Opinions

Rising freshmen enrollment proves CUNY can compete with big names

CUNY recently released a statement declaring a 4 percent increase of students enrolling at its 18 senior and community colleges and an increase to 39,938 freshmen choosing CUNY.

This year’s freshman class at Baruch College is the largest in the last decade, welcoming approximately 1,650 new students. Baruch is not alone in this impressive growth; other CUNY campuses are drawing more ambitious students, following a five-year trend predicted by CUNY.

CUNY is no anomaly in seeing an increase of enrolling freshmen. Other colleges such as New York University have seen growth of its incoming class, but the magnitude of how many students are flocking to CUNY points out many new developments and issues of attending college in America in today’s society.

One huge selling point that allures many applicants is CUNY’s price.

Tuition for private colleges has risen substantially over the last 10 years, and the added concern and fear of student loans are currently looming over every prospective high school senior to an overwhelming degree.

CUNY’s already affordable tuition is rare among the many expensive numbers sported by other colleges, but CUNY also offers myriad opportunities for students to pay for college, such as the Excelsior Scholarship and Macaulay Honors scholarship.

CUNY’s commitment to keeping college affordable for New Yorkers has impressively held up. CUNY also offers over 1,750 majors and its New York City-based campuses draw in students hoping to experience the city’s many educational offerings.

While CUNY is proud to say more high school seniors are considering their schools, this influx brings forth new stressors for CUNY’s already existing issues. More students means more records to track, tuition payments to be made, classes to be scheduled and hopeful students to advise. CUNY has developed an extensive system for all this record keeping and organizing. However, it is not a perfect system.

Complaints have littered CUNY’s impressive accomplishments over long lines in financial offices, confusing registration dates and prerequisites — CUNY facilities are the subject of several grievances among students.

If CUNY wants to continue growing and increasing the student body, they’ll need better funding and more time to control the increased stress of new students.

Despite these inconveniences, the value of the education at Baruch has been praised by various publications like U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and The New York Times. Sadly, this achievement is overshadowed by preconceived notions many people hold when comparing CUNY to private universities.

A CUNY degree lacks the prestige that one from Columbia University has, but by comparing prestige and name recognition people are dumbing down the many aspects it takes to produce a successful academic experience in college.

Many CUNY graduates hold jobs in impressive fields, and many current students continue that success of alumni with several internships and academic achievements.

The various opportunities for individual growth at CUNY may not hold the glitz and glamour of a well-known name, but as previous alumni have proven, it gets the job done.

This new development in enrollment opens CUNY’s future to many new possibilities. With more freshmen expected in the years to come, CUNY is succeeding in breaking down barriers and notions against public universities, while also assuming immense responsibility to improve in fostering future generations.

-Sven Larsen

Journalism ’22

October 22, 2018

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Sven Larsen


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