Brooklyn Becomes a College Town

With a crush of students already flocking to Downtown colleges like Brooklyn Law, a new dorm on tap from Brooklyn College in Flatbush, and a surge in International applications to attend Pratt, our borough is more popular than ever with the university set, says the Daily News. Around 55,000 students now attend institutions of higher learning in Kings, and that number is primed to rise. Applications to attend colleges in Brooklyn have risen almost across the board over the past five years, and a Pratt official says there was a 60 percent increase in international student applications to attend the school this year. Students interviewed for the article say Brooklyn is an appealing option. “I came here because I like New York, but don’t like Manhattan,” says a Pratt sophomore from Columbus, Ohio. “Manhattan is really crazy. There are so many insane people there. It’s a lot cheaper here, too, and I really wanted a school with a campus.” Pratt VP for enrollment Judith Aaron says the borough’s escalating real estate values and overall better rep have lured more students, or at least stopped them from worrying about personal safety. “I never get a question any more about safety – one in the last two or three years,” says Aaron. “Just as real estate has skyrocketed in Brooklyn, so has the borough’s reputation for prospective college students.” Next up: An increase in Brooklyn’s head shop-per-capita ratio?
Brooklyn Becoming a Thriving Center of Higher Education [NY Daily News]
Violet Tide Coming to Downtown? [Brownstoner]
Closing Bell: Brooklyn College’s New Dorm [Brownstoner]
Photo by Louis79.

0 Comment

  • That’s a really great development for the borough.

  • I agree, 9:11. It’s nice to see Brooklyn developing a positive reputation with students from other states and countries.

  • I read in the articles that increased applications – especially internationally…
    but I see no claims or statement that the # of students has increased.
    55,000 college students in a population of 2.2 million or sounds like a very small figure to me.
    I would guess that far more people attend college out-of-boro, out of city, out-of-state then other way around.

  • I grew up in a college town and later actually went to college. A couple of them, in fact. I find it hard to call Brooklyn a college town when the town-gown divide is so great. If you live, for example, in Ithaca, you are aware of a constant stream of movies, concerts, lectures, etc. for free or for cheap.

    Of the seven schools downtown–Brooklyn Law, City Tech, LIU, Polytechnic, Pratt, St. Francis, St. Josephs–only LIU advertises its programming. Maybe the other schools don’t have any, which amounts to a different problem. If there is no benefit to the community, who cares (other than retailers) whether there are a lot of schools with a lot of students?

  • 9.35 – I think the benefits to the community come not only from cultural and other events on offer from the universities, but from, as you noted, retail development and economic activity.

    However, unlike Ithaca or other small college towns in the middle of nowhere, Brooklyn has its own vibrant cultural scene with galleries, music venues, museums etc., so it is not as if the local populace is wanting for a source for movies, concerts, lectures etc.

    Students, however, do contribute to the already rich cultural and artistic fabric of the community, and to the local economy – which is good for all.

  • 9:49:

    You’re right about your last point.

    I was in Clinton Hill on a bitterly cold day and saw a guy walking around in his pajamas and bare feet.

    First I thought he was an escapee from a looney bin. Then I looked across the street and saw that he was being filmed for a Pratt-student project.

    Now there’s “artistic fabric”!

  • Thats great news for the borough. Great news for me as well….im a downtown landlord.

  • “escalating real estate values… have lured more students”

    Actually, isn’t that the exact opposite of how it works?

  • “Manhattan is really crazy. There are so many insane people there.” In other words, you DON’T like New York.

  • “Manhattan is really crazy” Maybe compared to Columbus Ohio but not to Central Brooklyn where Pratt is located.

    In Central Brooklyn 1 in 5 residents reported their health as fair to poor.

    In C. B. residents experience serious mental distress at a rate 35% greater than Brooklyn overall AND Manhattan.

    Death due to drug use… 60% higher

    Triple the rate of new cases of gonorrhea

    25% higher cancer rates

    Of 42 NYC neighborhoods Central Brooklyn was rated 38 “in dead before you turn 75”.

  • 10.41 – I think the reference to real estate values was cited because there is a correlation between real estate prices, affluent newcomers in the past 10-15 years, and the relative improvement in safety and amenities in brownstone and downtown brooklyn neighborhoods over years past.

  • Columbus, Ohio has a SERIOUS drug, gang and crime problem, 11:00.

    You are severely underinformed.

    Why do you live in a place you seem to despise?

    Sounds like you are the mental patient, actually.

