CUNY's Funding Sources

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New York City

Public funding from New York City covers more than a third of CUNY community colleges’ operating budget. Student tuition and state funding make up the balance. New York City has primary responsibility for the community colleges' capital budget, and the City Council provides important scholarship programs, university research and policy centers and special initiatives.

New York State

Public funding from New York State covers 60% of the operating budget for CUNY senior colleges and their entire capital budget. At present, student tuition provides 40%. Grant revenue, philanthropy and alumni contributions make up a small, but important portion of the budget.

New York State also provides a third of CUNY community colleges’ operating budget in “Community College Base Aid,” which is determined on a per capita FTE student basis.

New York State also helps students through the Tuition Assistance Program, subsidized loans, and specialized scholarship and grant programs. The state funds the Education Opportunity, SEEK and College Discovery programs which benefit many low-income minority students at CUNY.

United States

The federal government provides critical funding to public higher education including grants for academic research, Pell grants and subsidized loans to college students, and other direct aid to states.