Archive for November 17th, 2009

College’s Overcrowded

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Two-Year Colleges, Swamped, No Longer Welcome All


Sonja Taylor applied to LaGuardia Community College this summer with every expectation of being admitted. She planned to study business, bringing her closer to her dream of owning a restaurant.

But her application arrived in August, after the college had closed the floodgates because of a surge of interest from prospective students. So Ms. Taylor, 20, became one of thousands of students shut out this fall as most of New York City’s community colleges were forced to abandon their all-are-welcome admissions policies for the first time.

crowded college“Enrollment has been growing steadily, but this was a tidal wave for us this fall,” said the college’s president, Gail O. Mellow, pointing out that the student body had risen by almost 50 percent in the past decade. “I’ve never seen anything like this. We used to pretty much be an open door.”

Historically, the city’s six community colleges, which are part of the City University of New York, have taken applications until about a week before the start of classes, allowing time for students to apply for financial aid, get immunized and register for classes.

But this year, all but one of them had to close admissions earlier.

LaGuardia stopped accepting applications on July 30. The Borough of Manhattan Community College stopped in late June, while Bronx, Hostos and Queensborough Community Colleges cut off applications in the first half of August. Kingsborough Community College did not change the application period. (more…)