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Long Island

Grants will fund 2 LI colleges' outreach to low-income, minority students

Two Long Island higher learning institutions are among the recipients of grant money issued Monday by the state to assist and encourage the college enrollment of more low-income, minority and underserved students in the region.

Farmingdale State College is set to receive $270,000 and Long Island University will be awarded $49,680 out of $3.2 million in federal funds through the College Access Challenge Grant Program administered by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation. Farmingdale's grant is one of the largest issued under that program this year.

The funds are an investment in the state's "homegrown talent," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said.

"Increasing access to higher education for all New Yorkers is a top priority of this administration, and this funding will help put more lower income students on track for a college career," Cuomo said in a statement.

The dollars allocated to the Long Island institutions are earmarked for intensive college preparation, enrollment counseling and coaching of students from middle school through their first year of college, the state said.

Eighteen other educational institutions and nonprofits throughout the state were also awarded funds for a variety of related programs, including assistance with college applications and counseling.

At Farmingdale State College, the funds will support outreach for about 300 students through a variety of programs that include college courses for high school students who are homeless; college visits to different institutions and a summer campus residency, said Ben Whitfield, a Farmingdale State College professor who is director of the preparatory program.

The idea is to expose college-bound students, who in some cases may be the first in their families to seek a degree, to how those institutions work before they are overwhelmed by the experience, college officials said.

Hubert Keen, president of Farmingdale State College, said in a statement that "this funding will help Farmingdale increase the numbers of low income, at-risk students we are assisting and to make sure they are prepared for a rigorous college curriculum and a new experience, all with the objective of ensuring their success. "


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