Announces Increases in Freshmen Enrollment and New Programs to Improve Career OutcomesCelebrates First-of-Its-Kind Partnership With NYC Public Schools to Help More High School Seniors Go to College

‘We Have Reason to Believe That We Have Turned a Corner’

The outlined vision builds on the University’s Strategic Roadmap.

City University of New York Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez today delivered his State of the University Address, announcing freshman enrollment increased by more than 4% this fall, transfers rose nearly 7% and more students are attending full time — the first increases since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. 

“For the first time in three years, our enrollment is on the upswing. We have reason to believe that we have turned a corner,” said Chancellor Matos Rodríguez. “Enrollment may sound like just a lot of numbers but it’s fundamental because it means more New Yorkers have a path to a better future. It’s a tangible measure of how well we are delivering on our core mission of providing access to a first-rate education to everyone in our city, regardless of means or background.”

During the speech at Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work in East Harlem, the Chancellor laid out CUNY’s ambitious plans for transforming into the nation’s foremost student-centered university system by the end of the decade. The enrollment news underscored Chancellor Matos Rodríguez’s vision of a “bigger, better and bolder CUNY” as he spelled out how the University intends to build on its success as a powerful driver of economic and social mobility for New Yorkers. The University’s efforts will be guided by a recently unveiled strategic roadmap, “CUNY Lifting New York.” 

To improve student career outcomes, the Chancellor and Gov. Hochul announced $1.8 million to add more paid internships to CUNY’s Careers Across the Disciplines programs. By 2030 CUNY expects to triple the number of students who complete paid internships.

The Chancellor emphasized that the focus on paid internships is part of a broad strategy to connect more CUNY students with careers. The University, he said, has greatly expanded its Office of Careers & Industry Partnerships to forge public and private workforce partnerships and engage with employers such as JP Morgan Chase, IBM, Mount Sinai, Centerbridge Partners and Accenture, among many others.

“Our graduates come to CUNY to launch their dreams,” he said. “I’m happy to say that over the past four years, despite the disruption of the pandemic, we’ve made progress like never before in this area.” 

Other speech highlights include:

  • CUNY’s new partnership with New York City Public Schools to encourage high school seniors to attend college
  • CUNY’s record-breaking research fundraising 
  • CUNY’s plans to combat hate and bigotry on campuses
  • CUNY’s focus to streamline the transfer system
  • CUNY’s facility and technology priorities

CUNY will also continue to build on approaches to admissions, financial aid, academic scheduling and support services that draw greater numbers of students to its campuses. 

“A key part of our strategy is to meet students where they are,” the chancellor said. “We will do this by building our online offerings and by exploring new models of instruction and scheduling to maximize access and flexibility.”

CUNY’s vast range of programmatic offerings is highlighted in a new large-scale marketing campaign, “A Degree for Every Dream,” launched this week across the tri-state area in time for college admissions season. The campaign, which can be seen across mass transit, on billboards and social media, features more than 60 current and former CUNY students. 

Chancellor Matos Rodríguez also heralded a new era in which CUNY will rigorously and publicly assess its success. He said the University will publish its goals every year and provide updates about its progress on an ongoing basis. “We have been aspirational — and we will be accountable,” he said. 

The City University of New York is the nation’s largest urban public university, a transformative engine of social mobility that is a critical component of the lifeblood of New York City. Founded in 1847 as the nation’s first free public institution of higher education, CUNY today has seven community colleges, 11 senior colleges and seven graduate or professional institutions spread across New York City’s five boroughs, serving over 226,000 undergraduate and graduate students and awarding 55,000 degrees each year. CUNY’s mix of quality and affordability propels almost six times as many low-income students into the middle class and beyond as all the Ivy League colleges combined. More than 80 percent of the University’s graduates stay in New York, contributing to all aspects of the city’s economic, civic and cultural life and diversifying the city’s workforce in every sector. CUNY’s graduates and faculty have received many prestigious honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes and 26 MacArthur “Genius” Grants. The University’s historic mission continues to this day: provide a first-rate public education to all students, regardless of means or background. To learn more about CUNY, visit

– Story courtesy of CUNY Communications