CUNY Projects New Record Enrollment in 2015, Boosted by Value, Academic Choices

Student enrollment at CUNY is at record levels —approximately 278,000 degree credit students, the highest in CUNY’s history.

A comparison of enrollment on the third day of classes for the Fall 2015 semester with the comparable day last fall shows a projected new record high of approximately 278,000 students, or an projected increase of approximately 2750. The previous record enrollment in Fall 2014 was  275,132, reflecting a 4.9% increase over the five-year beginning in 2010.

Chancellor James B. Milliken said, “The reasons behind CUNY’s largest enrollment in history are pretty simple to understand: it’s recognized nationally as one of the best values in education.    Tuition is relatively low, the vast majority of our students receive financial aid, and relatively few graduate with student debt.   At the same time our faculty are world class and we offer attractive programs that prepare graduates for success.   The combination is hard to beat.”

Last year’s freshman class of 37,455 was the largest ever, and the University has enrolled a sufficient number of freshmen to break that record for 2015. Enrollment at a number of senior colleges—including Baruch, Brooklyn, City College, Hunter, Lehman, Medgar Evers and Queens—is several percentage points higher than recorded last year. Master’s programs are leading with large increases at Brooklyn, Hunter and the College of Staten Island.  New graduate students are up by more than 6% University-wide.

Affordability at CUNY is very much exemplified by another record:  More than 80% of this year’s full-time freshmen undergraduates are receiving some financial aid to help them defray college costs.  Tuition for full-time resident undergraduates at the senior colleges is $6,330 annually and, at the community colleges, $4,800 annually.

Seventy percent are attending this fall tuition free due to the State’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), Pell Grants,  federal tuition tax credits, The New York City Council Academic Achievement Scholarships, privately raised funds from alumni and other donors, foundations– including the US Dream Foundation, which this past year allocated more than half of its scholarships nationwide to CUNY students.

The CUNY School of Medicine received its accreditation this summer. Located on the City College campus in Harlem, the new medical school will increase access to an academically intensive medical education and train physicians for underserved communities across the state.

Examples of new academic programs offered this fall at CUNY include:

Baruch College’s new M.A. in arts administration addresses the employment needs of both nonprofit and for profit arts organizations in New York City. The program draws upon the expertise of all three of Baruch’s Schools – Arts and Sciences, Business and Public Administration.

Borough of Manhattan Community College adds an A.S. in animation and motion graphics to its existing suite of programs in media production. This program will provide students with the fundamentals of 2D and 3D animation as well as special effects, scriptwriting and visual storytelling. New York is one of the three largest regions employing multimedia artists and animators.

Brooklyn College launches its M.F.A. in cinema arts and M.A. in cinema studies at its new state-of-the-art facilities at Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. These programs will provide skilled professionals to New York City’s growing film, television and other media platform industries.

City College will launch an M.S. in translationalmedicine this fall. The program will produce individuals able to design and deliver cutting-edge medical equipment and machinery.

New York City College of Technology’s new B.S. in professional and technical writing will graduate individuals able to write clearly about diverse fields like biotechnology, economics and law. Employment opportunities in technical and professional writing will grow much faster than most fields over the next few years.

In Spring 2016, The School of Professional Studies will launch a fully online M.S. in disability services in higher education to address the need that colleges and universities across the country have for professionals with expertise in this field. The first program of its kind in the country is already attracting applicants from California, West Virginia, Massachusetts and Wisconsin in addition to New York.

About The City University of New York: The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health. The University serves more than 278,000 degree-credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. Nearly 3 million unique visitors and 10 million page views are served each month via, the University’s website.