Councilman Says Funds Could Help Boost CUNY Graduation Rates

After growing for 10 consecutive years, enrollment in the city's public university system has hit a plateau, according to administrators, and some lawmakers are worried low graduation rates are to blame.

Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the Higher Education Committee, is calling on the mayor to give $71 million to the university system in his executive budget, which is due June 30. The amount would match what the state already gives CUNY.

"CUNY is the main door, the entry door for the working class and the middle class,” Rodriguez said.

Enrollment is estimated to hold steady at 272,000 students for Fall 2012. Rodriguez said the money could help boost graduation rates.

In a recent council hearing, a CUNY dean acknowledged that city high schools are graduating more students but added that the flat enrollment numbers could be "a blip" in an otherwise robust period of growth.