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More Asian Students in the City University of New York
From World Journal
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 non-Asian counterparts.

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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