Edmit Hidden Gems: Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY

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Just a subway ride from downtown New York City, Manhattan College combines a traditional campus with big city opportunities.

“It’s really a rarity around here to find a student a few months after graduation that isn’t either enrolled full time in a graduate program or working,” says Dr. William Bisset, vice president for enrollment management at Manhattan College. And for the school of engineering in particular, “it’s rare to come across a senior who doesn’t have multiple job offers,” he says.

Located on a traditional campus setting in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, Manhattan College is a Lasallian Catholic college established in 1853. Because of Manhattan’s focus on on-time graduation, strong career preparation services, 90 percent job placement rate, and diverse student body, we’ve designated it an Edmit Hidden Gem college.

Studying at Manhattan College

The three hallmarks of studying at Manhattan College, according to Bisset, are “placement after graduation, connectedness to New York City, and [our] Lasallian Catholic mission.”

“We’re conscious of return on investment in our planning all the time--we graduate students in four years,” says Bisset. “Even before day one, before the matriculation process starts, we try to get a sense and work with students, even if they’re undecided in their majors, on what it is they want to do--or what it is they don’t want to do--after graduation.”

Manhattan College has approximately 3,500 undergraduates, and six schools of study: business, education and health, engineering, liberal arts, science, and continuing and professional studies. The campus is 10 miles from downtown Manhattan, at the end of the 1 MTA subway line.

“Students who love the idea of being in New York City--but also being in a campus environment that allows them to pick and choose when they take advantage of New York--that’s us,” says Bisset. “We embrace our connection to New York, whether it has to do with co-curricular or extracurricular reasons, academic exposure, internship experiences...There are just things that undergraduates can do when it comes to internships and out-of-classroom stuff that only a city like New York can offer.”

Additionally, the Lasallian Catholic tradition is evident across campus, from academics to extracurriculars. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that only Catholic students can benefit from that mission,” says Bisset, “but that mission is very much person-centered. We have respect for each individual person and their dignity, and that also is part of both the academic and social experience on this campus.”

Manhattan College Affordability

“We have an incredibly diverse student body--about a third of our students self-report as underserved minority students. About a third are the first in their families to attend college, and about a quarter are Pell-eligible students,” says Bisset. “That doesn’t happen by accident.”

The average net price for the 2016-17 school year at Manhattan College is $28,114, and Bisset emphasizes how the admissions and financial aid staff work personally with families to ensure student loan debt obligations are fully understood.  

“We try to develop formulas that keep the loan burden at an absolute minimum for our students,” says Bisset. “I have people in both admissions and financial aid who are really good about having this conversation with families, and really talking things out exactly. If [families] are deciding to take on significant amounts of loan burdens, they need to understand what that means, not just in the short-term, but on a longer-term basis.”

“I have found that you can rely on formulas, you can rely on getting information out to families regarding financial aid, but you hit a point where the financial aid process is overwhelming and the families need to talk out with a living, breathing person what their out-of-pocket expenses will be, not just over a one-year basis but over a four-year basis. And we do a ton of that,” he says.

Manhattan College is a tuition-dependent school, and students are automatically considered for both need-based and merit-based aid when submitting the FAFSA; there are additional talent-based scholarships that require separate applications. To maintain need-based aid, students need to keep a 2.0 GPA; to maintain merit-based aid, a 3.0 GPA is required, according to Bisset.   

Manhattan College Career Prep

Manhattan College’s 90 percent job placement rate results in part from early career prep activities. Standout services include the college’s year-long Mentor Program, which connects mentor-seeking students with professionals for networking, resume critiques, job shadowing, project collaboration, and other career development activities; and the Women Inspiring Successful Enterprise (W.I.S.E.) initiative, which places rising junior or senior women in paid summer internships that foster leadership and professional development.  

“There’s almost--and I say this in a positive way--a grittiness to the students that come here,” Bisset says. “I mean that the students are really looking to take advantage of all Manhattan has to offer inside the classroom and out. We see great examples, especially when students start to do internships and start to do things off campus, and are competing or working with students from some of the most selective schools in the country here in New York and they more than hold their own. They end up, in many cases, really establishing themselves and are offered full-time employment after graduation over other people.”


Have a recommendation for a Hidden Gem college? We want to hear them! Tweet your suggestions to @EdmitEDU or email us at support@edmit.me.

Photo by Guy Dickinson on Flickr.


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