Application, enrollment trends moving up at Oswego

open house connectionA surge in applications, more academically prepared students and a more robust residential community are among the biggest fall trends at SUNY Oswego, said Dr. Joseph Grant, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management.

“Our academic reputation continues to grow, our merit scholarships continue to be attractive and, as people visit campus, they continue to be impressed with our facility improvements,” Grant said.

The college community welcomed 1,382 first-time full-time freshmen and 675 new transfer students this fall. That about a third of them (630) received some kind of merit scholarship attests to the high level of new students, Grant said.

The top tier of Presidential Scholars, who receive $4,400 per year, reached the highest-ever level of academic accomplishment—with 160 recipients averaging a 94 high school GPA and 1235 composite SAT.

Merit scholarship program funding—most notably Presidential, Deans’, Merit and Residential scholarships—is up to $2.7 million this year but is only part of more than $64 million in available aid. The rest of that figure represents need-based grants and loans, Grant said.

Overall, SUNY Oswego saw a jump in applications, up 10.9 percent from the previous year to around 9,400. The number of applicants for fall 2007 represents a 24.3 percent increase just from fall 2005.

“Our broad academic portfolio continues to draw more interest from throughout the state,” Grant said.

To reach specific markets, SUNY Oswego now employs three regional admissions representatives, on a per diem basis, for Buffalo, the lower Hudson Valley and Long Island, Grant said. Extra attention focused on the fastest-growing parts of the state have borne fruit, with the number of students from burgeoning Nassau and Suffolk counties nearly doubling (to 225) since 2000, he added.

Five months of Google advertising brought around 26,000 viewers to www.oswego.edu, visiting an average of 3.5 pages to help broaden the college’s profile in a time where the Web is the first place most prospective students look for institutional information.

Increased applications also means the college can be more selective in admitting students, as the average high school GPA edged over 88, with mean composite SAT rising to the 1100 level, Grant said.

The college brought Riggs Hall back online, after extensive renovations, and the residence hall filled quickly, bringing the on-campus population to around 3,850.

“To be a vibrant residential community, it’s important to have a critical mass living on campus,” Grant said. “Certainly we’re in a good position with that, being able to add 200 beds back into the mix.”

The mix is also more diverse this year, Grant said. The campus population includes 826 students of color, “which is more than 5 percent over our goal, so we’re pleased with that, too,” he said.

Efforts to attract the class of 2012—and beyond—continues, as some 350 prospective students plus their families visited Oswego’s campus earlier this month for Columbus Day admissions activities.

For more information on attending or applying to SUNY Oswego, visit www.oswego.edu/admissions.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Oswego options—Professor Steve Abraham discusses SUNY Oswego’s pre-law program with Egipt King (center) and Zanifa Baksh, both high school seniors from Brooklyn, at the recent Columbus Day Open House on campus. Applications to SUNY Oswego increased 10.9 percent for the fall 2007 admissions cycle, with rising academic qualifications and more students coming from further away to call the lakeshore campus home.

(Posted: Oct 17, 2007)

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