Latest Data Shows Fewer Black and Latino Freshmen Entering Top CUNY Colleges

Lazar Treschan

In 2012, the Community Service Society released a report showing decreases in black and Latino freshmen enrollment at senior colleges in the City University of New York (CUNY), particularly the top five selective senior colleges (Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter, and Queens), over a relatively short period of time.  The report pointed to the Great Recession, the subsequent increase in applications to CUNY, and CUNY’s raising of minimum SAT score requirements as possible reasons for the trend.

In February, the Atlantic published a major story on enrollment trends at CUNY, highlighting personal stories of high achievers being denied admission to CUNY colleges while being accepted to elite, private institutions.  CUNY challenged several aspects of the story, causing the Atlantic to make significant edits.

In response to this renewed attention and debate, we have updated the findings in our 2012 study to provide a current look at enrollment trends for entering black and Latino freshmen. The orginal report included 10 years of data, from 2001 through 2010. We now extend that analysis to 2013. We also examine data related to transfer students, as well as characteristics of the pool of eligible graduating high school students from New York City public schools. In this updated analysis, we find:

  • Significant decreases in black and Latino freshman at top CUNY schools
  • A greater reliance on transfer students at top schools
  • That the vast majority of transfer students do not come from CUNY community colleges; and there has been a decrease in black students among transfer students
  • These trends are occurring while the pool of college-ready black and Latino graduates from NYC public high schools has increased dramatically

See our updated findings below, and our original report here.


Enrollment Trends at CUNY from Community Service Society of New York
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