  • There was an article just this week about how the college towns across the U.S. are holding up in value. This is a great thing for Brooklyn.

    As for Mr. Manhattan who retorted that a student who commented here didn’t like NYC if they thought Manhattan was crazy – huh? Every single person who sets foot in Brooklyn is capable of recognizing and describing the ways Brooklyn has a different vibe than Manhattan. Your statement is just knee-jerk defensiveness, as usual around here.

    If a person is attending school and not working on manic Wall Street or rushing to work, etc, then yeah, pretty logical the students will prefer a slower paced Brooklyn. Ever been to a college town before? Ever heard of the phrase “sleepy college town”?

  • The Pratt student, from Ohio in the story perfers living in Brooklyn over Manhattan. I’m just pointing out that Brooklyn is literally/statistically more “crazy”. And yes, I am a mental patient!

  • Considering Pratt and Brooklyn Law have been around for over a century, no, I don’t think Brooklyn is becoming a college town. If one follows the validity of mathematics, one could say that … it’s been as much of a college town now as it was … a hundred years ago, when those colleges were already around!

    When people write articles like this you can really smell the cornfields on their breath.

  • 11:33 are you saying students are drawn to Brooklyn’s schools for their “sleepy college town” feel? Pratt better build their walls a little higher than. As for the students choosing Brooklyn… If anything the 60% increase in international applications has more to do with how Europeans/Asians view Brooklyn more favorably in general. It’s a major tourist destination. Hell the fact that he dollar sucks makes Pratt a lot more affordable.

  • No, I don’t think Brooklyn is a “sleepy college town”. If you read my post you’d see I was talking about the general characteristics of a college town and how Brooklyn fits that more than Manhattan does.

  • You people will fight about anything.

    Yes, Brooklyn is becoming hot. With college students, with extremely affluent couples and families, with celebrities and with immigrants.

    It is the 4th largest city in the u.s., a short subway ride away from what many consider the capital of the free world.

    You’d have to be an idiot not to see the incredible change that Brooklyn has seen. Brooklyn has been able to capture the attention of international people, which only add to the melting pot, making it that much more incredible.

    They just renamed a neighborhood in Buenos Aires (which is literally a HOTBED for art right now) Palermo Brooklyn.

    There is no Palermo Manhattan.

    Get a clue, folks.

    Brooklyn was named a top 10 destination on Lonely Planet last year…the BIBLE for European travelers.

  • I guess these silver-spoon, spoiled, and so, so boring students will continue to overrun, gentrify and continue to ruin historic neighborhoods like Harlem, Greenwich Village and Downtown Brooklyn. That’s just lovely.

  • Dear Gabby (author of post):

    Brooklyn Law is NOT a college. It is a private law school only. It is not affiliated with Brooklyn college in any manner.

    Please do something about your complete failure to perform proper research before publishing your usual postings, or just send a resume to TMZ.


  • The surge in international students applying to Pratt is more than likely due to the fact that students are not required to speak English, attend classes or complete any assignments to get their degrees there. I see it every day.

  • paving the way for more and more gentrification

  • When I moved from the West Village to Classon and Clifton Place (Clinton Hill) I definitely picked up on a collegiate vibe in the neighborhood. It was one of the reasons I chose my place. That was almost four years ago. I don’t think that vibe is particularly new, but I do think it’s easier to see with the changes happening in and around the neighborhood. I just hope the kids don’t get priced out.

  • I love how Brooklynites are always try to comfort themselves about not being able to live in Manhattan. Let’s face it, Brooklyn sucks. It doesn’t have nearly the same excitement as Manhattan. But at least Brooklyn has gaggles of bitter hipsters.

  • Brooklyn-ites are so fucking in love with themselves. You’re all a bunch of smug assholes. fuck you and fuck Brooklyn.

  • Brooklyn is like Manhattan’s mildly retarded sister who gives everyone handjobs.

  • Brooklyn is like one of those girls you fuck every now but would never be seen in public with.

  • Beckham and Posh named their child Brooklyn… need I say more?

  • You know you are only going to be in Brooklyn for a short couple of years before you realize you really aren’t the artist you say you are but merely a hundred dollar a day meth addict.

    Then you’ll move back in to your mom’s old RV that she parks on the side of the house and that she painted day glow in 1971 in a fit of trying to form the only Cincinnati chapter of the Merry Pranksters.

  • Don’t be haters because you missed the boat to buy. Stay off a blog about Brooklyn and find something else to do!