Education: New School for Old Students

Most universities start out as small liberal arts colleges, adding more advanced programs, courses and departments as they expand. Not Manhattan's New School for Social Research.

Founded in 1919, the no-longer-new New School began as a nondegree institution aimed at adults, added a graduate school, and only later turned to undergraduate teaching. Today, in fact, there are just 64 undergrads—all juniors and seniors—among the New School's more than 10,000 students.

Although chartered as a university, the New School has no science labs, no college clubs, no athletic teams. What keeps New Yorkers coming to...

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