Quick Facts

Facts About New York State’s Independent Colleges and Universities

Download information about the Independent Sector:

Developing Talent

  • Private, not-for-profit colleges and universities enroll 40 percent of the 1.2 million students enrolled in postsecondary education in New York State.
    • Sixty-eight percent of students pursuing graduate degrees in New York State attend private, not-for-profit institutions.
  • Considering the Independent Sector’s undergraduate population:
    • 21 percent are age twenty-five or older
    • 57 percent are female
    • 18 percent attend classes part-time

 

  • New York State’s Independent Sector is the largest in the country.
  • New York State is the leading destination for first-time students who leave their home state to attend private, not-for-profit colleges.  More of these students choose New York than any other state.
  • Within New York State, students from every county attend New York's private, not-for-profit institutions.

 

  • From Niagara Falls to the sprawling Adirondack Mountains to the busy streets of New York City, New York State boasts a diverse geographic landscape—and a diverse collection of private colleges, too.

Degree Production

  • In 2018-19, the Independent Sector awarded 59 percent of the bachelor's and graduate degrees awarded in New York State.

 

  • In New York State, 67 private, not-for-profit colleges and universities produce 59 percent, or 10,464 of the bachelor's and graduate degrees earned by students who become educators. These institutions lead not only in New York, but among private sectors of higher education across the U.S.

 

  • In New York State, 50 private, not-for-profit colleges and universities produce 57 percent, or 8,825 of the degrees earned by students who become nurses. New York State is among the top states in nursing degree production.

 

  • The Independent Sector outpaces other sectors in the production of degrees in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). This includes 52 percent of the bachelor’s degrees, and 76 percent of graduate degrees earned in STEM fields in New York State.

 

  • In good economic times or bad, those with bachelor’s and graduate degrees fare far better in the job market. Those who have not attended college are unemployed at more than twice the rate of those who have earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree.

Driving Economic Impact

  • In 2019, total statewide economic impact of New York’s Independent Sector of higher education was $97.6 billion, which represents a 10 percent increase over 2017.
  • Total employment in 2019 was 432,600, which includes direct campus jobs, campus construction jobs, and spillover jobs in communities.

Empowering Students

  • The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) helps nearly 300,000 students pay their tuition at a New York State college or university.  In 2019-20, students at independent colleges and universities received $167 million in TAP funds.
    • Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of Independent Sector TAP recipients have incomes below $40,000; half (50 percent) earn less than $20,000.
  • In 2019-20, 88 percent of first-time, full-time students at Independent Sector colleges and universities received some form of financial aid: federal, state/local, or college-funded.
    • Of the total amount of aid for Independent Sector students, 89 percent was college-funded.
  • In 2019-20, Independent Sector institutions provided $6.7 billion in college-funded financial aid, and have increased this amount by an average of 8 percent each year since 2000.

 

  • In 2018-19, more than 36 percent, or about 18,000 of the 49,000 first-year Pell Grant recipients attending four-year institutions enrolled at private, not-for-profit colleges and universities, and received nearly $90 million in Pell Grant awards.

Educating Students of Color

  • Forty percent of African-American and Latinx students who attend four-year/graduate colleges in New York State, attend a private, not-for-profit institution.
  • Forty-five percent of African-American and Latinx students who attend college in New York State receive their bachelor’s and graduate degrees from private, not-for-profit colleges and universities.
  • Sixty-six percent of African-American and Latinx students who attend college in New York State receive their master's and doctorate degrees from private, not-for-profit colleges and universities.

 

Committed to Discovery

  • New York State ranks second among the states, with total public and private higher education R&D expenditures of $7.1 billion.
  • Independent colleges and universities account for 77 percent of R&D spending among higher education institutions in New York State ($5.5 billion of $7.1 billion).
  • Between 2015 and 2019, Independent Sector institutions increased their total R&D spending by 26 percent ($4.35 billion to $5.47 billion).
  • In 2019, there were 505 new patents issued to colleges and universities in New York State. Eighty-three percent of the new patents were issued to Independent Sector colleges and universities.
  • Sixty-four new startup-up companies were created in 2019 by New York colleges and universities. Ninety-two percent (or, 59 of the 64) of the new start-ups originated at Independent Sector institutions.
  • CICU’s latest economic impact analysis of New York State’s Independent Sector estimates that there are 14,900 off-campus (spinoff) jobs attributed to research spending by private, not-for-profit colleges and universities in New York State.

Notable Distinctions

  • The Independent Sector is well represented in U.S. News and World Report college rankings: six institutions are listed in the top 50 Liberal Arts Colleges; four are listed in the top 50 Best National Universities, and five are listed in the top 50 undergraduate Engineering Schools.

Explore our Tableau dashboards for additional perspective. Contact Keith Cushing for additional information (keith@cicu.org).