Educate, Develop, Graduate, Empower

CUNY EDGE at Hunter College provides students with services, benefits, and support so that they succeed in college and in their careers.

cuny edge students
Get an EDGE on your Education

CUNY EDGE envisions a world in which all people have access to the educational opportunities and support they need to realize academic success.


CUNY EDGE (Educate, Develop, Graduate and Empower), formerly known as the COPE program, is funded and operated in partnership between the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the City University of New York (CUNY). This partnership provides matriculated CUNY students with the support they need to succeed in college, secure sustainable employment, and become civically engaged members of society.

The crux of the CUNY EDGE program comprises academic, personal, and career advisement services. The goal is to promote a culture of academic excellence to support students receiving public assistance to graduate. The program provides ongoing individualized planning and advising to help students achieve timely graduation and secure meaningful and sustainable employment.

Additionally, CUNY EDGE manages the HRA Fellowship Program (FP), which offers on-campus paid work opportunities that provide students with invaluable professional experience. HRA determines HRA Fellowship Program eligibility, and CUNY EDGE ensures the appropriate assignments align with students’ majors, interests, and experience levels.

Vision: CUNY EDGE envisions a world where everyone can access educational opportunities and support to realize academic success, sustainable careers, and a brighter future.

Mission: CUNY EDGE’s mission is to help CUNY students receiving public assistance achieve academic excellence, graduate on time, and find employment.

Our Services

We provide structured, effective programming to help students complete their degree in the following categories.

Academic Advisement
  • We encourage consistent enrollment in courses each semester and in intersession classes as needed.EDGE staff bitmoji
  • We promote a culture of academic excellence.
  • We provide support with course selection, academic standing and progress, transfer, and related.
Professional Advisement
  • We connect students to work opportunities while in school and provide career development services for job placement after graduation.
  • Each semester advisors and staff members lead personal and professional development seminars to assist students with goal-setting, career development, and self-advocacy.
Personal Advisement
  • CUNY EDGE collaborates with other college offices to best support our students.

How Students Enroll with CUNY EDGE

Matriculated CUNY undergraduate students who receive cash assistance from The Human Resource Administration (HRA) are eligible to participate in CUNY EDGE.

HRA Fellowship Program

The Human Resources Administration (HRA) Fellowship Program provides a limited number of paid work opportunities for CUNY EDGE students.

Student Eligibility

We complete a school letter for all our students, upon which HRA determines eligibility and the number of hours each student is assigned.

Fellowship Site Placement
  • The HRA Fellowship Program is a paid internship offered to students as part of their public assistance grant. Learn about the HRA Fellowship Program
  • CUNY EDGE staff identify work opportunities on campus.
  • We screen and match students to appropriate sites, taking into consideration their majors, interests, and experience.
  • Students gain invaluable professional experience and build their resumes.
  • Students can work between 6–19 hours per week.
  • Learn more about the steps to the HRA Program
 Host an HRA Fellowship Student

If your office is interested in hosting an HRA Fellowship student, speak to your college’s CUNY EDGE office or fill out the form below.

Complete Request Form

Request HRA-154 School Letter

Why a School Letter is Important

A school letter:

  • Can be used for recertification
  • Can qualify you for weekly MetroCard
  • Is required for requesting child care
Request a HRA-154 School Letter (PDF)

Participation Pays Off

students working on laptop

You are in control of showing the Human Resources Administration (HRA) that you are meeting your participation requirements. Meet with your CUNY EDGE advisor at least once a month.

  • Monthly advisement will give you the personalized support you need to succeed at CUNY
  • You will also meet HRA’s participation requirements
Advisement is your time. Use it well!

Be ready to talk about:

  • Your goals
  • Your academic progress
  • Your classes and class attendance
  • Your grades on your assignments
Schedule Advisement Appointment

Meet Us

Director's Note

Tanya SantiagoThe CUNY EDGE Office serves Hunter College students collecting public welfare benefits – specifically Cash Assistance. CUNY has a 20-year relationship with the City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) to support public assistance recipients attending CUNY, meeting HRA work obligations, graduating promptly, and finding gainful employment. Collectively each year, the programs serve over 3,500 students across 19 campuses.
CUNY EDGE expects the best out of our students. We encourage our community to set goals and hold each of you accountable by advising and coaching each student on achieving their goals. As a supportive service, we aim to encourage you to meet each semester with determination and a positive attitude.
We provide students with the tools and resources needed for academic excellence while pursuing a baccalaureate degree. Our Advisement Services fosters a relationship between the advisor and advisee, and sessions include diverse topics such as course selection, Degreeworks review, and Financial Aid concerns. Academic advisement sessions will allow you to speak to your advisor about problems in class and study techniques. Together, we will develop and implement a plan to resolve your concerns.

Let’s make the best of your academic career together.
See you soon!

Ariela Sanabria,
Assistant Fellowship

212-396-6979 (office)

Meet with Ariela

Tanya Santiago,

212-396-6968 (office)
929-322-4023 (cell)

Meet with Tanya

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In-Person Hours & Location

We are available Monday–Friday from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm virtually, no appointment necessary. Visit us in-person at the hours listed below.

Day Hours
Monday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Hunter College - Main Campus
695 Park Avenue
North Building, Room N-204