About Us

The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu) is a statewide association representing the public policy interests of the chief executives of more than 100 independent colleges and universities in New York State. 

Founded in 1956 by a small group of private, not-for-profit college and university presidents, the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu) now represents 100+ independent campuses across New York State. Although not a government agency, cIcu is an educational corporation formed under the New York State Regents. Its mission is to develop consensus among a diverse membership and to advance higher education public policy.

For more than three decades, cIcu's Outreach Programs have produced helpful publications for students, families, schools and college access professionals about cIcu's 100+ member private colleges and universities, college admissions, and financial aid. Available free of charge, the latest series includes: Your College Search, Affording College, College Connections newsletter and a middle school series. These publications are distributed to New York State high school guidance and principals' offices; school superintendents' offices; public libraries; and to selected high schools in surrounding states. Our outreach also includes the Sector's admissions and financial aid Web site, www.nycolleges.org, which features profiles of the 100+ New York's private colleges and universities and their academic degree offerings throughout the state. Through grant-funded initiatives, cIcu Outreach Programs has expanded these outreach efforts to some of the highest need schools in the state. 

From 1999 to 2012, cIcu was a partner in New York State’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness Programs for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) Grant, a federal initiative to create innovative programs to help at-risk students think about and prepare for college. The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (NYSHESC) was designated by the State to administer the grant. As a State Partner in the GEAR UP grant, cIcu Outreach Programs coordinated targeted resources, workshops and college visits and tours for GEAR UP in NYS.  

Since 2009, cIcu Outreach Programs has partnered with NYSHESC through another federal grant, the College Access Challenge Grant Program (CACG), to deliver programming focused on the state’s Hispanic students including a Latino College Fair and Spanish-translated print resources for students and families as well as workshops for students and professional development for counselors. With CACG funds, cIcu Outreach Programs, along with several cIcu member colleges, has also worked with a number of middle schools across the state implement in those schools an early college awareness curriculum. 

Other cIcu Initiatives:

New York Student Aid Alliance: Stand Up for Student Aid

The New York Student Aid Alliance is a coalition of colleges and universities and other stakeholder organizations that support funding vital student aid programs for students in New York State. The Alliance hosts an annual Advocacy Day each February, which is an opportunity for students, faculty, financial aid and opportunity program administrators and other staff, as well as legislators, higher education policymakers and their staff to come together to show support for student aid funding and higher education. Last year, more than 800 concerned students, faculty and staff visited Albany to share their stories about the value of state student aid programs. The Alliance welcomes you to become a part of the effort and take a stand for student aid, to learn more visit: http://www.nystudentaidalliance.org/

Campus Community Partners: Solutions for New York’s Future

During these challenging times, when the state’s resources are stretched, New York’s 100+ private, not-for profit colleges and universities play a significant role as “anchor tenants” in their respective regions, cities, villages, towns and neighborhoods. Campuses are poised to help address the challenges facing New York State communities and to provide critical services and programs to assist the broad needs of their neighbors. The “Campus Community Partners” web site highlights the brainpower, partnerships and resources that colleges bring to communities. For more information, visit: http://cicu.org/economic-community-impact/your-neighborhood