CUNY Starts Emergency Fund for Coronavirus Relief

April 8, 2020

The City University of New York has launched an emergency relief fund for students who need financial help due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Chancellor's Emergency Relief Fund will distribute grants of $500 each to thousands of CUNY students. The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation and the James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation have provided initial gifts of $1 million each for the fund, which is the first of its kind at CUNY. Several other corporate sponsors have given an additional $1.25 million.

CUNY hopes to raise $10 million over the next few months for the fund.

About 275,000 CUNY students come from households with median annual incomes of about $40,000, and 38 percent come from families earning less than $20,000. Nearly half of CUNY students work while attending college.

Students will begin receiving the grants the week of April 20. They will be chosen by lottery from a group of about 14,000 students who met financial need and academic criteria. CUNY hopes to provide more grants in the coming months as it raises funds.

“The coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating economic impact on many of our students, and this unprecedented emergency fund will provide rapid-response financial support to those who need it most,” Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, CUNY's chancellor, said in a statement.

CUNY has also bought 30,000 computers and tablets for students who need them to participate in distance learning. About 1,600 CUNY community college students received $400 for food, and 117 foster-care students in a CUNY initiative will receive $425 emergency grants.



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