Queens College offers its students, with the Knights Food Pantry, various scholarships, emergency grants, and more. However, there is another form of assistance that CUNY offers its eligible students: help with metro fares.
Commuting can get really expensive, namely with MetroCards’ fares. To take some of the load off students, there are several programs put into place to help. While there is the Commuter Card Unrestricted Plan through the Commuter Benefits Program, perhaps more helpful are the more selective programs, such as the Percy E. Sutton SEEK and Accelerate, Complete, and Engage programs.
The Percy E. Sutton SEEK Program, launched in 1966, is an example of this. The program supports its students from admission until graduation, with incoming freshmen starting in the Summer semester. The benefits of the program also extend to any incoming transfer students who had been previously enrolled in Higher Education Opportunity Programs such as CD, SEEK, HEOP, OR EOP.
These benefits extend to academic support services such as tutors, supplemental instructors, peer mentors, as well as financial support: covering student activity fees, educational grants, two extra semesters of financial aid (TAP), and even a waiver for the college commitment deposit fee.
The program also offers funding support for MetroCards, but only to SEEK program students who qualify for it. This is a recurring case, as not just any QC student can access the metro fare assistance, but only the eligible few in programs that offer such assistance as a benefit.
The Percy E. Sutton SEEK Program is not the only program that offers eligible students assistance with transportation funds. A recently established program happens to do so as well, but only for a certain pool of students.
The ACE program, now recruiting transfer students with an Associate in Arts (AA) or an Associate in Science (AS) degree for the Fall 2023 semester is a, “Comprehensive support program designed to build on transfer students’ academic momentum and help students complete their bachelor’s degree on time.”
The program, which is designed after CUNY’S Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), with ACE QC offering services ranging from academic, personal, and financial support. Amongst this financial support is ‘assistance with textbooks and transportation and more.’
Maria Matteo, who handles media relations at Queens College, gathered that when it comes to MetroCard assistance, it is available to the students who qualify for it, with the eligible students in the Percy E. Sutton SEEK Program and ACE QC Program being top examples.
“The college’s recently established Accelerate, Complete, and Engage (ACE) QC Program provides transfer students with a comprehensive portfolio of advising, academic, and financial support; transportation assistance is one of the ways in which it helps students accelerate their momentum to earn their bachelor’s degree within two years of joining the program,” Matteo said.
Transportation assistance comes in the form of an unlimited MetroCard.
“ACE QC students are provided with an unlimited MetroCard to use on local buses and subways during the fall and spring semesters, and students enrolled in the winter and summer sessions have access to an unlimited monthly MetroCard,” she said.