Governor Cuomo Partners with Leading Non-Profits to Increase Minority and Female Enrollment in STEM Incentive Program

June 24, 2014

From the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo


Leading non-profit organizations to increase enrollment of underrepresented students in college scholarship program that lead to STEM careers

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the state will partner with leading non-profit organizations to encourage underrepresented students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields of study in college. This statewide outreach will recruit African-Americans, Latinos and women who are in the top ten percent of their high school graduating class to sign up for the Governor’s STEM Incentive Program, which offers full SUNY and CUNY scholarships to high school students that pursue high-demand, high-tech careers and build their future in New York.

“When it comes to building the economy of tomorrow, New York’s students hold limitless potential,” Governor Cuomo said. “With STEM fields linked to the enrichment of New York’s education system and new economic opportunities, it is imperative that students in underrepresented communities across New York have access to programs in those disciplines. By implementing the STEM Incentive Program, students can diversify their skills and become more talented in fields that will foster growth and innovation for future New York State.”

Girls Inc., United Neighborhood Housing, Catholic Charities, New York Council of Non Profits, and the Association of Program Administrators for CSTEP and STEP will partner with the State to raise awareness of tuition awards for the best and brightest high school students. These groups are active in underserved communities across the State and will work with local high schools to identify eligible graduates in their Class of 2014 that are enrolling at SUNY or CUNY schools in the fall.

In New York State, women make up 48.5 percent of the workforce but only 27.5 percent of STEM jobs, and African-American and Latino New Yorkers make up 30.9 percent of the workforce but hold only 13.4 percent of STEM jobs.

Under the STEM Incentive Program, the top 10 percent of students in any high school that attend a SUNY or CUNY school and agree to major in a STEM approved degree are eligible for fully covered tuition awards. Upon graduating from college, these students will commit to a five- year work minimum in New York State where they will pursue high-demand, high-tech careers and build their future here at home.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, "Across New York, STEM careers are growing 2.5 times faster than those in any other field, and the Governor's incentive program is a valuable opportunity for the next generation to fill the gap. SUNY will be proud to partner with non-profit organizations throughout the state to bring this outstanding program to more New York students."

CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken said, "CUNY strongly commends Governor Cuomo on his new initiative to increase enrollments of underrepresented groups in college programs leading to STEM careers in New York. The new STEM incentive program, initiated by the Governor and approved by the State Legislature, adds significantly to our efforts. We deeply appreciate this new state financial assistance to students."

To be eligible for a STEM award, a student must be attending a New York State high school and be ranked in the top ten percent of his/her graduating class (beginning with the 2014 graduating class), and enroll in full-time study at a SUNY or CUNY college in the fall term following high school graduation. Applications for 2014 are available until August 15th, 2014 for all prospective SUNY and CUNY students. Award details and applications are both available at the New York State Higher Education Services (HESC) website at

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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