Last year's incoming class was one of the most talented and diverse ever. Oswego received more than 10,500 freshman applications, up nearly 40 percent in four years. Because the college holds overall enrollment steady, admissions staff were able to be much more selective about whom to accept into the 1,400-strong Class of 2013.
But heightened selectivity is not the only reason for the high caliber of last year’s entering freshmen. Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Joseph Grant called the group “frankly, one of the most talented collections of applications we’ve ever seen.” He said, “These students were well-prepared, very articulate, very interested in becoming involved in the college community.”
They also hailed from farther afield, including downstate and out of state, bringing more diversity — 16 percent identified themselves as people of color — and more in residence on campus. “That vibrant residential community creates a lot of excitement and opportunity for connections,” Grant said, “which should help increase student retention and satisfaction, which in turn helps graduation rates.”
Indeed, such measures were already on the rise. For instance, 81 percent of the previous year's freshmen returned to Oswego for their sophomore year in fall 2009, well above the 70 percent or so that is typical for public master's level institutions like Oswego, and the statistic ticked up again in 2010.