Bronx, NY – Today Council Member Fernando Cabrera called on Mayor deBlasio to restore a proposed $20 million cut in funding for a critical program that assists low-income CUNY students.

“The ASAP program has been a lifeline for students pursuing associate degrees in the face of tremendous hardships,” said Cabrera.  “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?”

The Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) is specifically designed to address the barriers that low-income students face.  Established in 2007, ASAP provides important supports including personalized advisement, tutoring, assistance with goal-setting and structured pathways to support academic momentum.  ASAP also provides MetroCards, without which, many students could not afford to attend classes.

According to Cabrera, Bronx Community College is a prime example of the program’s success.  “We’ve seen for years how much ASAP does for students,” said Cabrera.  “Bronx Community College experienced an increase of more than 285% in graduation rate between Fall 2006 and Fall 2015.  At Bronx Community College, ASAP students earn their associate degrees at higher rates than non-ASAP students and transfer to baccalaureate programs at higher rates than non-ASAP students.”

Nationally recognized for its success, ASAP has been cited by The Economist and received the prestigious “Innovations in American Government” Award from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2020.   The proposed funding cut will affect more than 50% of Bronx Community College’s student population.

“I know we are in a financial as well as a public health crisis,” said Cabrera.  “But a disinvestment in public higher education leads to a dead end, beating down the dreams and ambitions of dedicated students, and our own future.”

Council Member Cabrera is available for interviews.

Council Member Fernando Cabrera has proudly served the 14th District since 2010

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