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Oct. 24, 2001
OSWEGO -- SUNY Oswego's student body is getting better even as it is getting bigger, preliminary fall enrollment figures show.
"This is the largest freshman class in a decade and one of the most academically talented," said Dr. Joseph F. Grant, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management.
There has been an 86 percent increase in incoming freshmen with high school averages over 90 percent and a 27 percent decrease in freshmen with averages under 84 percent in the past three years, according to Admissions Office figures.
"Nearly a third of the general freshmen now come in with high school averages of 90 percent or greater," Grant said.
At the same time, he said, headcount enrollment has increased for the fourth consecutive year -- from 7,718 to 8,414.
Oswego is attracting more students who are better prepared to excel academically once they enter Oswego in part because of the college's reputation for academic excellence, Grant noted.
"This year U.S. News and World Report's survey ranked the best 170 comprehensive universities in the north," Grant said. "Only six public colleges, including only one SUNY college, had overall ratings higher than Oswego. One thing this means is that people at other colleges have heard of us. They've heard of our programs. They've heard of our faculty. They've heard of our alumni. And what they've heard is very positive."
Oswego's Presidential Scholarships also help the college enroll students with strong academic records. The $1 million scholarship program provides merit scholarships to students who show academic promise. Oswego this year has 177 new Presidential Scholars, who have a mean high school grade average of 93 and a mean SAT score of 1230.
"The program has helped us to increase the quality of the student body and the quality of the undergraduate experience," Grant said.
This program and other Admissions Office initiatives have helped Oswego to become more selective about who is offered admission. The percentage of freshman applicants who are admitted has declined from 66 percent to 58 percent in the past five years.
While nearly a third of entering students have not yet settled on a major course of study, many look for particular academic programs and find them at Oswego. Grant said childhood education (formerly elementary education) draws the most students and is growing. Graphic design is one of the fastest growing majors, he said, and meteorology, information science and computer science are also in a growth phase.
The positive admissions picture has helped meet particular admissions goals. For instance, the number of newly recruited students of color is up about 5 percent over last year, and new students from more than 100 miles away increased by about 2 percent.
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