First-Year Student admission criteria

While no exact formula for college acceptance exists, we can tell you that grades, test scores and essays are crucial in our decision — but we also look for more in our applicants. We search for students who are doers, makers, leaders and thinkers.

Academic qualifications/averages

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Mean 89.5 GPA
  • Middle 50% SAT (math and critical reading) 1100 – 1250 
  • Middle 50% ACT composite 22 – 26

We look for students with a well-rounded academic background, who ideally come to college with:

  • English: 4 units
  • Social Studies: 4 units
  • Mathematics: 3-4 units
  • Science: 3-4 units
  • Foreign Language: 2-4 units

Other qualifications

Students who demonstrate leadership, participate in extracurricular activities or volunteer in the community will receive special consideration.

Applicant pool (2018)
13,415 applied
54% admitted
1,484 enrolled

Other considerations

Special talent admission

Because some students acquire excellence outside their formal academic experience, Oswego admits a percentage of the freshman class on the promise demonstrated by means other than traditional academic criteria.

For admission under this supplementary category, you must demonstrate outstanding capabilities in one of the following categories: leadership, specialization in an academic area, creative expression and performing arts or athletic ability; or applicant should be considered because of altered-career orientation and/or unusual circumstances interfering with past performance. Information regarding special talent and/or circumstances should be presented to the Committee on Admission through the supplemental portion of The Common Application or SUNY Supplement to the Application.

Educational Opportunity Program

EOP provides access to higher education for economically disadvantaged New York state residents who do not meet traditional admissions criteria but who possess the potential for academic success. EOP provides students with an array of academic and counseling support services, limited financial assistance and a pre-freshmen summer program, all designed to help students achieve their academic goals.  EOP is available for both freshman and transfer students. Learn more

Home school students

Students who have been home-schooled will need to submit standardized test scores (SAT or ACT), as well as documented proof of successful completion of the home-school curriculum, local school district records, and in some cases a GED. Students must also submit any other information required by the Oswego Office of Admissions.