Open City

University Heights

Herman Badillo, longtime New York politico, is CUNY's new president, and, a la Giuliani, is a critic of open admissions. Who paid your way?

Dan Elreda
Age: 22
Resides: Astoria, Queens
Occupation: Research technician

Do you think CUNY should be an open admissions school? I believe in the closed policy. I know a lot of people who went to CUNY. Some of them don't even have basic math skills.

Is CUNY too expensive? What they're asking is not unreasonable.

How much did you spend on your education? Somewhere near $80,000.

If you could go back, what would you study? Psychology and physics.


Michelle Rodriguez
Age: 22
Resides: Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Occupation: Student

Do you think CUNY should be an open admissions school? I do believe that there should be admissions testing. I went to CUNY, Hunter, but it was too competitive, at least the area I studied, nutrition. I transferred to NYU, it's not as hard.

Is CUNY too expensive? No. After NYU, it's definitely fair.

How much did you spend on your education? About $25,000.

If you could go back, what would you study? If I could start over, I wouldn't study nutrition. Maybe I'd try for medical school. But I was too afraid to try before.


Tonya Jenerette
Age: 32
Resides: Village
Occupation: Teaches law

Do you think CUNY should be an open admissions school? I must be frank, I don't think students should get college credit for remedial work.

Is CUNY too expensive? For some people $1000 is as inaccessible as a million. Tuition should be waived for the very poor.

How much did you spend on your education? I went to school forever. I got a $100,000 loan debt. And most of that is for going to NYU Law. I went to a small state school in New Jersey and I got fellowships for my Ph.D., but for law school I got a lot of loans.

If you could go back, what would you study? Music and literature. That's what people with money get to study.


Leora Hanser
Age: 22
Resides: Union Square
Occupation: Works for nonprofit

Do you think CUNY should be an open admissions school? I think it should continue to be open admissions. And for those who argue that remedial courses shouldn't count toward credit, that's bullshit! The whole reason for attending CUNY is being eliminated.

Is CUNY too expensive? That's a hard question to answer. CUNY still remains one of the most affordable institutions in the country.

How much did you spend on your education? Over $120,000.

If you could go back, what would you study? I studied political science. I wouldn't change it for the world.


Jon French
Age: 26
Resides: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Occupation: Librarian

Do you think CUNY should be an open admissions school? Yeah. To have a university like CUNY you have to have open admissions. You shut off a lot of the New York population otherwise. The CUNY trend follows the trend out in California, but this time it's based on class and not race.

Is CUNY too expensive? For CUNY, maybe it's too expensive. It's a major public school in the city and it's had a history of being free.

How much did you spend on your education? Huge amounts. Basically $12,000 a semester.

If you could go back, what would you study? I would study something that would get me a good job, not study what I want to.


Ismail El-Alrani
Age: 32
Resides: Midtown
Occupation: Computer programmer

Do you think CUNY should be an open admissions school? Yeah. People should be able to go to school, get an education.

Is CUNY too expensive? It's expensive considering that it used to be free.

How much did you spend on your education? About $7800 for a two-year degree. I went to a technical college. It's cheaper than regular schools.

If you could go back, what would you study? I'm thinking of going back and getting my Ph.D. in computers.


Alenka Flanders
Age: 28
Resides: Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn
Occupation: Dancer/dance teacher

Do you think CUNY should be an open admissions school? I definitely think they should be able to take remedial classes toward college credit.

Is CUNY too expensive? It should be free.

How much did you spend on your education? I came out of school in Europe, Bosnia, and we went to school for free. I just paid for my books.

If you could go back, what would you study? I studied sociology before. This time, I'd like to study something with art and language.

 
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