“The Dec. 8, 2012 post “Cooper Union, CUNY Students Rally, Hoping for Spark of Larger Movement,” quoted a former CUNY professor’s recollection that before tuition was instituted in 1976, none of his students paid. That would have been true for students who attended between 1970 and 1976. But despite the often-repeated belief that New York City’s public colleges were completely free until the city’s fiscal crisis prompted a reversal of policy, the fact is that from the early years of the 20th century until 1970 hundreds of thousands of students – including those earning baccalaureate degrees at night and those attending community colleges – paid tuition. Contrast that with today’s CUNY, where nearly six out of 10 full-time undergraduates actually attend tuition-free thanks to full coverage from federal Pell Grants, New York State Tuition Assistance Program, and CUNY aid.
University Director of Communications and Marketing
The City University of New York”