CUNY application fee to be waived for thousands of low-income city students

Starting this fall, low-income city public school seniors will be able to apply for CUNY schools free of charge, the mayor’s office said on Monday.

The application fee is typically $65 and nonrefundable.

The fee will be waived for all public high school seniors who are eligible for the federal free or reduced lunch program, as well as students living in federally subsidized public housing, a foster home, or who are homeless, and students who receive public assistance, according to de Blasio’s office.

This applies to any undocumented student who fits the criteria.

In the past, the fee was waved for about 6,500 students, which mainly went to students with the greatest financial needs, according to CUNY and the mayor’s office. That number is now expected to increase to about 37,500.

“We need to give all our children — no matter the neighborhood they live in, or background they come from — the opportunity to succeed in the 21st century, and that means removing barriers to applying, enrolling, and succeeding in college,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “Eliminating the application fee for low-income seniors will have a profound impact for thousands of students and their families.”

“As the first person in my family to attend college, I understand the barriers that stand between students and college, and we must break down those barriers to deliver equity and excellence for all students,” Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said in a statement.

The fee waiver program is expected to cost $2.4 million each year, according to de Blasio’s office. About $2 million of that will come from the mayor’s office with the remainder paid by CUNY.