Since it went through an aggressive, system-wide overhaul that began in 2000, the City University of New York’s top five colleges—Baruch, Hunter, Brooklyn, Queens, and City—have been raising admission standards and enrolling fewer freshmen from New York City high schools. Among the results has been the emergence of a progressively starker two-tier system: CUNY’s most prestigious colleges now increasingly favor Asian and white freshmen, while the system’s black and Latino students end up more and more in its overcrowded two-year community colleges.
CUNY officials insist that the school is as committed as ever to its “deeply rooted tradition” of serving New York’s diverse needs. “CUNY provides educational opportunity to New Yorkers as a system, not as a group of colleges,” says Julia Wrigley, the interim vice chancellor and provost. She argues that the majority of graduates in the selective colleges don’t enter as freshman but as transfer students from other colleges who enter as sophomores, juniors, or seniors. “Transfer provides an important means of access,” Wrigley notes. Students transferring from other colleges are not required to meet SAT benchmarks. <Read more.>