Asian Students in the City University of New York
December 6, 2002
By Ning Wei-yu
The number of Asian students in the City University
of New York (CUNY) is on the rise, according to a recently released
survey. Among the Asian student body, nearly 40 percent are Chinese
from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, there are more men than women in
the Asian student body and they are younger, mostly foreign-born,
financially dependent on their parents and come from families with
economic hardship but fewer hold part-time jobs compared to their
In addition, many Asian students prefer to major
in business or computer-related subjects and their graduation rate
and academic performance are higher than non-Asian students.
The survey, 2002 CUNY Student Experience Survey,
was conducted by David Crook and Cheryl Littman of CUNY's Center
of Institutional Research and Assessment. This is the third survey
on student experience since 1989.
The number of Asian students has shown a sharp
increase in the last two decades, said Crook. It went from 4.7 percent
in 1980 to 14.2 percent this year, higher than the overall percentage
of the Asian population in New York City, which is ten percent.
Among all the CUNY colleges, Baruch College
has the highest percentage of Asian students at 25.9 percent. Queensborough
Community College came second at 18.5 percent, and Queens College
followed with 18 percent. Most of the Asian students live in Queens
(52 percent) and Brooklyn (23 percent).
Among the Asian student body, Chinese makes
up as high as 38 percent (China 23 percent, Hong Kong ten percent,
Taiwan five percent), and is followed by Indian (11 percent), Korean
(ten percent), Bangladeshi (eight percent) and students from the
Philippines (eight percent).
Female students have always outnumbered male
students and make up about 60 percent of the CUNY student body.
However, the number of Asian male students surpassed that of female
students and is at 52.7 percent.
Among undergraduate majors, more Asian students
tend to choose business management (30 percent) or computer science
(21 percent). In two-year community colleges, business (26 percent),
information management (26 percent), and health care (eight percent)
are among the most popular majors.
Among the four-year colleges, there are many
different characteristics between Asian students and non-Asians.
The average age of Asian students is younger, at 23, and they are
more financially dependent on their parents. About 44 percent of
the Asian students fully depend on their families, higher than the
school-wide average of 31 percent.
In addition, only eight percent of the Asian
students have children, much lower to the school-wide average of
22 percent. Non-Asian students are older (25 in average) and most
of them hold jobs. And more are married and have children.
Because of those characteristics, said Crook,
Asian students can focus on their studies and thus their graduation
rate and academic performance are higher than non-Asians. About
41 percent of the Asian students graduate within six years, compared
to 34 percent for the non-Asians.
For more information, please contact the CUNY
Asian American/Asian Research Institute or visit www.AAARI.org.
Translated from Chinese by Larry Tung
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