Sharp Reductions in Black Enrollments at the Most Selective CUNY Campuses

In 1998 the trustees of the City University of New York voted to end all remedial education at the system’s four-year campuses and to institute a series of tests for admission to a CUNY baccalaureate program.

Black enrollments at CUNY four-year colleges are down 6 percent since the new standards were initiated. But the decreases are most pronounced at several of the most selective CUNY campuses. At Hunter College and Baruch College, the two most selective of all CUNY four-year institutions, black enrollments are down 23 percent and 37 percent, respectively. At City College of New York, the alma mater of Colin Powell, black enrollments have plummeted by nearly 21 percent. In contrast, black enrollments are up 7.5 percent at the almost all black Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, the least selective of the CUNY campuses.

At Baruch College the percentage of blacks in the student body had declined from 24.l percent in 1997 to 15 percent today. At City College, the black percentage of the student body had decreased from 39.6 percent to 30.1 percent.

Overall, today blacks make up 28.5 percent of all students at four-year CUNY colleges. This is down from 32.2 percent in 1997.