Increase Funding for CUNY and College Now

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Nasim Almuntaser
Nasim Almuntaser signed this petition

For nearly 40 years, CUNY College Now (CN) has helped NYC youth successfully transition from high school to college through college courses, research internships, scholarships and other opportunities. The largest CUNY-NYC DOE collaboration, CN serves a representative population of New York City's students--a majority young people of color from economically disadvantaged, working-class and/or immigrant backgrounds. Over thirty percent of DOE graduates who attend CUNY have CN experience. At 18 campuses, CN enrolls students from over 420 high schools and serves over 22,000 students annually, with enrollment of around 500,000 since the program expanded CUNY-wide in 2000. Participation is correlated with improved college grade average, credit accumulation, graduation rates, and other key attainments. College Now provides the youth of New York's less advantaged families critically important supports and opportunities they could not otherwise access.

CUNY is a powerful engine of socioeconomic mobility in New York City. Given College Now's scope and impact on students who enter CUNY (as well as SUNY and other colleges) it is an understatement that CUNY College Now propels New York's underserved youth to great heights by increasing their college-readiness and awareness to the possibilities of post-secondary education. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and an economic downturn CUNY and College Now are threatened with unprecedented budget cuts. We, College Now students and alumni, ask that New York's community, City and State legislators ensure that CUNY College Now receives the support it needs to continue its essential mission in this critical moment. College Now should be preserved and expanded, supporting a pipeline to college that is inclusive and impactful for students, regardless of their backgrounds. CUNY’s motto: “The education of free people is the hope of humanity.” could not be more poignant than it is at this moment. Now is the time to invest in public education, in institutions like CUNY and in programs like College Now. In times of social and economic crisis, visionary leaders understand that public higher education plays a crucial role in recovery. We need such leaders now more than ever. We need investment in CUNY and protection--or expansion--of College Now.