Freshmen enrollment at The City University of New York rose 4 percent this fall to 39,938 students, a record for the university and a continuation of a five-year upward trend.
Since 2014, the number of freshmen enrolling at CUNY’s 18 senior and community colleges has increased by nearly 7 percent.
“The growth of our freshman classes is a testament to our successful efforts to evolve, expand and continuously improve educational offerings on campuses across CUNY,” said Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz. “Students are increasingly drawn to the quality and affordability of a CUNY education. Our mission to give them a pathway to social mobility has never been more vital.”
According to university officials, financial incentives by state and city government in recent years have also contributed to the upsurge. The state’s Excelsior Scholarship program, which supplements state and federal aid to make college free for more students, has been one factor. Another is the city’s move to waive CUNY application fees for public school students from low-income families.
Nearly all of CUNY’s campuses saw increases in their first-time freshmen enrollment this fall over last year. All told, the number of freshmen at the 11 senior colleges went from 20,158 to 21,214, a 5.3 percent increase. Among the seven community colleges, freshmen enrollment rose from 18,260 to 18,724.
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 24 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The university comprises 25 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The university serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.