NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The College of New Rochelle has been awarded a $250,000 College Access Challenge grant from New York State’s Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). The grant will be used by the College’s School of New Resources (SNR) to provide scholarships to qualified adult learners seeking access to postsecondary education despite lacking a high school diploma or GED certificate. Congress has recently tightened the eligibility criteria for federal financial aid in the form of Pell grants, so that those lacking the HS diploma or the GED no longer qualify for assistance. The scholarships to be funded by the CAC grant will keep the door to college open for a limited number of these students.
In making the announcement of the CACG grant, College of New Rochelle President Judith Huntington said, “Earning a college degree can be one of life’s most important achievements. From a financial standpoint, the difference in annual earnings between a college graduate and someone who has only a high school degree is astounding.”
According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the average annual salary of someone with a bachelor’s degree is $51,206, versus $27,915 a year for a high school graduate. Over the course of a lifetime, the difference in earnings could exceed $1 million.
The College Access Challenge Grant Program, a national initiative funded by the United States Department of Education, is administered in New York by HESC and the grant monies are used to enable economically disadvantaged students to gain access to a college education. They are awarded to institutions who propose innovative solutions to problems of access for poor, historically underrepresented populations.
The grant will enable The College of New Rochelle to select qualified and motivated students from the Bronx for placement in the School’s specially tailored College Access Program. By December, 2013, SNR anticipates that some 45 students will have accumulated the necessary 24 core college credits required for the GED. They will then qualify for federal financial aid.
“The School of New Resources has been actively exploring innovative ways in which it can keep the door to post-secondary education open for our students,” said President Judith Huntington. “This important grant allows us to continue our mission of providing access to higher education for those adults who have the ability to gain, but not yet the opportunity to achieve an advanced degree. That is our challenge. This is our mission.”