Today’s news:

CUNY still remains affordable for pupils

TimesLedger Newspapers

Regarding the Dec. 1-7 TimesLedger Newspaper article “Students protest as CUNY hikes tuition,” I am pleased to share several unreported data points on the value and affordability of a City University of New York education and its benefits for our students.

The safety net protecting financially at-risk students at CUNY is among the most comprehensive in the nation. Nearly six out of 10 full-time undergraduates are tuition-free at CUNY. A record $770 million in state, federal and CUNY-based financial aid was distributed in 2010.

Our students save more and borrow less. Most graduate debt-free, and those who do borrow owe far less than their peers at other public and private institutions.

CUNY students are winning nationally recognized awards, including Rhodes, Truman and Goldwater scholarships. For the fall 2011 semester, our enrollment is at a record 271,000, fueled in part by a large number of transfer students who seek a valued and affordable college education.

Thanks to a concerted, multi-year effort by university leadership and its partners in government, a new state law authorizing an annual $300 increase will reinvest those funds back to CUNY colleges for enhanced academic and student support services and will no longer be directed to the state’s general fund, as had been past practice.

Michael Arena

University Director for Communications and Marketing

City University of New York

Manhattan

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