The City University of New York Monday launched “A Degree for Every Dream,” a wide-ranging advertising campaign across the tri-state area featuring more than 60 current and former CUNY students and highlighting the University’s unrivaled affordability, vast range of academic programming, career support services and social opportunities. It aims to address Gen Z students’ hopes and fears about attending college in a post-pandemic world.
The campaign begins running in New York City subways, buses, highway billboards in New York City and New Jersey and social media platforms today, and is already visible on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad. It will expand over the next weeks to city bus stops, NJ Transit, PATH trains, the Staten Island Ferry terminals, and LaGuardia Airport.
“Whether big or small, every student comes to us with a dream, and with our incredible quality, variety and value, there is no institution in New York City that is better positioned than CUNY to help them successfully achieve those dreams,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “We are proud of this beautiful, wide-ranging campaign that will allow prospective students to imagine themselves on our campuses, to see that we are a cutting-edge, student-centric university and to envision the journey to their eventual success.”
To inform its message, CUNY surveyed more than 1,100 current students, asking them to articulate their expectations for college. What emerged was a widespread desire for a sense of community on campus, something they missed during the years of the pandemic. Students continue to prize such qualities as affordability and flexibility, to be sure, but many also hope to make meaningful connections with their classmates.
With that in mind, “A Degree for Every Dream” spotlights the benefits of campus life, including student organizations, athletics, arts programming, internships and the friendships that are forged along the way. Students are depicted experiencing a wide variety of academic, social and professional “dreams.” To appeal to a Gen Z audience, the campaign — produced entirely in-house by CUNY’s Office of Communications and Marketing — blends contemporary design elements and typefaces with vivid images of students thriving on CUNY campuses. Across the CUNY system, 75% of all degree-seeking students were born in 1997 or later, roughly considered to be the beginning of Gen Z.
“I feel proud and lucky to be part of this significant campaign for a university that has inspired and witnessed my growth, and I can’t wait to see my mom’s reaction when she sees my face on the subway and bus ads I helped create,” said Meilly Cen Mo, Baruch College ’23, who has a degree in advertising and marketing communications.
Each ad will drive viewers to CUNY’s newly revamped University-wide program pages, which are organized by academic discipline and include comprehensive lists of degree types, rankings information, faculty profiles, videos and more. These are intended to help prospective students interested in a specific subject or major evaluate their options across all 25 CUNY schools.
The City University of New York is the nation’s largest urban public university, a transformative engine of social mobility that is a critical component of the lifeblood of New York City. Founded in 1847 as the nation’s first free public institution of higher education, CUNY today has seven community colleges, 11 senior colleges and seven graduate or professional institutions spread across New York City’s five boroughs, serving over 226,000 undergraduate and graduate students and awarding 55,000 degrees each year. CUNY’s mix of quality and affordability propels almost six times as many low-income students into the middle class and beyond as all the Ivy League colleges combined. More than 80 percent of the University’s graduates stay in New York, contributing to all aspects of the city’s economic, civic and cultural life and diversifying the city’s workforce in every sector. CUNY’s graduates and faculty have received many prestigious honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes and 26 MacArthur “Genius” Grants. The University’s historic mission continues to this day: provide a first-rate public education to all students, regardless of means or background. To learn more about CUNY, visit https://www.cuny.edu.