‘CUNY Comeback Program’ to Eliminate Outstanding Balances for BMCC Students

BMCC Faculty and Staff,

Fall semester is fast approaching, and we continue to plan for a safe and in-person welcome for you and our students.

BMCC President Anthony E. Munroe
BMCC President Anthony E. Munroe

As many of you know, for the past 15 months we have hosted a series of college-wide town halls and shared updates and information regarding COVID-19, guidance from the CDC and CUNY, health and safety protocols, and the importance of maintaining your physical and mental health. In our outreach to you and our students, we have learned about the emotional challenges and the financial struggles that our students continue to face as they complete their coursework toward their degree. We know that the pandemic has only added to the daily stress for you and our students.

I am excited to share good news that will help alleviate some of the financial burden faced by our students. On July 28, The City University of New York joined Governor Cuomo in announcing the CUNY Comeback Program, a plan to erase as much as $125 million in outstanding tuition and fee balances for more than 50,000 CUNY students who experienced grave hardships during the pandemic.

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez shared in a video to announce this initiative, one of the largest student institutional debt-forgiveness measures of its kind in the country, that will use federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds to remove financial barriers that prevent students and recent graduates from pursuing their educational and career objectives.

Eligible students and recent graduates who incurred unpaid tuition and fee balances while enrolled at BMCC and other CUNY schools during Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 will have their remaining balances cleared. In most cases, outstanding balances will be discharged automatically by early August, allowing students to register for Fall 2021 classes and obtain their official transcripts. BMCC/CUNY students will receive a notification letter via email when the balances are cleared.

“I view this initiative as more than just good policy; it also affirms the recognition that challenges still exist for many New Yorkers, and it helps to fulfill the moral imperative that is implicit in CUNY’s historic mandate to provide access to a quality education for all New Yorkers, regardless of background or means,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez in his letter to the university. “It’s an acknowledgement of the way in which our community pulled together during the pandemic and persevered. I remain inspired by the determination and resilience of our students, faculty and staff.”

Also, for students who paid tuition and fee charges out of pocket and do not owe any amount to CUNY for that period, such students may receive a $200 enhanced Student Emergency Grant through the American Rescue Plan Act, on top of any other federal Student Emergency Grant allocation that the student will be entitled to in Fall 2021. These enhanced grants will be automatically awarded to students enrolled in the Fall 2021, with no application required.

More details and updates will continue to follow, but I encourage you to share this news with your students and learn more about the CUNY Comeback Program, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions at: cuny.edu/comeback.

Our college will use this momentum to strengthen our student recruitment and retention efforts across all disciplines. We must work together to amplify our college’s mission, academics, and support services to help students earn a quality education that will help their socioeconomic mobility and enhance their lives.

I look forward to sharing more exciting news as we prepare for the fall semester. Thank you to all of you for continuing to do your part to serve our students and empowering them to “Start Here” so they can “Go Anywhere.”


Anthony E. Munroe signature

Anthony E. Munroe
President, Borough of Manhattan Community College