About CACG

The College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) program fosters partnerships among federal, state, and local governments and philanthropic organizations through matching challenge grants that are aimed at increasing the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

The CACG accomplishes this by providing funding for projects that:

  • provide information to students and families regarding postsecondary education and career preparation;
  • promote financial literacy and debt management; conduct outreach activities;
  • assist students in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA);
  • provide need-based grant aid;
  • conduct professional development for guidance counselors at middle and secondary schools, financial aid administrators, and college admissions counselors; and
  • offer student loan cancellation or repayment or interest rate reductions for borrowers who are employed in a high-need geographical area or a high need profession. (Funds may not be used to promote any lender's loans.)

2011-2012 CACG Grant Program

In September 2011, the U.S. Department of Education awarded New York an additional $7.0 million in CACG funds for 2011-2012. The new grant will assure funding similar to the previous grants for New York. The new funds will be distributed through a competitive sub-grant process to schools, agencies and community-based organizations across New York.

In addition, HESC is partnering with the State University of New York (SUNY), the City University of New York (CUNY), Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS), NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) and the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu) to deliver much needed services to CACG-qualified students and adults across the State of New York.


2010-2011 CACG Grant Program

In September 2010, the U.S. Department of Education awarded New York an additional $7.6 million in CACG funds for 2010-2011. The new grant will assure funding similar to the 2008-2010 grant for New York. Like the first grant, the new funds will be distributed through a competitive sub-grant process to schools, agencies and community-based organizations across New York.

In addition, HESC is partnering with the State University of New York (SUNY), the City University of New York (CUNY), the New York State Department of Education (SED), and the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cicu) to deliver much needed services to CACG-qualified students and adults across the State of New York.


2008-2010 CACG Grant Program

The 2008-2010 CACG award provided New York State approximately $8 million in federal funds that HESC used to award sub-grants, designed to support the specific services for high-need students, their families and other adults in each grantee's region.

  • Services and activities provided through the sub-grants include:
  • College readiness, academic skill building and tutoring programs
  • Stay-in-school support programs for community college students at risk for dropping out
  • College admission application and FAFSA completion assistance
  • Training for college advisors and counselors serving some of the highest need, low-income and educationally at risk students in the State
  • Family workshops on college financing and completing the FAFSA and other applications
  • Debt management and financial literacy workshops
  • Outreach and counseling services, including academic and financial aid counseling, peer mentoring, college preparation, tutoring and retention services for formerly incarcerated men and women

For information about the overall CACG program including program abstracts from each state that received an award, visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

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