Closing the Gap on Financial Aid

Vince Boudreau, Dean

by Vince Boudreau, Dean, Colin Powell School

Over the past week, we received news that in 2016-17, the state of New York will fund CUNY to the tune of $1.6 billion dollars.  On the surface, that seemed like very good news, particularly given the threat of a $485 million dollar cut to the system that loomed over the annual budget talks. Nevertheless, the news is not all good.  We’re currently preparing for a budget cut next year that may reach as high as 2%, once one factors inflation into the equation, meaning that even when we’re supposed to be holding steady, we’re losing ground.

As CCNY becomes an increasingly tuition driven institution—with student payments approaching 70% of our operating budget this year—any plan to fix things needs to begin  by eradicating barriers that continue to lie between students and their financial aid. As I’ve written in the past, diminutions in state support to places like CCNY are matched, virtually dollar for dollar, by increases in financial aid that go directly to students.  Helping students access that money is now essential both to their prospects of finishing school, and our own business model.

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Meet Associate Director, Michael Busch

Meet Michael Busch, Associate Director in the Office of Student Success at the Colin Powell School.

At the heart of our vision for the office of student success lies a vast expansion in the idea of what advisement should be. Narrowly conceived, advisors guide students through the classes they need to graduate. Properly expanded, student success connects young people to the requirements, opportunities and capacities they need to succeed on campus, and after they leave.

Michael Bush, Associate Director of the Office of Student Success, immediately grasped the possibilities inherent in this expanded definition of student success. As a teacher on this campus he’d spent years working with students on research papers, nurtured countless rough ideas into fully formed research papers. But in the world outside the classroom, student papers needed to speak to a broader audience.They needed to refine and struggle with first and second drafts, and to determine more precisely the need to which their work spoke. To prepare students to better shepherd their ideas, Michael devised the concept of the Annual Colin Powell School Undergraduate Student Research Symposium.

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Five Minutes With: Sara Arcia, Graduating Class of 2016 and president of the SocioLights, the Sociology Department’s Student Club

Each issue of our newsletter includes an interview with a current student or member of our alumni network (which spans the globe). This issue features Sara Arcia, class of 2016 and president of the Sociology Department’s Student Club, the SocioLights.

Sara, tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to the Colin Powell School:

Sara: I am the youngest of three children and the first to go to college immediately after high. I was raised by a single mother and have an older brother and sister, who are all super supportive of me. I come from a working class family and was raised in the Bronx. College was really tough for me at first because I didn’t have anyone around who I could get advice from on what college would be like or how to navigate the application process. I wasn’t extremely confident when I sent my college applications because I didn’t have anyone to give me pointers on what was most important. When I came to City College for my campus visit, I really enjoyed the campus feeling and immediately felt a connection and started to imagine myself attending classes here.

Continue reading “Five Minutes With: Sara Arcia, Graduating Class of 2016 and president of the SocioLights, the Sociology Department’s Student Club”