Applications to Oswego flood in as quality rises

Applications to SUNY Oswego for next fall have been consistently ahead of last year—up 15 percent according to the most recent report from the State University system’s processing center.

The increase in applications this year comes after “a very good year last year,” said Joseph Grant, vice president for student affairs and enrollment. For fall 2006, freshman applications were up about 10 percent, resulting in about six applicants for every available opening in the freshman class.

“Now it looks like we may be up that amount again,” Grant said. “We may be pushing seven applications for every opening, which would be good. We’re already denying people that look like people we’ve accepted in the past.”

As entry becomes more competitive, the academic profile (standardized test scores and grade averages) of new incoming classes rises. As the trend toward higher academic achievement continues, “people who may not have thought about attending Oswego are beginning to think about us,” Grant said. “It’s clear that interest on the part of the public is up.”

He noted that the $160 million in major renovations of campus buildings as well as new academic programs like the recently approved cinema studies and proposals for engineering make the college exciting to prospective students, and Oswego’s generous merit scholarships help attract the best-prepared students.

Grant said that the only significant change in campus recruiting tactics this year has been an online campaign through Google, to help increase awareness of Oswego’s strengths among students, their parents and high school counselors.

The online campaign began in December and has already generated more than 25,500 “hits,” he said. Two programs alone—earth sciences and teaching English as a second language—generated more than a couple thousand each.

“We have been ahead on applications right from the get go this year, sometimes as much as 35 to 40 percent,” Grant said. More rapid than usual processing of the applications by SUNY accounted for the very high apparent increases at times, he said, but Oswego still runs ahead of its sister campuses. “Compared to other SUNYs, we’re substantially ahead of the colleges all the way through,” he said.

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CONTACT: Vice President Joseph Grant, 312-2250

(Posted: Feb 21, 2007)