Oswego's open houses proving increasingly popular

Prospective students visit Open HouseSUNY Oswego’s recent annual Columbus Day Open House for prospective students experienced one of its highest turnouts ever.

In all, 375 families registered, meaning more than 1,000 people—between prospective students and family members—toured the campus, met with faculty or attended programs. The turnout reflects a continuing upswing in attendance for these sessions, said Dan Griffin, associate director of admissions.

“From talking to colleagues at other colleges, I think there is a trend that open houses are more popular,” Griffin said. “Parents and students are looking for larger programs where they can do a kind of one-stop shopping.”

At Oswego’s open houses, visitors can meet with faculty members and coaches, tour the campus, see the residence halls and talk to financial-aid representatives, among other options. “Parents and students are expecting a lot of opportunities to meet with many different people, so it’s important to provide a variety of experiences,” Griffin said.

Recent open house programs at Oswego have been at or near capacity despite relatively little promotion, Griffin explained. “We’re really hoping that the new Campus Center will allow us to do a larger program,” he said. For the Columbus Day Open House, organizers had to do two different welcome programs that filled both Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre and Hewitt Union’s Bell Auditorium, he noted.

The higher turnouts also represent increased interest in SUNY in general and SUNY Oswego in particular, as well as the increasing competitiveness of the state’s four-year colleges, Griffin said. “Our applications at Oswego were up 4 percent last year, and I know the SUNY system is seeing record interest from prospective students,” he noted.

A large attendance for the Columbus Day Open House followed the strong interest of nearly 300 prospective students registering for Oswego’s first-ever Summer Open House in July, Griffin added.

SUNY Oswego holds four large open houses per year for prospective students and families, as well as smaller information programs at least three times per week when classes are in session.

Admissions officers also think that increased and enhanced use of the Web by colleges and prospective students have facilitated campus contact instead of reducing it.

“People are more Internet-savvy in finding out more information, and they can register for open house programs online,” Griffin said. “Students and parents are checking us out on the Web and apparently liking what they see.”

The next large-scale admissions program will be the annual Veterans’ Day Open House on Friday, Nov. 11.

For more information about SUNY Oswego admissions events, visit www.oswego.edu/admissions or call 312-2250.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Open dialogue—Kelly Perkins of SUNY Oswego’s Office of Campus Life (left) talks to Fayetteville-Manlius High School senior Alissa Catalano, with parents Phil and Paula Catalano, at the college’s recent Columbus Day Open House. In one of the largest turnouts ever, some 375 prospective students attended the annual event at the lakeside campus.

(Posted: Oct 19, 2005)