New analysis: “CUNY schools serve a student population as diverse as NYC —sometimes more so”

CUNY Sociodemographics Map of New York City: Part I – Race and Ethnicity

CUNY schools serve a student population as diverse as NYC itself—and sometimes more so.

New analysis by Michael Dorsch, Futures Initiative Fellow and Doctoral Student, Earth and Environmental Sciences, The Graduate Center, City University of New York


The Futures Initiative, a program of The Graduate Center, CUNY, is very pleased to present new research by Futures Initiative Fellow and Graduate Center doctoral student Michael Dorsch on race and ethnicity in CUNY schools relative to their surrounding communities. Some of the key findings are as follows:

  • Across the CUNY system overall, race and ethnicity enrollment characteristics tend to match the race and ethnicity characteristics of the neighboring communities.
  • The percentages of Hispanic, Non-Hispanic Black, and Non-Hispanic Asian students enrolled in CUNY senior colleges are somewhat higher than the percentages in the neighboring communities.
  • At CUNY community colleges, the percentages of Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Black students enrolled  are higher than neighboring communities.

These findings speak to the quality and importance of public education. They represent the first publication of a CUNY-wide project the Futures Initiative is conducting this semester called “The CUNY Map of NYC,” a series of student-researched and designed maps that document CUNY’s relationship to and impact upon New York City.

The project is being developed in the context of a course taught by Futures Initiative Director Cathy N. Davidson and Graduate Center President Emeritus William Kelly, “Mapping the Futures of Higher Education.”  The class includes twelve Graduate Center students teaching a dozen courses in nine fields across nine CUNY campuses. The students throughout the graduate and undergraduate courses are connected through a unique implementation of the CUNY-developed platform Commons In A Box that serves as a course website and network:

This work supports the Futures Initiative’s mission of “Advancing Equity and Innovation in Higher Education.” It is not only significant scholarship but also important news for the CUNY community, New York City, and public higher education nationwide.





The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309