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) to provide matriculated CUNY students with the supports they need to succeed in college, secure sustainable employment, and to become civically engaged members of society.

The CUNY EDGE program consists of academic, personal and career advisement services. The goal is to promote a culture of academic excellence to support students receiving public assistance to achieve graduating on time. The program provides ongoing individualized planning and advising to help students fulfill their academic requirements geared towards completion of their degree, manouver their personal life, and attain meaningful and sustainable employment.

Program Benefits

  • Offers ongoing academic, personal, and career planning advisement
  • Limited tuition support for intersession and summer classes
  • ​Completion of school enrollment verification letter (HRA-154) for compliance with all current HRA rules/regulations
  • Connection to internship, EDGE Paid Fellowship, and job opportunities for experiential learning
  • Professional development workshops and networking events
  • Resume & cover letter development and completion
  • Support with Graduate School application process
  • CUNY EDGE/Mitsui USA full-tuition scholarship, and assistance identifying other scholarship opportunities
  • Social services referral (homelessness, eviction and eviction prevention, domestic violence, child support, and other assistance as required)


  • Matriculated CUNY undergraduate student
  • Must be an active Human Resource Administration (HRA) Cash Assistance Recipient
  • Submitted our Intake, FERPA and E-Signature via Email.
    To request these forms, email

Student Testimonials

Samantha Jimenez '23

“Hi my name is Samantha Jimenez and I am currently a senior majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Law and I have the great opportunity to have been part of CUNY EDGE throughout my college career. From the beginning CUNY EDGE has been like a family on campus, whether I needed guidance or motivation, Soheila and CUNY EDGE were always there to support me and just reassure me that the path and decisions I'm making are right for me and ensuring me of my own skills. The program definitely has been a pillar of support here at John Jay for me and has helped me gain the confidence to just try new things and get involved in new opportunities.

Overall my favorite aspect of the programs are the advisors and the mentors and just everyone who are always looking out for our best interests and genuinely care about our growth and success but also are just much more than advisors, they’re our friends.

I definitely always know I often struggled with putting myself out there and trying new professional opportunities and CUNY EDGE always ensured I felt ready to continue with each journey whether it was helping me with cover letters to prepare me for interviews, or just talking about careers. It definitely helped me gain more confidence in myself and in the skills to be able to put myself out there and do opportunities I would have never imagined or envisioned myself doing.

From the moment I met Sohelia and the team, they not only cared about me but also my family and always made time to ensure I was on the right path and I did not have any obstacles that could interfere with my college career and my professional career and I really appreciated that because as a first-generation student it was extremely hard to find someone to relate to or just to understand a lot of the fears that I had when I first started.

Throughout this journey I definitely felt safe and like reassured and still to this day I always share and attribute a lot of my success and accomplishments to their support as they have definitely made my four years here John Jay a lot easier and a lot more memorable and I will always be forever thankful to all the advisors that were just amazing to get back to me and like reach out and ensure me that everything is going to be all right and now here as a senior and graduating this semester.

It's just insane how much looking back at it now I relied on the support and the motivation that I often got from this program.”

Melissa Delgado '22

“Hi everyone! My name is Melissa Delgado, I recently graduated from John Jay with a bachelor's in forensic psychology and a minor in economics. I am an admissions counselor at Vaughn College I work in non-profit in college in Queens New York located near LaGuardia Airport and it has been an amazing opportunity to have been part of the CUNY EDGE program because it provides students with better opportunities and amazing advisors who actually motivate you to do better and be better in life and give you advice and I am thankful that I had Soheila in my life because she's amazing and I really look up to her, and it's someone that inspired me to do better in life.

Hopefully in the future I get to pursue a degree in higher education meaning that I could try to see if I could get into Public Administration or I would want to pursue a PhD program in Clinical Psychology because that is one of my dreams, but I know that if I want to see some results I gotta work for it, which is something I tell students, like if you want to see something you gotta work for it because it's possible as long as you work for it and work your way up everything's gonna be fine.”


For more information or to speak to someone about eligibility, contact