Welcome to our College Corner. Here you’ll find tips, tricks and other helpful resources to navigate the crazy world of college admissions.
As April Fool’s Day approached, the threat to CUNY became real. As is commonly known, the first day of April is the deadline for the state budget. After April 1, some institutions will lose funding while others will get more. Andrew Cuomo, Democratic Governor of New York, promised his followers that he would make sure to raise the minimum wage in New York State to fifteen dollars an hour. At first thought, New York citizens were pleased with the idea and could not wait. Things were looking bright and all seemed right; that was until our beloved Governor Cuomo decided to cut funding from a project that is of critical importance to many people.
Well, New Yorkers discovered that the institution from which Cuomo has decided to take funding is a city institution. The City University of New York was founded in 1847, and was funded by the federal government until 1976. When New York suffered from a financial crisis, the federal government had “stopped paying the bills” and the state government decided to take over the role of funding CUNY’s senior colleges. On April 1, Governor Cuomo was going to attempt to finish what almost happened in 1976 — or at least finish part of it. He announced that he would be reducing the state budget for CUNY by $485 million.
As it is in their nature, New Yorkers are not taking the news gently. All of a sudden, the good news that these Manhattanites had gotten about minimum wage rising became bittersweet; most people who are getting their wages raised are going to have an arduous time getting the money to pay for school.
But, let’s not forget the attitude which belongs to most New York inhabitants. The more astounded people are, the more uneasy it is for them take the news; the more unacceptable the news is, the more they will fight to make sure it never transpires. They have already commenced the fight; hundreds of people have gone on rallies, strikes, and protests in the city. Other students got together to buy ads in various newspapers to publicize their discontent. It is a full on war, and the CUNY students and faculty are adamantly standing for what they believe in. Some people believe that this is an attack on the ideals of America.
The battle tactics have seemingly worked as Governor Cuomo amended his opinion on the matter and announced that he was going to hire a financial committee to oversee the expenditures of CUNY and make sure that the City of New York wouldn’t pay a dime more than it usually does.
Interestingly, his Director of Operations, Jim Malatras, announced that the whole situation was a negotiating strategy they played in order to get CUNY more serious about financial reforms. Apparently, CUNY had been ignoring Cuomo’s requests to reform financially. Even with this promise, nothing is set in stone yet. The war is not over yet…
Mrs. Joan Parmet, Director, College Guidance, and Mrs. Karen Wolf, Associate Director, attended the most recent Counselors Advocacy for the Jewish University Experience (CAJUE) meeting hosted by Yeshiva Derech Eretz (YDE) in Brooklyn. Yeshiva counselors meet on a regular basis to discuss issues of concern to all yeshivas. At this meeting, we discussed how the University of Pennsylvania changed their notification time so students would hear before Shabbat. We also talked about eighth grade courses and Regents exams on transcripts, Israeli colleges, and we shared tips and frustrations about the college application process. About 25 counselors attended the meeting representing New York and New Jersey schools, including Flatbush, Heschel, Frisch, SAR, DRS, Magen David, Ma’aynot, SKA, and others.
Members of the Class of 2017 and their families attended their first college guidance event on December 15. “Junior College Workshop” is an opportunity for juniors to meet the college guidance staff and learn about the college admissions process, which includes applications, essays, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, college visits, and standardized test scores. The keynote speaker was Mr. Vincent Angrisani, Director of Enrollment and Admissions at Queens College. Mr. Angrisani gave an overview of the college admissions process and discussed what criteria colleges are seeking in applicants. Ms. Naomi Lippman, General Studies Principal, and Rabbi Gedaliah Oppen, Judaic Studies Principals, gave welcoming remarks. Rabbi Lewis Wienerkur, Israel Guidance Director for Boys, talked about the year in Israel and why students should participate. Mrs. Joan Parmet, Director, College Guidance, introduced her staff of Mrs. Karen Wolf, Associate Director, Mrs. Susan Szaluta, College Guidance Counselor, and Mrs. Arlette Miller, administrative assistant. Mrs. Parmet reviewed important hand-outs as well as the college guidance handbook, and Mrs. Wolf discussed standardized testing. The workshop was designed to familiarize families with the process and assure them that the college guidance staff will work with every student and prepare a list of realistic college choices. We look forward to working with the juniors and their parents as they begin the college process.