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College application fee waived for seniors

Shayad Gurung (talk | contribs)

Starting on October 16 till the end of October, college application fees for all New York State high school seniors will be waived.

This decision comes from Governor Kathy Hochul’s plan to make college education more accessible for everyone, aligning with New York State College Application Month. NYSCAM has been happening for the last ten years, and its main effort is to have seniors apply to college early, with a larger emphasis being put on low-income, first-generation seniors this year.

When discussing her plan, Governor Hochul stated, “Education is the backbone of our society, and I am committed to providing opportunities that support every student’s journey to a higher education.” Gov. Hochul will team up with SUNY, CUNY and 40 other private colleges and universities throughout New York State.

SUNY will waive the application fees for seniors from October 16 to October 29, whereas CUNY will waive the fee from October 16 to October 31. For private colleges and universities, these dates vary according to the institution.

Although participating in Gov. Hochul’s plan, CUNY is not new to waiving fees for seniors. For years, CUNY has been waiving application fees for students who are homeless, in foster care, receive government assistance and from low-income families.

This emphasis on low-income students is especially important as most of these students are hesitant during the college application process due to the high expenses of college. Gov. Hochul spoke to these students, saying that, “Removing financial barriers enables students who may not have considered completing an application due to financial constraints to take the first steps of their educational journey. I urge all seniors in the state to apply to at least one college this month and make the most of this unprecedented initiative.”

Alongside these efforts by the Governor’s office, CUNY had efforts of their own with the release of their new “A Degree For Ever Dream ad campaign. This large-scale campaign was made to “address Gen Z students’ hope and fears about attending college in a post-pandemic world”. In these ads, CUNY shows the variety of programs it offers for everyone from all backgrounds and for all degrees, at a more affordable price.

These ads can be found in public transportation all around the tri-state area, including the LIRR, PATH Trains, MTA subways and buses and even at LaGuardia Airport.

What’s distinctive about this ad campaign is that it targets everyone of all backgrounds to continue their higher education. Aside from targeting seniors, “A Degree For Every Dream” also targets anyone who might not be ready to commit to a four-year degree. CUNY stated that there will be guaranteed admission to all seven of its community colleges for anyone who has received a high school diploma.

Although waiving college application fees is a step towards making higher education more accessible for everyone, tuition still serves as an obstacle for many people who wish to go to college. College tuition ranges anywhere between $20,000 to $60,000 for students who are dorming, and $6,000 to $50,000 for students who continue to live at home. Even with financial aid, many students are placed in a situation where they have to take out loans to pay for their education.

With the New York State College Application Month being something that has started to get more attention from the state, there is hope for new future tuition assistance that will be provided to students, making the college route a possibility for everyone.

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