Part-time college students missing out on millions in scholarship funds

Posted: Updated:
BRENTWOOD -

Part-time college students are apparently missing out on millions of dollars in unused state scholarship money.

Some Suffolk County Community College students were surprised to learn about the $3.1 million in scholarship money from the New York State Part-time Scholarship program. When awarded, students receive $1,500 a semester.

The money is intended for any part-time community college students in the state. There are about 120,000 students attending the state's 30 community colleges.

But many students say they're never heard about the program and have been working to put themselves through school. They lamented not knowing about it.

More than half of the scholarship money was never given out.

"We paid $1.2 million in the first year of the program," Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said in a statement. "There were 307 eligible applications in fall of 2017."

Program applicants must be enrolled part time, maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and show financial need.

Cuomo's office says it expects the number of applicants to increase this year.

Suffolk County Community College officials say they will step up their efforts to make students aware of the scholarship money. Nassau Community College said its financial aid advisers let students know about the program, but they do plan on increasing their advertising efforts for it.

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