The City College of New York (CCNY), located in Harlem's Manhattanville neighborhood, is one of the 25 schools that make up the City University of New York's (CUNY) system. It is a four-year, degree-granting institution that ranks among the nation's best public colleges.
City College was founded in 1847 as the Free Academy of the City of New York, the first publicly-funded institution of advanced education explicitly for the "sons of the poor." The Free Academy was championed by Townsend Harris, a wealthy, largely self-educated businessman who was then serving as president of the Board of Education. It initially served younger teenage boys as a bridge between grammar school education and either trades or college. A May 27, 1847 article in The Evening Post offered an example, "Thus, a scholar in the common school, who chooses to be a carpenter, having passed honorably through the elementary branches, is transferred to the academy, where he acquires a thorough knowledge of ARCHITECTURAL and MECHANICAL POWERS, with requisite mathematical information...It will give us intelligent mechanics, extending throughout the Union, cannot fail to elevate our national character."
The Free Academy's first president, Dr. Horace Webster, described the undertaking at the institution's 1849 opening: "The experiment is to be tried, whether the children of the people, the children of the whole people, can be educated; and whether an institution of the highest grade, can be successfully controlled by the popular will, not by the privileged few." Indeed, the college has always been notable for its inclusiveness relative to contemporary institutions, graduating its first Black student in 1884 and admitting students regardless of religious or ethnic background throughout its history.
The Free Academy was initially located at 23nd Street and Lexington Avenue. It was renamed in 1866, and in 1869 the Female Normal and High School, the city's first free institution of higher education for women, was added. It moved to its current location in 1906-07.
Today, CCNY serves around 16,000 students, with 70% studying full time. It offers eight divisions: The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, CUNY School of Medicine, Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, School of Education, The Grove School of Engineering, Division of Humanities and the Arts, Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at Center for Worker Education (CWE), and the Division of Science. It offers 50 master's programs and three doctoral programs. In-state undergraduate tuition is $6,930 per year; graduate students pay $5,545 per semester.
CCNY remains true to its mission of offering access and opportunity to students from all backgrounds. 35% of current students are Hispanic; 25% are Asian; 16% are Black; 15% are white; 2% are two or more races; and 6% are international.
Graduates include former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Colin Powell, 11 Nobel laureates, Jonas Salk (inventor of the Salk polio vaccine), and Zero Mostel (the original Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof), to name just a few.
City College, as it's colloquially known, occupies 36 acres between 133rd Street and 140th Street, west from St. Nicholas Park to Amsterdam Avenue. It is noted for its landmarked Collegiate Gothic-style buildings, designed by George Browne Post in the early twentieth century. It's easily accessible from the 137th Street City College stop on the 1 train or from the 135th Street stop on the A/B/C/D trains.
CCNY currently has one on-campus residence hall, the Towers, at 401 West 130th Street. The Towers is an apartment-style building with free Wifi, a fitness center, a central laundry facility, and a community kitchen. Depending on the room type, the cost per person per semester ranges from $6,420 to $9,338. However, only full-time students are eligible to apply for on-campus housing.
Of course, not all CCNY students live on campus. Students who wish to live off-campus have lots to choose from thanks to its location. Being close to major subway lines such as 1, A, B, C, and D, the City College offers its students the opportunity to find off-campus housing without long commutes. Both Central Harlem and West Harlem are popular options among CCNY students, as well as the Upper West Side, Washington Heights, and Inwood. Check out RentHop's subway rent map and find out which subway stops on the A, B, C, and D lines are the cheapest.
The City College claims over 100,000 living alumni, many of whom continue to call New York City home after graduating. For alumni who stay in the city, most are spread throughout all five boroughs.
For people first moving into New York City, check out the RentHop Renters Guide. The guide explains everything you need to know about renting in the Big Apple, from finding your ideal apartment to signing the lease and completing the rental process.