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Financial Aid FAQ

The 2020-21 New York State Excelsior Scholarship application is now open. As reported by the NYS Higher Education Services Corporation (NYSHESC), the current closure date is August 31st, 2020.  However, this date is subject to change.  New applicants can submit an application.  Note: COVID-19 has dramatically reduced state revenues and the processing of new applications is pending on Federal assistance, which has been delayed since April. Excelsior Scholarship awards may be reduced and/or prioritized for current recipients as provided for under the program.

There are options available if you have experienced a change in your family or financial situation in the current  2019-2020 academic year as well as for 2020-2021.  Special circumstances such as income loss, or death of a parent may qualify you for additional Financial Aid.  After completing the FAFSA form and/or NYS Aid application listing your school code, contact the financial aid office to discuss available options.  A review process and supporting documentation will be required, at the determination of the college financial aid office.  All documents can be submitted securely to your college by using the CUNYfirst Student Document Upload tool.

As part of the federal government’s CARES Act legislation, eligible CUNY students will automatically receive emergency grants to help cover education-related expenses caused by COVID-19. Eligibility is based on a student’s FAFA on file. No other action is required to apply for or receive these grants – they will be automatically deposited into the bank accounts of students enrolled in direct deposit and mailed to students who have not enrolled. Please visit here for additional information.

The U.S. Education Department has paused interest on federally-held student loans such as Direct Loans, PLUS, and Perkins loans, automatically and retroactively to March 13th, 2020. Visit for more details. If you are experiencing financial hardship, contact your loan servicer for information on deferment or forbearance options.

Students with private student loans should contact their servicer directly for new financing options that may now be available.

Federal Work-Study students are allowed to continue working, especially telecommuting where possible. Speak to your supervisor or your college’s Federal Work-Study Coordinator for any questions or issues

CUNY and BCC have purchased and will be distributing some loaner laptops to those who either do not already have a BCC issued device, or do not have access to a personal computer. Please note that there is a limited number of these additional loaner laptops. For more information visit our Laptop Request & Distribution page.



Students, we know that this is a very difficult time for you. The Office of Personal Counseling (OPC) is working remotely due to COVID-19, but is still available to help you with free and confidential services. Services are offered via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facetime and telephone.

To speak to a counselor please call, 718.289.5223 and leave a message.  When leaving a message, please say your phone number twice. A counselor will call you back.

You can also send an e-mail to our Intake Coordinator at

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911.  Please note that counselors from the OPC are only available during our office hours.

If you are in crisis and you need immediate support or need to speak to someone outside of business hours, please call NYC WELL at 888.692.9355 or text “WELL” to 65173.

There is also a hotline NYC WELL staffed 24/7 with counselors, described as follows:

An infectious illness outbreak such as this one can be stressful to you, your loved ones, and your friends. It is natural to feel overwhelmed, sad, anxious, and afraid, or to experience other symptoms of distress, such as trouble sleeping.

NYC Well’s website offers a number of well-being and emotional support applications (apps) that can help you cope. If your symptoms of stress become overwhelming, reach out for support and help.

You can contact NYC Well, a confidential 24/7 helpline, staffed by trained counselors. They can provide brief counseling and referrals to care in over 200 languages.

Call 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355)
Text “WELL” to 65173
Chat at

NYC Health – Coronavirus Factsheet

Food Insecurity Supports

  • If you are experiencing food insecurity, consider checking your available options provided by the Food Bank of New York City.
  • If you are experiencing food insecurity, an extensive list of food pantries and soup kitchens in NYC was crowdsourced by various community members.
  • The Human Resources Administration created FoodHelp NYC to track pantries and community kitchens through a map.

Resources for Undocumented Students

Additional Public Services

Company Promotions

  • In light of housing disruptions due to the coronavirus, U-Haul is offering free 30-day storage to students with a student ID across all its locations.

Student Success Offices – Phone Numbers & E-mails for Immediate Assistance

Office Number E-mail
Admissions 929.314.4711
Athletics 718-289-5338
Disability Services 718-289-5874/x5875
Early Childcare Center 718-289-5461
Financial Aid 718-289-5700
Health Services 718.289.5858
Judicial Affairs 718.289.5100 x3146
Male Empowerment Network 718.289.5713 
Personal Counseling 718-289-5223
Registrar 718.289.5710
Single Stop 718.289.5179
Student Development 718.289.5194 
Veteran and Military Affairs 718-289-5447
Student Success 718-289-5278

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CUNY provides Dropbox and Dropbox Paper to all active CUNY students, faculty and administrative staff. You can use these tools to store and access files from different devices, share files, and collaborate.

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Microsoft Office 365

Free to all CUNY students, provides access to Office 365 online apps and services, as well as the option to download Microsoft Office Suite directly from your CUNY email account.

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ZOOM is live at BCC.  At this time, Zoom is available to faculty and staff to help with online learning and to keep in touch. More info about using ZOOM.

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Use Blackboard to stay on top of your coursework, have remote class discussions, view readings and course material digitally, and communicate with your professors.

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Sprint will waive late fees, not terminate any service, and give current customers unlimited data and an additional 20 GB of hotspot services. They offer free calling to CDC level 3 countries.

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T-Mobile is giving families access to unlimited data and providing an additional 20GB of hotspot services for current customers over the next 60 days.

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Verizon is waiving late fees for all existing customers impacted by COVID-19 and will not terminate service for the next 60 days, and offers free international calling to CDC level 3 countries.

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AT&T is waiving data overage fees to all customers to ensure families have connectivity, and has promised not to terminate the service of any customer over the next 60 days.

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Altice USA

Altice is offering 60 days of free broadband to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have internet access at home. Call 866-200-9522 to enroll.

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Comcast is offering free public Wi-Fi for 60 Days to families who do not already have a subscription. For access, call 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

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Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a subscription. Call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll.

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The New York Times

The New York Times is allowing anyone to access their extensive, frequently updated coronavirus coverage for free.

Google Drive

Create a free Google account for 15 GB of free storage and for access to Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Forms. These tools allow you to create collaborative documents and projects that get updated in real-time.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Free to students, Adobe Creative Cloud is a collection of over 20 desktop and mobile apps for photography, design, video, web, UX and more including Photoshop and InDesign.

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Slack is a messaging and communications platform that can help classes, teams, and groups stay productive. Create a slack channel with your classmates or just a group of friends.

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The 10 Minute Mind

A daily meditation email sent to your inbox every morning. It takes 10 minutes and can help you relax anytime, anywhere.

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