CNR Awarded $2.6 Million Federal Grant to Assist Nursing Students

July 15, 2016

The College of New Rochelle (CNR) has been awarded nearly $2.6 million in federal grant money to provide scholarships for economically disadvantaged students pursuing careers in nursing or other healthcare fields over the next four years.

Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Health Subcommittee, announced the funding. CNR was one of 99 colleges and universities – among several hundred that navigated a rigorous application process – to receive HRSA grant money.

“No one should be denied an education in their field of choice because of their background,” said Engel, a U.S. representative for New York’s 16th congressional district, which includes Westchester County and parts of the Bronx. “This funding will ensure that students from low-income homes can pursue careers in healthcare and, in turn, care for the people of our community.”

The receipt of this multi-million dollar grant, which brings the total in federal and state grants awarded to The College of New Rochelle during the last two years to over $17 million, is a clear testament to the College’s ability to improve our students’ success,” said Judith Huntington, President of The College of New Rochelle. “This grant will further enable the College to broaden access to higher education as we work purposefully to prepare our students to meet the rapidly growing work force needs in healthcare.”

The funding is being provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. HRSA manages grant programs to benefit nursing education, including the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students Program (SDS), which is mandated by Congress to promote diversity in the nursing workforce and in other healthcare professions. The program awards scholarship funding to colleges and universities to be distributed to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The College of New Rochelle will receive $649,980 annually – $2,599,920 over the grant’s duration – through HRSA for the SDS program.

"This important, four-year grant will make an incredible impact on CNR students seeking their first baccalaureate nursing degree and who may one day seek advanced degrees in primary care,” said Dr. H. Michael Dreher, The Elizabeth Bell LeVaca Dean of the School of Nursing. “This generous award from HRSA will support the College in continuing its long record of educating nursing students who perform exceptionally well on the National Council Licensure Examination.”

The College’s accepted proposal, called the First Undergraduate Nursing Degree Scholarship (FUNDS) program will provide scholarships covering a minimum of 50 percent of annual tuition and related costs to incoming freshmen and transfer students who enroll full-time in the College’s BSN program track or Registered Nurse-to-BSN program track.  

“This four-year grant is serving a critical need in helping our student body improve their educational experience while impacting and improving the health of our nation,” said Debra Simons, Associate Dean of the School of Nursing and Associate Professor at CNR.

This is the fourth major grant awarded to CNR in less than two years. The three previous federal and state grants totaled more than $15 million.

  • September 2014: CNR received a $10 million grant – the largest in its 112-year history – from the U.S. Department of Education to renovate and expand facilities aimed at better preparing students in nursing, science, and mathematics.
  • October 2014: The College received a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. That funding was earmarked for pilot testing of “Mentoring, Undergraduate Research and Augmented Libraries,” which was geared toward finding successful practices for improving adult students’ grades, retention and four-year graduation rates.
  • February 2016: CNR was awarded a $1.062 million grant from the state Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program, allowing it to redesign, reconstruct, rehabilitate and re-equip its science facilities. The laboratory renovations will enhance academic programs that support biochemistry-related initiatives; a new degree program in health and wellness; innovative general education programs; and research opportunities.