SUNY New Paltz welcomes more than 1,620 new students

NEW PALTZ — More than 850 first-year students will move into their new homes on the State University of New York at New Paltz campus on Friday, Aug. 20, during annual Move-in Day. They will be joined by about 770 new transfer students throughout the weekend.

“The continued high demand for a New Paltz education, coupled with our rising retention rate, puts us in a position to accept a smaller group of exceptionally talented students,” said Steven Poskanzer, president of SUNY New Paltz. “The overall strength of our student body continues to be on an upward trajectory and I couldn’t be more pleased.”

For the 14th consecutive year, New Paltz has led all SUNY university colleges in total applications received, total freshmen applications and total transfer applications. From an applicant pool of nearly 14,300, New Paltz received 11,464 freshmen applications and 2,670 transfer applications. With an acceptance rate of 38 percent, New Paltz remains one of the most selective universities in the Northeast and is among the 5 percent of campuses across the country who accept less than half of their applicants.

This year, 89 percent of New Paltz’s accepted freshmen came from the top two SUNY quality groups, up from 84 percent last year and 75 percent in 2001. First-year students from the top two groups have an average SAT score of 1160 and a high school average of 90. The average SAT score for college-bound students in 2003 was 1006 for New York state and 1026 nationally.

Transfer admission is also selective. New Paltz accepted 46 percent of its transfer applicants from its seven alliance community colleges, as well as other four-year schools. The new transfer students have an average GPA of 3.20.

While entry to New Paltz is becoming more selective, the university is still attracting qualified students from all backgrounds — just above 23 percent of the incoming freshmen come from historically underrepresented groups.

Moreover, while the demand for a New Paltz education continues to grow, retention is also improving dramatically. The first-year retention rate for fall 2004 is expected to be at 85 percent, up significantly from 76 percent just six years ago. Total enrollment for the fall semester is expected to be about 8,000, which is consistent with past years.

Returning students will notice several improvements on campus this fall. Lenape Hall, a new 238-bed residence hall, was just opened, and construction continues to progress at both the new Athletic and Wellness Center, scheduled to open in the fall of 2005, and the van den Berg Learning Center, which will be home to the School of Business and the Nursing program.

The design of Lenape residence hall, with suite-style living and private baths, offers the kinds of features that meet the expectations of talented and academically committed students, who want a residential college experience.

With the new hall, New Paltz has taken a giant step forward in accommodating on-campus demand for housing, said Poskanzer. The college now has 2,800 students — more than half of its undergraduate population — living on campus in 13 residence halls.

Note to editors: Media are invited to cover Move-in Day on Friday, Aug. 20. The majority of the activity occurs between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Contact the Office of Public Affairs at 257-3245 for details.