PSC to City Council: Fund Need-Based Financial Aid along with Merit-Aid

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PSC President Barbara Bowen and Secretary Arthurine DeSola testified on June 12 at a City Council hearing to examine proposals for need- and merit-based scholarships currently before the Council. The hearing, chaired by Inez Barron of the Higher Education Committee, featured testimony about the Academic Achievement Award (AAA), a proposed $400 per semester merit-based scholarship for students from NYC high schools and about a $5 million need-based aid initiative proposed by the PSC.

In their testimony, Bowen and DeSola said the PSC supports establishing the merit-based AAA scholarship, if it is created together with a need-based financial aid initiative. They argued both types of financial aid are needed because “the AAA scholarship will not help part-time CUNY students, nor will it provide enough aid to undocumented students or working poor independent students so that they can study full-time and progress to graduation. And the large number of students who enter CUNY with remedial needs won’t [qualify for a merit-based scholarship.] Read the testimony. Watch a video of the hearing.