More out-of-state students applying to Oswego State

(Lily Choi | The Oswegonian)
(Lily Choi | The Oswegonian)

With lower high school graduation rates in New York state, the Oswego State Admissions Office is reaching out to other states hoping to increase the number of out-of-state students.

This upcoming fall semester has the potential for Oswego State to set a new record for the highest number of out-of-state applicants.

There were 209 out-of-state applications to Oswego State in 2011, 197 in 2012, 236 in 2013, 312 in 2014 and currently there are 333, according to the 2015 State of SUNY Oswego report.

The effort of enrolling more out-of-state students has been ongoing for a few years now. States along the New York border, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, are three states Oswego State pays closer attention to.

Oswego State Admissions Office Director Daniel Griffin said the distance students have to travel to Oswego State from those states is actually shorter than in-state travel distance for some students.

“There’s no reason to think that a student from Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. or Scranton wouldn’t come to Oswego,” Griffin said.  “We’ve got lots of lots of students from Long Island and New York City when they actually have a longer ride than those students.”

While the travel distance is no longer an issue for many out-of-state students, the scholarship opportunities, such as Destination Oswego, help reduce the cost of non-New York state resident tuition fees. Destination Oswego is a recent scholarship the Admissions Office offered to out-of-state students. There are two levels: an award of $5,000 annually and $8,000 annually.

“I would say the vast majority of out-of-state and international students did receive it,” Griffin said. “Probably about 80 or 90 percent received one of those awards. Some received $5,000 and some received $8,000 annually. It depends on the academic record.”

Ashley Davis, a transfer student, majors in psychology from Tennessee. She is one of many who received the Destination Oswego scholarship. Davis applied and got accepted to all of the schools she wanted to attend. However, she decided to come to Oswego State because of the scholarship opportunity.

“[Other colleges] didn’t give out as many scholarships as Oswego so that was definitely the selling [point],” Davis said. “I think Pittsburgh was quite a lot of money that I can’t afford. The Destination scholarship was definitely the one that kind of sold me. I got the highest amount you could possibly get and with all the fees, it helps tremendously.”

Davis visited the Oswego State campus last spring and mentioned that the diversity on Oswego State’s campus, especially in the Hart Hall Global Living and Learning Center, makes Oswego State an interesting university.

“I really like it and I was like ‘OK, international students.’ I do live in the South so there is like no diversity at all. I try to immerse my self in other cultures,” Davis said.

Jean-Paul Mirindi is a first year electrical engineering student. Mirindi graduated from a high school in Syracuse, but he lost his residency because his mother accepted a job offer in Texas. With his new residency status, Mirindi realized that attending college in Texas would be cheaper, but while he was in high school, he bonded with his high school teachers, who are Oswego State professors.

“I knew a lot of faculty from here who were teachers from my high school. One was my technology professor,” Mirindi said. “She is a graduate from here and so was my English teacher. And they really recommended this university to me. So I applied and they accepted me. So it was a good choice for me to make.”

With more than 400 out-of-state applications for this upcoming fall semester, the Admissions Office director is projecting the highest number of out-of-state freshman applicants for this upcoming fall semester.

“I think we got a good chance for this fall of not only of setting the record for most out-of-state student [applicants] but we could have a good chance of setting the record of the most enrolled out-of-state students,” Griffin said.

While the housing deposit for incoming students is not due until May, Griffin mentioned that 4,000 to 5,000 prospective students, including out-of-state students visiting campus this spring, assures him the school will break the record.