New York City
March 2003

Regents’ Vote Affirms CUNY Admissions Policy

The New York State Board of Regents voted recently to uphold the remedial policy of the City University of New York (CUNY), which ended an open admissions policy to the University’s four year colleges in 1999. Critics had cautioned that the policy change could lead to a drop in enrollment, particularly of minority students, at four-year CUNY institutions such as City College in Washington Heights.

CUNY officials report that enrollment at these senior colleges increased 10.5 percent from 1999 to 2002, following a national pattern of increased enrollment in institutions of higher education. Mean SAT scores of admitted freshman admitted also rose, from 1043 in 1999 to 1066 in 2002. CUNY reports that the number of African-American students at its senior colleges has increased, while changes in the proportions of ethnic groups have been “minimal.” The University reports that two-thirds of its entering class are minority students.

“In the last three years we have raised admissions standards while growing enrollment with little change in the ethnic and racial composition of our student body,” said CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein following the Regents vote, which he said, “endorses and affirms this University policy.”

CUNY students who are barred from admission to the senior colleges because they did not meet academic admissions standards can enroll in an associate degree program at one of CUNY’s community colleges, take part in “Immersion” programs offered in the Summer and Winter months, find public or private tutoring or participate in the one-semester “Prelude to Success” program taught by community college faculty at senior colleges.

Additionally, the University’s “College Now” program for high school students has more than tripled in size since 1999 and is now available in every public high school.#

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