Meng Saves College in Queens from Shutting Down
Dec 1, 2014
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) announced today that she has saved a college in Queens from shutting down.
On the brink of closing its doors, Bramson ORT College in Forest Hills was spared after the Congresswoman intervened with the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) in Washington, D.C.
Earlier this year, the DOE had placed Bramson ORT under heightened cash monitoring, which requires that a school submit additional documentation before financial aid funds are made available to it. But after the college provided the necessary paperwork, the DOE was unresponsive to the institution, and later declined to release any financial aid payments. As a result, Bramson was weeks away from closing down.
After the college contacted Meng for help, the Congresswoman convened a conference in her office with school and DOE officials where she identified sources of miscommunication between the two, and put forth a plan for the resumption of urgently needed financial aid payments. As part of this plan, the DOE made its first disbursement of $175,000, and the school anticipates receiving the balance of $980,000 soon.
“I am glad that this matter between the Department of Education and Bramson ORT College has been resolved, and I’m pleased to have facilitated a favorable outcome by bringing both sides together,” said Meng. “With the school remaining open and this issue now behind it, the institution can move forward to continue the important work it does in educating New York students. I thank officials from the DOE for working with us to prevent the school from shutting down.”
“We would like to sincerely thank Congresswoman Meng and her staff for their continued support and guidance in securing payments, and ongoing efforts to restore our financial aid payment status back to the standard method of payment,” said Dr. David Kanani, President of Bramson ORT College and an alumnus of the school.
The DOE had placed Bramson ORT College under heightened cash monitoring this past April in response to the institution’s restructuring of its education program. Heightened cash monitoring is a greater scrutiny of federal aid payments to education entities.
Meng plans to schedule a follow-up meeting between the College and DOE to ensure that there are no problems with future financial aid payments.
Bramson ORT College is a two-year technical college based on Austin Street, just off Queens Boulevard. The institution also operates a campus in Brooklyn. It was established in 1942 to serve refugees and immigrants during World War II and became a College in 1977. The school provides students with degrees in accounting, business management, computer technology, electronics, medical and natural sciences, graphics and web design, game design and programming and many other subjects. The College serves diverse and lower income students who often work full time jobs while enrolled in classes.