SUNY Oswego’s admission rates consistent since COVID, may take dive in few years

OSWEGO, N.Y. – SUNY Oswego’s admission rates have stayed steady over the last few years because of the wide variety of majors and minors the college offers, according to a graduate assistant in the office of admissions.

“We have over 70 majors and 70 minors, which is like 140 different options for students to take. We are also one of only 13 comprehensive SUNYs in the system, which means that we have everything from a school of business to a college of liberal arts and sciences,” said G Gangier, graduate assistant in the office of admissions.

Although in-state and out-of-state tuition continues to increase each academic year, Gangier says Oswego has a special way to keep new students rolling in.

“One of the reasons Oswego has been able to combat that specifically is a current program that has been put in place the past couple of years that’s called the Oswego Guarantee. The Oswego Guarantee will freeze your room and board costs for all four years that you attend SUNY Oswego, so students know whatever they’re paying for room and board their first semester, their last semester right before they graduate, they’ll be paying the same cost,” Gangier said.

He said this is important because families can budget for years ahead with their child’s room and board price locked in. Even though the majority of students move off-campus after two years, students are able to evaluate the price of staying on campus for their entirety of their college career and compare it to living on campus, Gangier said.

Rodrick Andrews, vice president for admissions and financial aid, said that Oswego’s admitted students’ day is a huge opportunity for future students to interact with faculty from different departments to get a sense of what life will be like in the classroom, in addition to mini open houses.

“They are smaller groups of people, but it’s very department and school focused, so we may have a mini open house for the school of business, so it’s only admitted students from the school of business. They’ll do a tour and have business professors come in and speak to them,” Andrews said.

This is a great way for students who have submitted their admission deposit to meet their future professors and get a sense of who they will be learning from, he said.

With Oswego recovered and back to normal after the SUNY-wide shutdown of college campuses during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been some drawbacks for new students wanting to enroll.

“Post COVID, it’s definitely taken quite a bit of time to get the outside of the classroom things back up to speed. Immediately after COVID, we saw a lot of clubs and organizations disband or not come back, which lowers student experience to things outside of the classroom,” Gangier said.

Without a variety of clubs and organizations and less opportunity for students to get involved, student engagement will decrease and has likely affected admission rates, Gangier said.

Andrews said that COVID is still having huge impacts on future students, where some students are catching up from education lost in high school or they don’t want to attend college at all.

“We look at the COVID generation and we see that they have missed some of those milestones, so I think them coming to college is a lot more of a personal decision. I think it changes the way we support them when they’re here because some of them will come in needing to make up some of those things academically,” Andrews said.

Andrews said he believes that COVID has not only affected the ability to get new students onto campus, but also keep current students on campus.

“If you came and you were unprepared, if you came and had a particular experience [during COVID], then you’re more likely to go home…Getting new students is important, but keeping students here is just as important,” Andrews said.

Andrews said that the number of admission deposits for transfers in 2022 was a big boost to the transfer student population and he sees that continuing. He also said that more international students have been making their deposits each year, besides the COVID year because traveling was restricted. However, COVID will continue to be a problem for admissions in the future.

“We’re expecting another dip in 2030 because of COVID too,” Andrews said.

He said that by the year 2030, the young generation of COVID children will be preparing for college and believes that those kids will likely steer away from college in general.

The fall 2022 semester was a big time for admissions, Andrews said, with over 1,800 new deposits. He said he’s hoping for more of the same numbers going forward in the future.