High school students getting free college credits? The idea seems far-fetched.
However, this is made possible by Baruch College Now, a free program for high school students funded by the City University of New York (CUNY) and New York City Department of Education, that works to improve the academic achievements of high school students prepare them for college-level work.
According to The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, an independent corporation that works to improve higher education through effective public policy, the entire College Now program in NYC has a budget of $10 million, and a competitive scholarship available only to College Now students who enroll into a CUNY. However, funding for each school in the CUNY system varies based on the number of students and programs the college chooses to provide.
For example, high school students enrolled in Baruch College Now are able to earn free college credits, to access Baruch facilities, to interact with Baruch faculty and to participate in academic, social, and cultural events. The main goal of the program is to reach as many students as possible to provide them with college level work and the college experience.
Some classes offered at Baruch include Journalism, Public Affairs, Anthropology, and Business. The program runs not only during the school year but also in the summer. In the summer, students are provided a metrocard and a daily meal ticket.
However, this summer, the Baruch College Now program seems to offer less funding for certain activities, hinting that perhaps there has been a change.
“Last year, the amount of money in the printing account was $50, this year it’s only $30,” commented Jane Liu, a returning College Now student who noticed the decrease in the amount that the program provided for students to print.
In an interview, Baruch College Now director Maziely Crisostomo admitted that this year “we got a little less [funding]” but she quickly added “we were able to keep the same amount of students.” She says that the program plans to expand and offer more programs in order to appeal to a wider variety of students.
Ms. Crisostomo mentioned the possibility of Saturday classes during the school year and the return of the Student Ambassador Program, which provided internships.
According to Ms. Crisostomo, “What hurts, [the program’s funding] is when students withdraw and not being able to fill seats,” because the number of students directly connects to the amount of funding the program receives.
Regardless of the problem this issue creates, the mission of the program will remain unchanged.