Bronx Nonprofit Offers Cash Grants to CUNY SPS Students Impacted by COVID-19

The Bronx Community Foundation logo

The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) is pleased to announce that The Bronx Community Foundation (Bx.C.F.) has provided a generous grant of $15,000 to help CUNY SPS students who reside in The Bronx and have been impacted by COVID-19. This grant, which offers emergency cash assistance in the form of $250 cash cards, has been awarded and distributed to 60 students throughout the School. 

"The Bronx Community Foundation shares a vision with CUNY SPS of the power and impact of vibrant, empowered, and educated communities in New York City,” said Brennon Marcano, chief executive officer of the National GEM Consortium and member of the CUNY SPS Foundation Board, who spearheaded the collaboration. “Through their generosity, CUNY SPS will be able to continue to support those most in need during a time of great uncertainty and for that we are very grateful." 

Under the terms of the grant, current students in any undergraduate, graduate, or certificate program at CUNY SPS who reside in Bronx County, NY, and demonstrate genuine financial need due to COVID-19 were eligible for the award. Following an extensive outreach campaign by the Office of Scholarships, students living in the borough who have been experiencing financial emergencies as a result of the pandemic were encouraged to apply by emailing a written statement to the Office.

Out of the pool of applicants, 60 students were selected to receive the $250 cash cards based on need. Of those awardees, 40 are continuing students and 20 are new students that started their first semester at CUNY SPS in Fall 2020. Overall, the recipients hail from 18 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs across the School, including the business, psychology, and nursing programs. 

The Bronx Community Foundation, the first and only community foundation in The Bronx, is a nonprofit solely dedicated to delivering resources to the entirety of The Bronx. This grant was offered to CUNY SPS students as part of a larger COVID-19 relief initiative, The Bronx Community Relief Effort, launched by the foundation at the outset of the pandemic to help communities in crisis across the borough. At that time, the foundation immediately began raising and deploying funds to help vulnerable Bronx residents across eight key areas of need, including Equity & Justice, Food Insecurity, Small Business Relief, Non-Profit Economic Relief, Health & PPE, Micro-Grants, Housing Stability and Education, and Technology and Connectivity. 

The BCF grant represents the latest effort made by CUNY SPS and community partners to help students struggling financially as a result of COVID-19. In Spring 2020, the School established the COVID-19 Emergency Grant to provide short-term emergency financial assistance for students in need. With the help of the CUNY SP Foundation Board, the fund has grown to more than $240,000 and over 140 students to date have been awarded emergency grants. 

About the Bronx Community Foundation

The Bronx Community Foundation (Bx.C.F.) is the first and only community foundation in The Bronx, solely dedicated to delivering resources to the borough. They take a place-based strategic approach toward philanthropy. They are not solely a pass-through funding institution. To make significant progress, they take a strategic role in defining a community-wide common agenda and taking a collaborative philanthropic approach toward solving challenges. They accomplish this through engaging organizations and individuals from across all stakeholder groups – public, private, non-profit and citizens.

The Bronx Community Relief Effort (Bx.C.R.E.), the first major initiative for The Bronx Community Foundation (Bx.C.F.), was born in the South Bronx immediately after COVID-19 hit New York City. With a $10 million rapid response fund, we solely committed to raising and deploying significant philanthropic dollars and resources across the borough to support a community in crisis.

About the CUNY School of Professional Studies

For over 15 years, the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) has been leading online education in New York. Offering the most online Bachelor’s and Master’s degree options at the City University of New York, CUNY SPS meets the needs of adults who are looking to finish a bachelor’s degree, progress from an associate’s degree, earn a master’s degree or certificate in a specialized field, and advance in the workplace or change careers.

The School’s growth has been remarkable, with twenty-four degrees launched since 2006. Enrollment has risen by more than 30% in the last four years to over 4,000 students in the credit-bearing programs and thousands more who are enrolled in non-degree and grant-funded workplace learning programs. In addition, the School has an active Alumni network and has established the CUNY SPS Foundation, which offers multiple scholarship opportunities to current students.

CUNY SPS has been ranked in the nation’s top 5% by U.S. News & World Report for the past six years, most recently in its list of the 2020 Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs, making CUNY SPS the highest nationally listed program in New York State and New York City.

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