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Butler Library at Columbia University
Photograph: Courtesy Columbia UniversityButler Library at Columbia University

Adult continuing education: Student perks at three big schools

Adult continuing education students can take advantage of facilities and freebies at these NYC colleges. Which get top marks?


These prominent institutions offer a variety of perks and facilities—from free admission to the Met and discount theater tickets to advice on professional training—but not all are open to adult continuing education students.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of adult classes in NYC

Columbia University School of Continuing Education
Whether you plan to take one course or embark on a certificate program, you’ll receive a university ID card, e-mail address, and access to on-campus resources such as libraries and the Dodge Fitness Center—though you’ll have to pay a student activity fee ($30) and university facilities fee (from $259). Students can purchase a meal plan for the university’s ten dining facilities, or set up a debitlike account on their ID cards. You also have the option to pay a health services fee ($412) that covers on-campus clinical care or purchase basic university medical insurance. Certificate and graduate students can attend Columbia’s Center for Career Education career fairs and networking events and, starting this fall, get tips from Executive Career Coaches. The best perk of all: ID cards grant free entry to around 30 museums, including MoMA and the Met, and discounted tickets to shows from an on-campus box office through the university’s Arts Initiative.

NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS)
Students enrolled in certificate and degree programs receive student ID cards, which grant entry to NYU libraries and the Kimmel Center for University Life, where you can cram in a study lounge or grab lunch at the  food court–style Marketplace cafeteria. However, only degree students have access to health and fitness services and the Wasserman Center for Career Development. Continuing-education students who have enrolled in five or more noncredit courses over six semesters are eligible to join the Dorothy Durkin Torch Circle; in addition to a 15 percent discount on noncredit classes, members receive perks such as a complimentary Career, Education, and Life Planning course valued at up to $200, plus two free career strategy sessions with an independent career coach. After completing a certificate program, students receive a $100 voucher for any NYU-SCPS noncredit course, valid for one year.

The New School
Continuing-education and certificate students at the New School for Public Engagement, Parsons The New School for Design, and Mannes College The New School for Music can use the New School’s three libraries, computer labs, studio and equipment rentals and dining facilities. Continuing-education students can also take advantage of tailored academic advising at The New School for Public Engagement. However, those who aren’t receiving academic credits aren’t eligible for a student ID card, which allows them to borrow books from campus libraries. Certificate and graduate students can enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan.

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