High Achievers Continue To Enroll at CUNY in Record Numbers

November 5, 2012 | CUNY Matters, The University

High-achieving students continue to enroll at record levels at CUNY, while more students are on track to complete their degrees, according to a preliminary fall 2012 enrollment report.

The University continues to see record enrollment of students with high school averages over 85 this fall, with a 5 percent increase over last year. CUNY’s highly competitive Macaulay Honors College experienced  more than a 35 percent increase in the number of applicants for this year, to a record 5,537 for 400 places.

SAT scores of students entering Macaulay are now above 1400, with a mean average grade-point average in excess of 93 percent – a student academic profile typical at Ivy League and other highly competitive institutions. In addition, at CUNY’s five most competitive senior colleges – Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter and Queens – almost 27 percent of freshmen entering this fall had SAT scores above 1200.

The strong demand for a CUNY education is fueled by strengthened academic standards, stabilized University finances and CUNY’s renewed reputation for both academic quality and great value in a challenging economy where college tuitions and student debt continue to rise.

Overall, the number of students continuing at CUNY colleges increased by close to 2,000.  Chancellor Matthew Goldstein told the Board of Trustees on Sept. 24 that  higher retention rates were “very much attributable to the focus and quality of the students” now applying to and entering CUNY’s most competitive colleges.

A total of 269,186 students are filling CUNY classrooms in fall 2012, following 12 years of enrollment increases, according to preliminary University figures.  Another 2,800 students were directed to pre-degree immersion programs to bring their skills up to college level.  They included more than 740 in CUNY Start, an academic skills immersion program, and another 2,100 in the CUNY Language Immersion Program.

Enrollment at CUNY’s four-year baccalaureate colleges is slightly up this fall, as is undergraduate enrollment overall.  A small dip in graduate-student enrollment is occurring in teacher-education programs amid a drop-off in teacher hiring.