City Council Restores Peter F. Vallone Scholarship

BY JOE MARVILLI
Staff Writer

The Peter F. Vallone Scholarship is back.

Missing from the budget since 2011, the scholarship that gives financial relief to thousands of CUNY students was restored for the Fiscal Year 2015 budget that was passed by the City Council on June 25. It will start up again for this fall’s semester.

The merit-based scholarship will receive $11.1 million in funding to assist about 13,500 CUNY students who maintain a B average or above. It will give these students about $400 per semester towards their education. The scholarship is named after former Council Speaker, Peter Vallone Sr.

First enacted in 1998, the scholarship helped many students attending CUNY schools each year, regardless of immigration status. It was left on the budget cutting room floor in 2011 by former Speaker Christine Quinn. Former councilman Peter Vallone Jr. believed the move was retaliation from Quinn for his push against renaming the Queensboro Bridge as the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. Quinn denied that the scholarship cut was politically-motivated.

“I applaud our Speaker and every member of our City Council for fully supporting this critical initiative,” Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) said. “By restoring the City Council CUNY Merit Based Scholarship, we have once again issued a challenge to every student in New York City. If you make the commitment to be the best student you can be, then we will stand with you as we open the doors to a college education together. Now we have restored the hopes and dreams of every student to obtain a quality education.”

Vallone Sr. said he was thrilled and thankful to see his namesake scholarship restored by the City Council.

“It’s hard to express in words my gratitude to the Speaker, my son Paul and all his colleagues on the Council for restoring this landmark scholarship,” he said. “The best thanks comes from the thousands of young scholars who now can be the best they possibly can be and change this City and world for the better!”

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstribune.com, or @JoeMarvilli.