Learn How to Navigate the Application and Admissions Process to Our College Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Admissions Overview

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 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 Credential in Academic and Career Studies and receive their personal portfolio upon graduation.

People with intellectual disabilities age 21 or over 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. Applicants must be eligible for services from the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), enrolled in the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver, and have a Care Manager from a Care Coordination Organization.

The Fall 2022 Admissions Guide is now available for students, families, professionals, transition coordinators, and other interested parties. The guide provides detailed information on the application and admissions process, and other valuable information. View and download the Admissions Guide here (PDF).

How to Apply

The application period for Fall 2022 Admission is currently closed. If you would like to be considered for Fall 2023 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, please check this page again in September 2022 when the updated application materials will be posted. Applications for Fall 2023 Admission will only be accepted between September 1, 2022 and December 11, 2022.

Submit the following documents (Part 1) to the CUNY Central Office of Student Inclusion Initiatives:

  • CUNY Unlimited Student Application (PDF will be available in September 2022);
  • Proof of Citizenship; and
  • Proof of High School Diploma or Credential (or Proof of High School Enrollment if you are still in school).

Submit the following documents (Part 2) to AHRC New York City’s Referral and Information Center:

Refer to the Application Checklist for further details. It provides instructions and detailed descriptions for each required document. View and download the Application Checklist for Fall 2022 Admission here (PDF will be available in September 2022);

Send all Part 1 application materials by email to unlimited@cuny.edu. Send all Part 2 supplemental application materials via email to referrals@ahrcnyc.org or by postal mail to:

AHRC New York City
Referral and Information Center
Attn: Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program
83 Maiden Lane, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10038

Contact Us

If you need guidance or have any questions about the application or admissions process, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. For applicants living in the Bronx or Brooklyn, please call Kensaku Matsuda at (646) 242-5112 or send him an email at Kensaku.Matsuda@ahrcnyc.org. For applicants living in Manhattan or Staten Island, please call Jessica Giorgio at (646) 599-1877 or send her an email at Jessica.Giorgio@ahrcnyc.org.

Additional Resources

Fall 2022 Admissions Flyer, with Extended Deadline (PDF)
Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

To return to the Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program home page, click here.