Coordinates: 40°43′45″N 73°59′26″W / 40.72927°N 73.99058°W / 40.72927; -73.99058
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, commonly referred to simply as Cooper Union, is a privately funded college in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, located at Cooper Square and Astor Place. Founded in 1859, and inspired in 1830 when Peter Cooper learned about the government-supported École Polytechnique of Paris, the school established a radical new model of American higher education: its mission reflects founder Peter Cooper's fundamental belief that an education "equal to the best" should be accessible to those who qualify, independent of their race, religion, sex, wealth or social status, and should be "open and free to all". The Cooper Union previously granted each admitted student a full-tuition scholarship; as of April 23, 2013, due to financial concerns, that policy has been eliminated.
The college is divided into three schools: the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, the School of Art, and the Albert Nerken School of Engineering. It offers undergraduate and Master's degree programs exclusively in the fields of architecture, fine arts, and engineering. It is a member of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD). Cooper is considered to be one of the most prestigious colleges in the United States, with all three of its member schools consistently ranked among the highest in the country. Dr. Jamshed Bharucha has succeeded George Campbell Jr. as the college’s twelfth president.
The Cooper Union is one of very few American institutions of higher learning to offer a full-tuition scholarship – valued at approximately $150,000 as of 2012 – to every admitted student. As a result, Cooper Union is one of the most selective colleges in the United States, with an acceptance rate generally below 10%, with both the art and architecture schools' acceptance rates often below 5%. Cooper Union experienced a 20% increase in applications for the 2008–2009 academic year, further lowering the acceptance rate. The school also experienced a 70% increase in early decision applications for the 2009–2010 academic year. As a result of its record low acceptance ratio for the fall-2010 incoming class, Cooper Union was named by Newsweek Magazine as the "#1 Most Desirable Small School" and "#7 Most Desirable School" overall.