Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the CUNY Comeback Program, a sweeping plan to eliminate up to $125 million in unpaid debt for at least 50,000 students who attended CUNY and suffered financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused hardships in the lives of so many New Yorkers, and our students were among those most impacted,” Governor Cuomo said. “This landmark new program eliminates millions of dollars in unpaid debt, providing much-needed relief to tens of thousands of CUNY students as they work to get back on their feet after the pandemic and plan for their futures.”
The initiative is one of the nation’s largest student debt forgiveness plans of its kind. Additionally, students who did not accrue unpaid tuition and fee balances during the period but experienced financial hardship stemming from the pandemic will receive relief in the form of enhanced Student Emergency Grants. The CUNY Comeback Program will be funded through federal stimulus assistance allocated to CUNY.
Eligible students who were enrolled at the University from March 13, 2020, the date the coronavirus was declared a national emergency, through the Spring 2021 semester and accrued tuition and fee balances during that time, will have those unpaid debts to the University wiped clean.
Many CUNY students come from communities that were the hardest hit by the pandemic and its resultant economic fallout. During the pandemic, students’ debt to CUNY nearly doubled. The objective of the CUNY Comeback Program is to remove financial barriers to access the education New Yorkers of limited means need to move up the economic ladder.
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