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Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

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New York


WEEKDAY MAGAZINE – Facts About Manhattan College

(Trollness / Wikimedia Commons)

By Elisa Valentino

September 13, 2019

Twelve Facts About Manhattan College

With The Bronx being home to the most institutions of higher learning in  New York City, it is appropriately called “The Borough of Universities.”

As part of my ongoing series highlighting all 12 of these schools, we move from the Fordham section (see last week’s feature, Eleven Lesser Known Facts about Fordham University ) and travel north to Riverdale and Manhattan College. Riverdale is best known for having been a 19th-century estate district, providing a lovely backdrop to this independent Catholic college. 

With a history that dates back over 150 years, Manhattan College was established in 1853 by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, drawing its inspiration from the heritage of John Baptist de La Salle, the innovator of modern pedagogy and patron saint of teachers.  

Today, the college offers programs that integrate a broad liberal education with concentration in specific disciplines in the arts and sciences or with professional preparation in business, education and engineering.

Here are a dozen lesser known facts about this Lasallian Catholic college:

1. Intimate and Small  

For students wishing to be in a more intimate environment, Manhattan College has a student body population of less than 5000. Actually, 4,242 students to be exact, comprised of 3,664 undergraduates and 578 graduate students.  Additionally, the student-faculty ratio is 13:1 with 50.4 percent of its classes, having fewer than 20 students. 

2. Ranked #13 in Regional Universities North

Manhattan College is ranked #13 in Regional Universities North and #40 in Best Catholic Colleges in America.

(Trollness / Wikimedia Commons)

3. Extensive Program Offering 

While the student body number is small, the college offers an abundant 100 programs in six distinct undergraduate schools: the School of Liberal Arts, the O’Malley School of Business, the School of Education and Health, the School of Engineering, the School of Science, and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. This is quite impressive for an institution with only 4,000 students.

4. Selective Acceptance

According to their Fall 2018 student enrollment statistics, Manhattan College had a 74% acceptance rate. 

5. High Student Retention Rate

The average freshman retention rate, one of the indicators of student satisfaction, is 85%. Further, the four-year graduation rate for Manhattan College is 75%.

(Trollness / Wikimedia Commons)

6. Average-to-high side for tuition

Like most private colleges, Manhattan’s annual tuition is not inexpensive. For the 2019-2020 school year, tuition and fees is $39,965 and for those living on campus, the total cost including housing is $55,545. According to their website, 94% of students receive financial aid.  However, the good news is that 48% of students (nearly half) receive merit-based aid.

7. Originally Located in Lower Manhattan

Manhattan College was founded in 1853 as the Academy of the Holy Infancy by five French De La Salle Christian Brothers.  The original school was a small building on Canal Street in Lower Manhattan. As it grew too big for this location, the college moved to 131st Street and Broadway, in the Manhattanville section of Harlem. The school received its state charter in 1863, at which time the school’s name was changed to Manhattan College.  In 1922, it outgrew the space in Manhattanville and moved to its current location in the Riverdale section of The Bronx.   

8. Urban Setting Close to Manhattan

The location of the college in the Bronx is quite ideal for taking advantage of all there is to enjoy and experience in the nearby borough of Manhattan. Just a subway ride away, students can explore the wonders of museums, concerts, street fairs, the Broadway stage and a mega world of restaurants, not to mention all of the great cultural attractions in the Bronx. 

9. Campus Clubs Galore

Manhattan College offers more than 80 campus clubs across a variety of diversified areas that include community service and social justice, performing arts, spiritual and religious S.T.E.M.and more. 

10. Campus Greek Life 

Students who are looking to enhance their college years by being part of a fraternity or sorority have that opportunity at this school.

11. Diversified Student Body 

Although Manhattan College is a Catholic school, they proudly and enthusiastically welcome students from all backgrounds, faiths and traditions, which is evidenced by the cross section of its culturally-based clubs. The student body population breakdown includes men (54%), women (46%) and minorities (31%) of which 20% are Hispanic.  Additionally, one-third of the students are first-generation Americans. 

12. Manhattan College Alumnus was the First Latin American-born Player in Major League Baseball

Luis Castro, a Manhattan College alumnus, was the first Latin American-born player to play in Major League Baseball and the first Latin American since Cuban player Esteban Bellán in 1873 to play professional baseball.


Elisa is a travel blogger and freelance writer. She was born in Queens, educated in the Bronx and currently resides on Long Island. Her world travels always lead her back to her native New Yorker roots. She is co-founder of TravelinCousins.com and is featured weekly columns in both thissistheronx.info and HeartOfTheBronx.com.

To submit writing for publication on WEEKDAY MAGAZINE, click here.  Fiction, non-fiction, commentary, news, news analysis, and poetry are welcome.  Bronx slant always preferred.

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