Freshmen admissions criteria for The City University of New York’s senior colleges will be higher for Fall 1998, marking the third year in a row that requirements have increased. Students will be expected to have completed an increasing number of Regents-level college-preparatory academic courses in high school, particularly in English and math. In addition, senior colleges are requiring, or strongly advising, high school seniors to submit SAT scores.
“This is the most extensive upgrading in admissions standards in the last 30 years,” said CUNY Interim Chancellor Christoph M. Kimmich, who commended the colleges for their extensive work during the past two years. “We are sending a very clear message to students and parents that a top-flight university attracts top-flight students,” he added.
Before Fall 1996, admission to the senior colleges was based on one of four criteria, an 80 average in at least eight college preparatory courses; a combined SAT score of 1020 (the national average last year was 1016); a rank in the top third of the class; or a score of 300 on the high school equivalency exam.
Students will no longer be admitted based on their ranking in their high school class. Now CUNY senior colleges will require at least 10 Regents-level academic units, with an emphasis on English and sequential math (algebra, geometry and trigonometry).
Authorization for changes in admissions requirements was initiated in 1995 by the University’s Board of Trustees, which also required baccalaureate programs to limit remediation to no more than one year, with additional provisions for a one-semester limitation at the request of individual colleges.
More better-prepared students are applying to CUNY. From the inception of the College Preparatory Initiative, the collaboration between CUNY and the Board of Education, the percentage of New York City public high school students entering CUNY who took increased numbers of academic courses in high school has risen each year. By the Fall of 1996, 88% of students had completed one or more years of sequential math, up from 65% in 1991 before CPI began. Freshman are doing better each year on CUNY’s skills assessment tests in reading, writing and math. In Fall 1997, 14% more students than last year, who applied directly from high school, were admitted to CUNY with academic averages above 85, and those with averages of 80 to 85 were up 8.7%.
Examples of Freshman Admissions Requirements for Fall 1998
(These requirements are based on a junior year record when students apply for college.)
Baruch College: SAT score of 1100 with 14 or more academic units or college academic average (CAA) of 80 or above, with 14 or more academic units, three each in academic English and sequential math.
Brooklyn College: SAT score of 1100 with 10 or more academic units or CAA of 80 or above with 13 academic units; or CAA of 78 or above with 15 academic units, five of them in academic English and math combined, at least two each in math and English.
City College: Liberal Arts majors–SAT score of 1020 or CAA of 80 or above, each with 10 academic units; or CAA of 75 or above with 16 academic units, three in English and two in math. Engineering, Science & Math majors–SAT score of 1020, or CAA of 80 or above, each with 10 academic units; or CAA of 75 or above with 16 academic units, two each in English and math in all alternatives.
Hunter College: SAT score of 1020 with 12 or more academic units or CAA of 86 or above with with 12 units, or CAA of 78 or above with 14 academic units, two each in English and math.
Lehman College: SAT score of 1020 or CAA of 80 or above, each with 10 or more academic units; or CAA of 75 or above with 14 or more academic units, a total of four in English and math, at least one each in English and math in each alternative.
Queens College: SAT score of 1250 with 16 or more academic units; or CAA of 80 or above with 14 academic units; or an SAT score of 1050 plus CAA of 80 or above with 12 academic units; or SAT score of 1150 (at least 500 each in math and verbal scores) plus CAA of 77 or above with 15 or more academic units. In each case, five academic units of English and math, at least one in each area, will be required.
York College: SAT score of 1020 with 10 or more academic units; or CAA of 75 or above with 13 or more academic units; or 16 or more academic units, two in English and one in math in each alternative.
A review of admissions criteria and a further strengthening of standards is anticipated at CUNY senior colleges which offer associate programs — Medgar Evers College, the College of Staten Island, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and New York City Technical College.
According to national research, the best predictors of success in college are the number of courses taken, and success in, sequential math and Regents-level English in the first three years of high school. The new admissions requirements at CUNY build on the College Preparatory Initiative, CUNY’s unique collaboration with the Board of Education, which identifies by academic area the necessary high school preparation for success in college. Each year, in a continuing collaboration, the public schools and CUNY review the course curriculum of every section of every course in every public high school, allowing a close analysis of the course content to determine which courses may count in the student’s academic average.