NY Gets $3.2M In College Grant; Yeshivos Eligible

ALBANY -

Qualified yeshivos are eligible to apply for a $3.2 million federal grant to help low income New York students attend college, an official in the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed on Tuesday.

Kathy Crowder, a spokeswoman for pre-college services at the state’s Higher Education Service Corporation, told Hamodia that the program, announced Tuesday, is open to any not-for-profit school of higher education or other organization that meets the federal standards for funding eligibility.

“To be eligible to receive a College Access Grant,” Crowder said, “an applicant must be a qualified not-for-profit, in existence prior to September 2007 and have been providing or participating in services and activities that benefit the target population.”

The state has applied for and received these federal funds, which are administered by the state, since they started allocating them in 2008. They are geared at increasing the number of low-income students in postsecondary education.

Advocacy groups for yeshivos applauded the decision to include them in the grant.

“Through this action,” said Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America, “Gov. Cuomo has once again reaffirmed that our yeshivos gedolos deserve to be recognized as legitimate post secondary institutions due to the rigorous academic programs that they offer.”

Jeff Leb, the New York director of political affairs for the Orthodox Union, said Cuomo “has continuously been a champion of private school education.”

The state uses the funds to arrange workshops to help poor students apply for colleges, help them apply for federal tuition aid programs, and help in the initial transition period to college.

The College Access Innovation Grant has so far received a total of $29 million from the federal government since 2008. In the last two academic years, the funds have provided services to more than 124,000 New Yorkers.

Low-income high school graduates are 30 percent less likely to attend college.

Grants of up to $500,000 may be requested through a Request for Proposals process. Applications are due Aug. 13 and interested organizations can apply at the HESC website.