(Albany, NY: Jan. 16, 2012) The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) today announced a $7 million College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) to improve college awareness, readiness, and attendance among low-income students in New York. HESC will make grant funds available to community groups and other institutions working directly with at-risk populations that are traditionally underserved.
HESC will administer the grant, which was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. HESC has administered New York’s CACG award for the past three years. Like previous federal grants, funds will be distributed through a competitive process to schools, agencies, and community-based organizations across New York. Requests for proposals for new funds will be announced on HESC's website throughout the year as part of the competitive grant process.
Acting President of HESC Elsa Magee said, "With this funding, HESC will take a comprehensive approach to improve college enrollment and completion among disadvantaged students through intervention strategies and activities."
Currently, regional services and activities provided through CACG sub-grantees include:
• College readiness, academic skill building, and tutoring programs
• Stay-in-school support programs for college students at risk for dropping out
• College admission application and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion assistance
• Training for college advisors and counselors serving high need, low-income, and educationally at-risk students in the state
• Family workshops on college financing, completing FAFSA, and applications
• Debt management and financial literacy workshops
• Extracurricular and summer residence opportunities
In the 2010-2011 academic year, CACG-funded programs served more than 47,000 New York State resident students and families. Previous recipients of CACG sub-grant awards and their projects are described on the HESC website.
About HESC: HESC is New York State’s student financial aid agency and is a national leader in providing need-based grant and scholarship award money to students attending college. At HESC’s core are programs like the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), numerous state scholarships, the New York Higher Education Loan Program (NYHELPs), federal college access grants, and a highly successful College Savings program. HESC 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 2009-10, HESC helped more than 605,000 students achieve their college dreams by providing $4.4 billion in grants, scholarships, and loan guarantees, including $901 million awarded through the Tuition Assistance Program.