The City University of New York Accelerated Study in Associate Programs, or CUNY ASAP, is a program funded by the New York government. This program is offered throughout the nine CUNY colleges in New York City.
CUNY ASAP helps keep low-income students on track with their education by providing financial, academic, and personal support. This includes career counseling, waived tuition, MTA cards, and additional financial aid to buy textbooks.
The program has doubled the graduation rate for disadvantaged students. Resulting in other states are looking for a way to implement it into their own higher education system.
$20 Million taken out
As of July, Mayor De Blasio proposed budget cuts to CUNY ASAP. The NYC mayor’s office included a $20 million dollar cut to CUNY ASAP for their proposed 2021 budget.
The city has already failed in securing their student and workers’ safety during the COVID-19 crisis. Now, it aims to strip away funds meant to educate students.
By taking away their funds, CUNY ASAP will not be able to welcome any new students to this program.
Last year, de Blasio spoke well of the CUNY ASAP program at a conference. This year, his actions do not match his words.
A little over a year ago, the mayor was praising the ASAP program. Let’s save @cunyasap and advocates for more funding in to @CUNY @CUNYRising @CEJNYC @USSCUNY @MarkTreyger718 @HelenRosenthal #Investincuny pic.twitter.com/tAFDGGHDZ8
— Abdoul Balde (@AbdoulBalde11) June 29, 2020
Council Member’s responses
A few council members have taken to Twitter and news outlets to show their distress.
.@NYCMayor budget includes cutting @cunyasap Fall class. So low income students won’t have access to college.
He is missing the point of #DefundTheNYPD which is to invest in young people. #SMH @UnaSTClarke @PSC_CUNY @Vanessalgibson @errollouis @JFREJNYC
— Helen Rosenthal (@HelenRosenthal) June 28, 2020
“The ASAP program has been a lifeline for students pursuing associate degrees in the face of tremendous hardships,” Councilman Fernando Cabrera told the Bronx Times.
He added, “At this critical time when the COVID-19 pandemic is showing us the deadliness and potential fatality of racial disparities, how can we end the programs that lead the way out of poverty?”
CUNY ASAP is one of the programs in higher education that has proven to be effective. They receive thorough evaluations by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation or MDRC. The program has yet to fail the audit.
CUNY ASAP recipients’ response
Some students in the program wonder why the budget allocated for education must suffer during the COVID-19 trial.
okay but really is deblasio cuts ASAP CUNY im so fucked ,, why is he cutting a program specifically made for low income students ? if he cuts it, many students like myself will have to drop out because we cant afford college without ASAP
— kayミ☆ (@lgbtwildflower) July 1, 2020
Being a first-gen college student and son of immigrant parents, the ASAP program could have helped me tremendously with textbook costs and tuition. Now, I'm hearing it might get cut from CUNY schools. Working-class families are depending on that program, this is bullshit.
— Anthony (@okanthony_) July 1, 2020
Low-income students will suffer if the CUNY ASAP program faces budget cuts. This program funds just more than students’ educations. It funds their travel to get to school and buy textbooks. College textbooks are generally expensive, so without them, students may struggle in their classes.
There is now a petition to attempt to save the program’s funding.