How many city-funded colleges are in the U.S.?

What became the City College of New York was the first public free university in the U.S. It’s now a huge complex of colleges under the City University of New York banner.

I can’t remember ever hearing about similar city-funded colleges in other places, though. They all seem to be state-funded. (Even CUNY has state funding now, although it’s still partially funded by NYC.)

Did others exist? Do any of them still survive?

Are you just talking about 4 year colleges or are you also including the two year community colleges?

I’m curious about how these systems developed and historically that would mean four-year colleges. I know that a few two-year colleges go way back but for the most part two-year junior colleges developed from the four-year senior colleges. Even calling the public ones community colleges is extremely recent.

If there are cities in which municipal community colleges are separate and have a separate history from the rest of the system, that would be fascinating to know.

For now, I’d like anything, even any specialized technical or graduate or alternative colleges.

Washburn College, a private church-funded school in Topeka, Kan., in 1941 became Washburn Municipal University of Topeka. City property taxes were the primary source of revenue through the remainder of the 20th century, although the county sales tax and state funding are probably more significant for today’s Washburn University.

Similarly, private Fairmount College in Wichita, Kan., became the Municipal University of Wichita in 1926; since the mid-1960s, it is state-funded as Wichita State University.

Both are four-year schools, and have been for more than a century.

Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis started in 1857 as a teacher’s college (i.e., “normal school”) owned and operated by the St. Louis public school district. It didn’t become state supported until 1979.

Wayne State University in Detroit was also owned by that city’s public schools before it was taken over by the state.

Wichita State University started out privately owned, was taken over by the city in 1926 and remained a municipal school for almost 40 years. Much the same story for the Universities of Akron, Cincinatti and Toledo in Ohio, now part of the state university system.

The City Colleges of Chicago were founded as two-year colleges, rather than growing out of a four-year system. They date back to the early 20th century, which may or may not be “way back” depending on your standards.

Quincy College. a 2-year school in Quincy, Massachusetts, is possibly the last one remaining with fully municipal control.

Washburn University in Topeka Kansas was the last 4-year college under municipal control, and in 1999 expanded its tax support base to include the county.

The University of the District of Columbia, established in 1975, is a four year college that is arguably a city college, if Washington and D-C are considered to be the same entity.

Many of the formerly municipal colleges have broadened their scope to encompass suburban areas t hat have grown up around the city, and are under district control.

(Data gleaned manually, and may be erroneous.)

According to the Wikipedia article on “Municipal College”:

Currently, there remain only two municipal colleges under partial city control, the City University of New York system and Quincy College, Quincy, Massachusetts. Other historical municipal colleges and universities include Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, the University of Louisville, the University of Cincinnati, Wichita State University, University of Toledo, University of Nebraska-Omaha, the University of Akron and Wayne State University in Detroit.