April 20, 2020

SUNY Empire State College Awarded $45,000 Grant from the Robin Hood Relief Fund to Support Students through COVID-19 Hardship

Grant Will Ensure Funding for Additional Students in New York City through SUNY Empire’s COVID-19 Emergency Educational Grant Program

More than $100,000 in Assistance Already Awarded


(NEW YORK, NY – April 20, 2020) SUNY Empire State College today announced it has been awarded a $45,000 grant from New York City’s largest poverty fighting organization, Robin Hood’s Relief Fund. The Robin Hood Relief Fund was reactivated in response to COVID-19 to alleviate some of the financial difficulties vulnerable New Yorkers are experiencing, including SUNY Empire students in need of technology to successfully complete their studies at home.

Last month, SUNY Empire State College, in partnership with the Empire State College Foundation, established a fund to provide grants of up to $500 to assist currently-enrolled students with educationally-related financial hardships. To date, more than 1,000 students who have applied to SUNY Empire’s COVID-19 emergency fund, 33 percent are currently living in New York City. Robin Hood’s generosity will ensure additional students in the New York City area will receive grant assistance.

“On behalf of the entire SUNY Empire community, I’d like to thank Robin Hood for this generous contribution,” said SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras. “Robin Hood was quick to identify and respond to the challenges so many are facing in New York City, and for that we are grateful. This additional support means that dozens more hardworking SUNY Empire students will get the tools they need to continue their studies and rise above this pandemic.”

“Education is critical to economic mobility and we have a responsibility to lessen the shock of COVID-19 on the remarkable students who are working hard to open the door of opportunity for themselves and their families,” said Emary Aronson, Chief Knowledge Officer and Senior Advisor to CEO, Robin Hood. “We are proud to stand alongside SUNY Empire and their students during this unprecedented crisis.”

There are currently 4,385 students representing every borough in metro New York enrolled at SUNY Empire State College. Overall, 64 percent of students qualify for state and federal financial aid. SUNY Empire State students, and anyone interested in contributing to the COVID-19 emergency funds, can click here to learn more.

About Robin Hood

Founded in 1988, Robin Hood finds, fuels, and creates the most impactful and scalable solutions lifting families out of poverty in New York City, with models that can work across the country. Robin Hood invests nearly $120 million annually to provide legal services, housing, meals, workforce development training, education programs, and more to families in poverty in New York City. Robin Hood tracks every program with rigorous metrics, and since Robin Hood’s Board of Directors covers all overhead, 100 percent of every donation goes directly to the poverty fight. Learn more at www.robinhood.org; and follow Robin Hood on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College educates students at any stage of life with a personalized learning experience delivered online, in person, or a blend of both. Since 1971, SUNY Empire has empowered students to earn an accredited degree around the demands of a busy lifestyle to advance their personal and professional goals. With world-class faculty, more than 1,300 dedicated mentors to help students tailor their degree programs, and cutting-edge distance learning technology, SUNY Empire delivers a trusted and flexible online college experience grounded in more than 30 New York State locations and seven international sites where students can learn and collaborate in person. Our nearly 50 years as a leader in awarding credit for prior learning and life experience helps students earn a degree faster and at lower cost. To learn more, visit www.esc.edu and follow @SUNYEmpire.