AHRC New York City’s Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program at the City University of New York is a comprehensive program of study for unique learners who are motivated young adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
Applicants will have typically received extensive special education supports as indicated on their Individualized Education Program (IEP) throughout their school experience. These applicants may earn a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC) or Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential, and are therefore not eligible to apply to a typical college program.
Applicants are applying to a post-secondary education certificate program. Admitted students will receive person-centered supports and engage in a fully inclusive college experience. Students who successfully complete the program will be eligible to earn a CUNY Unlimited Achievement Certificate and receive their personal portfolio upon graduation.
AHRC New York City’s Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program at the City University of New York is offered at four CUNY campuses for students with intellectual disabilities: the Borough of Manhattan Community College, the College of Staten Island, Hostos Community College, and Kingsborough Community College. Applicants who reside in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, or Staten Island may apply for admission to the Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program at the participating CUNY campus in their borough of residence.
For more information, visit the Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program page at www.ahrcnyc.org/services/school/college.
Applicants are expected to demonstrate some basic literacy skills in reading and writing. They must have a strong desire to become an independent adult, and possess the stability and maturity to participate fully in the program. Applicants must have the desire and motivation to further their education and participate in campus life.
Applicants must be eligible for services from the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, enrolled in the Home and Community-Based Services Waiver, and have a Care Coordinator from a Care Coordination Organization.
Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2020 Admission to AHRC New York City’s Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program at the City University of New York in partnership with the new CUNY Unlimited credential program. To get started, visit www.cuny.edu/unlimited for Part 1 of the application packet. For Part 2, download all Supplemental Application Materials on this page using the links below. The Application Deadline for Fall 2020 Admission has been extended to January 6, 2020.
Application Process and Procedures
CUNY Unlimited Student Application
Applicants begin the application process by completing the CUNY Unlimited Student Application. Visit the CUNY Unlimited page at www.cuny.edu/unlimited and download the application for Fall 2020 Admission. Fill out the Applicant Information and Applicant Profile sections. Only applicants who have indicated AHRC New York City’s Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program at the City University of New York as their program of choice on the application will be considered for admission to the program. Applicants should complete the application as independently as possible. Information on the application may be typed or printed neatly. You may attach additional information and pages for writing space if needed.
Submit the Applicant Information and Applicant Profile sections of the CUNY Unlimited Student Application to the CUNY Central Office of Student Affairs. Also send Proof of Citizenship and Proof of High School Diploma or Credential. If you do not have proof of a high school diploma or credential because you are still in school, send Proof of High School Enrollment instead. Refer to the Application Checklist for further details on Part 1.
Send all Part 1 application materials by mail or email to:
CUNY Central Office of Student Affairs
Attn: CUNY Unlimited
555 West 57th Street, Suite 1401
New York, NY 10019
Email Address: email@example.com
AHRC NYC Supplemental Application Materials
Applicants must submit Supplemental Application Materials directly to AHRC New York City. To get started on Part 2, download and complete all Supplemental Application Materials on this page using the links from above. It is acceptable for the applicant to receive any support needed in completing this portion of the application. All information is confidential and will not be shared with any external organizations unless a written agreement is provided by those completing the application.
Submit the latest Individualized Education Program (IEP), two Psychological Evaluations, a Psychosocial Evaluation, two Recommendations, a Medical History Self-Report, an Individual Authorization for Release of Protected Health Information (HIPAA-2), and a Cover Sheet to AHRC New York City’s Referral and Information Center. It is important to obtain and complete all necessary documentation as directed. Refer to the Application Checklist for further details on Part 2.
Send all Supplemental Application Materials by postal mail only to:
AHRC New York City
Referral and Information Center
Attn: Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program
83 Maiden Lane
New York, NY 10038
Applicants selected to move forward in the application process will be contacted to attend an orientation session with family and support staff. A parent, family member, guardian, or support staff must be present at the orientation session with the applicant.
Applicants will be given instructions to complete a personal project on their own. The assignment will provide us an opportunity to learn more about the applicants and provide insight into the types of support they may need.
Applicants that have completed an orientation session will be scheduled to participate in a tryout session on the college campus and submit their personal projects. The agenda includes academic learning, participating in campus life, engaging with students, person-centered planning activities, and a series of observations to identify their motivation for post-secondary education and self-determination.
An Admissions Committee will review all materials and observations. The decision to offer admission to AHRC New York City’s Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program at the City University of New York will be made by the committee in their best judgment and in the best interest of the applicants. Those accepted into the program will be notified by telephone and receive a letter of acceptance.
Upon acceptance to AHRC New York City’s Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program at the City University of New York, admitted students are expected to pay a $65 Application Fee. The CUNY Central Office of Student Affairs will provide details on how and where to submit a check or money order to pay for the application fee.
For students born after 1956, both the New York State Public Health Law 2165 (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) and the New York State Public Health Law 2167 (Meningitis) requirements must be met completely. Students must complete immunization requirements before registering for classes, regardless of degree or non-degree status at a CUNY campus. All admitted students must complete and submit an Immunization Record and Physical Examination Form.
Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid
It is anticipated that CUNY Unlimited will become an approved Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP) by Fall 2020. This means that students (and their families) will be responsible for CUNY tuition and fees, which will be covered by federal financial aid for qualified students.
Students and their families must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to determine financial aid eligibility. For more information about how students with intellectual disabilities may be able to obtain certain types of federal financial aid, visit www.studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility/intellectual-disabilities.
If you need guidance or have questions while going through the admissions process, please do not hesitate to reach out to us by contacting:
AHRC New York City’s
Referral and Information Center