Make ASAP and ACE available to all CUNY students NOW! Strengthen these programs to include a full tuition waiver to undocumented students and no cuts to other CUNY programs.




CUNY was once free; it can be free again — and well-funded.


CUNY was once free; it can be free again — and well-funded.

Tens of thousands of poor and working-class New Yorkers, particularly people of color and immigrants, depend on CUNY as a gateway to good-paying jobs and mobility. But only 2 in 10 community college students graduate within 2 years. That is unacceptable.

To succeed, CUNY students need:

  • Free tuition

  • Individualized advising and faculty mentoring

  • Free MetroCards

  • Free textbooks

There is already a program that provides these things – ASAP (Accelerated Study in Associate Programs) and ACE (Accelerate Complete Engage).

Investing in and improving ASAP and ACE means doubling graduation rates, giving students access to upward mobility while saving the state $6,500 per graduating student in the long run. And, as NYS and NYC grapple with widening disparities, ASAP and ACE are powerful engines for racial and economic justice.



Why ASAP and ACE

Our plan to win a free and quality CUNY for all


What is ASAP? What is ACE?

  • The Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) is a comprehensive CUNY program on nine CUNY campuses that helps community college students complete their associate’s degree. Since 2007, more than 20,000 students have participated.

  • Since 2015, a pilot program known as Accelerate Complete Engage (ACE) has brought the ASAP model to four-year college students. Supported by private foundations, ACE has enrolled almost 1,000 students.

  • ASAP and ACE participants receive:

    • Free Tuition

    • Free MetroCards

    • Textbook Vouchers

    • Personalized Advising

    • Faculty Mentoring


Why the ASAP model?

  • Graduation rates for ASAP students are more than double that of non-ASAP students.

  • Early data from the ACE pilot indicates two-thirds of its students graduate in four years, compared with 37% of non ACE students.

  • 85% of all CUNY community college students are students of color. Ensuring all students have access to support needed to complete college will help close racial gaps in graduation rates and income.

  • Supporting ASAP and programs like ACE can help community college students transition to bachelor’s degree programs.

  • Although tuition is a significant expense to many students, basic costs such as textbooks and transportation can be huge barriers — and few scholarships pay for them.

  • Improving graduation rates saves New York state money! Each year ASAP saves NYS $6,500 per student.

Supporting the expansion of ASAP/ACE means truly building a “free college” model for New York students.


How can we expand ASAP/ACE?

  • Increase state and city commitment to CUNY students! The state legislature should allocate $170 million dollars to extend ASAP’s critical services to entering freshman in CUNY senior colleges. Furthermore, the City must support another 26,000 ASAP students.

  • Work with CUNY leadership to ensure every CUNY campus is ready to support a full ASAP/ACE expansion.

  • Support legislation that increases the state's contribution to ASAP and ACE! State Senator Luis Sepúlveda introduced Senate Bill 8913, which phases in increased support from the state to the ACE and ASAP programs.

  • Expansion should NOT come at the expense of cutting other financial aid and opportunity programs.