City University of New York

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All amounts are in dollars
Category Available
Change From
State Operations 1,982,210,317 2,106,626,900 124,416,583 0
Aid To Localities 1,290,517,776 1,254,237,000 -36,280,776 0
Capital Projects 1,828,844,000 284,222,000 -1,544,622,000 4,446,844,000
Total 5,101,572,093 3,645,085,900 -1,456,486,193 4,446,844,000

Full-Time Equivalent Positions (FTE)
Program 2008-09
Estimated FTEs
Estimated FTEs
FTE Change
Institutional Support Services
    Special Revenue Funds - Other 179 179 0
    Fiduciary Funds 11,276 11,276 0
Total 11,455 11,455 0

Note: Most recent estimates as of 12/16/08.


The City University of New York (CUNY) has its origins in the Free Academy, established in 1847 under the auspices of the New York City Board of Education and today is the nation’s largest urban public university system. The University’s mission is to provide affordable higher education with a focus on the urban community of New York City.

Budget Highlights

The Executive Budget recommends $3.65 billion All Funds ($1.26 billion General Fund; $1.96 billion Fiduciary Fund; $145 million Other Funds and $284 million Capital Funds) for the City University of New York. Changes to CUNY’s budget primarily reflect continued General Fund growth in personal services (as a result of collective bargaining contracts), non-personal services and fringe benefits; and General Fund decreases associated with tuition offsets, community college base aid and other programs. The 2008-09 Budget saw enactment of a new $1.8 billion multi-year capital program, funding for which is continued in 2009-10.

Major 2009-10 budget actions include:

  • Reduce General Fund Support to Reflect Additional Revenue from Increased Senior College Tuition Rates: The Executive Budget assumes that CUNY will implement a $600, or 15 percent, annual tuition rate increase for resident undergraduates, from $4,000 to $4,600. The Executive Budget also assumes that tuition rates for resident graduate and first-professional students will be increased in 2009-10 to levels that are 20 percent above those charged for the fall 2008 semester. In a departure from the more than 30 year old practice of using 100 percent of revenue resulting from tuition increases to offset General Fund spending, CUNY will retain 20 percent of the revenue for increased investment. This budget action generates net General Fund savings of $82.5 million and campuses will retain $20.6 million.
  • Authorize Differential Tuition for Non-Resident Students: The Executive Budget authorizes the CUNY Board of Trustees to establish differential tuition rates for non-New York State resident students by individual campus and program. This change would enable campuses and/or individual campus programs with regional or national appeal to better capitalize on their success. Statutory language will require the CUNY Board to establish appropriate maximum percentage thresholds for non-resident students by campus and/or program to ensure continued access to eligible New York State resident students. The Executive Budget assumes that campuses will retain all incremental revenue generated as a result of this change.
  • Reduce Community College Base Aid: The Executive Budget reduces base aid support for CUNY’s six community colleges by $270, or 10 percent, per full-time equivalent student, generating General Fund savings of $18 million.
  • Reduce Support for University-wide Programs and Institutes: The Executive Budget reduces support for University-wide programs and institutes by $20 million.
  • Reduce General Fund Support to Reflect Positive Cash Flow in Revenue Generating Accounts: The Executive Budget assumes that $3.6 million of positive operating cash flows from CUNY’s Income Fund Reimbursable account will be used as an offset to General Fund support.
  • Assess the CUNY Research Foundation for Use of University Facilities: The Executive Budget assumes that CUNY will require its Research Foundation to pay 10 percent ($1.9 million) of its indirect cost recoveries on Federal grants as partial reimbursement for using State-funded facilities, and reduces General Fund support by a commensurate amount.


CUNY senior colleges have two major funding sources: State support and tuition revenue. Additional support is secured from New York City and from various fees. New York City provides support for the costs of associate degree programs at CUNY's senior colleges and a share of the central administration costs attributable to the community colleges. New York City also pre-finances CUNY's senior college operating costs, and the State subsequently reimburses the City for CUNY's net operating expenses.

For 2009-10, CUNY’s gross operating budget will total $1.96 billion, an increase of $124 million, or 6.8 percent. Within this amount, taxpayer support will total $1.08 billion, a decrease of $64 million or 5.6 percent. CUNY’s Senior College Tuition Revenue Offset will increase to $885 million, which includes $110 million for new revenues generated by the tuition rate increases, $40 million to accommodate tuition revenues resulting from ongoing enrollment growth, and the annualization of prior year budget reductions.

Special revenue funding for CUNY will remain level at $145 million.


CUNY’s community colleges have three basic funding sources: State support, local support from New York City, and tuition revenue. The Executive Budget recommends $170.5 million in State support, a net decrease of $6 million, or 3.4 percent. This change is attributable to a $12 million increase for additional enrollment and an $18 million decrease resulting from a recommended $270 per-FTE reduction in base operating aid (from $2,675 to $2,405).


The 2008-09 Enacted Budget provided CUNY with $1.8 billion in new capital appropriations, a major step in the implementation of a $3 billion multi-year capital plan, which provides for facility and infrastructure improvements at senior and community colleges, consistent with University needs and priorities. The 2009-10 Executive Budget continues a commitment to preserve and rehabilitate CUNY’s educational facilities infrastructure by appropriating the second of five annual $284 million appropriations to address the accumulated backlog of critical maintenance projects throughout the University system.

2009-10 Executive Budget — Agency Presentation
City University of New York (PDF)