tuition-Free Safety Net

Safety Net

Nearly six out of 10 full-time undergraduates attend tuition-free

Financial need is no bar to an education at CUNY. In fact, nearly six out of 10 full-time undergraduates – 58% – attend tuition free due to federal Pell Grants and state Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) awards that fully cover CUNY’s exceptionally low tuition.

But there’s more to what we call the CUNY Safety Net. Thanks to U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, author of the $2,500 American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), CUNY students who are partially eligible for Pell and TAP aid, and middle-class students, may cover all or part of their already affordable tuition by filing for the credit, which returned an average benefit of $2,100 per New York State family in 2011. Students can be reimbursed for other college expenses through the AOTC as well.

No other higher education institution offers the golden combination of low tuition, financial aid and tax credits that make a CUNY education such an unbeatable value. All told, nearly 218,000 CUNY students will receive $781 million in federal and state education aid in 2013-14. Offering even more value, CUNY is boosting the number of internal student grants that will not have to be repaid.


chart 2013