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The State University of New York. Operation Inform. What Makes a Good Application to SUNY. What Makes a Good Application to SUNY? Today’s presentation is intended to help our friends in the secondary school community provide advice to

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The State University of New York

Operation Inform

What Makes a Good Application to SUNY


What Makes a Good Application to SUNY?

  • Today’s presentation is intended to help our friends in
  • the secondary school community provide advice to
  • prospective students and their families about
  • opportunities for admission at various SUNY colleges.
  • Today’s Presenters:

Today’s Program:

  • Review some general background information
  • about selectivity
  • Panelists will review actual applications and discuss their
  • Campus’ approach to application review

Topic is important because:

  • Families have expectations that school counselors
  • KNOW where their students will be admitted
  • Today SUNY is a different place than many parents
  • remember
  • With cost of college increasing, more families are looking
  • at SUNY

SUNY is becoming more selective!

  • Increase in applications has increased selectivity
  • More students want SUNY and we want to find a place for
  • each student
  • Selectivity varies by institutional mission, by demand for
  • spaces and by availability of facilities

Why is SUNY more selective?

  • Applications are increasing throughout the system
  • Retention rates are very strong and growing, consequently
  • spots are not opening up because students leave
  • Academic reputations are excellent
  • Costs are affordable
  • Outcomes are admirable

Why is SUNY more selective?

  • Community Colleges are becoming first choice more students
    • Honors Programs
    • Excellent transferability of courses
    • Even at open-enrollment colleges, some programs are
    • highly selective
      • Allied health programs
      • Dental hygiene
      • Programs with limited tools and lab spots

Why can’t SUNY simply grow

  • to accommodate the increased demand?
  • Accreditation may require mandated faculty/student ratios
  • Budgetary constraints: on-campus and state-wide
  • Lack of credentialed faculty in some disciplines
  • Facilities can’t be built fast enough: classrooms,
  • residence halls, labs, tools and computing services
  • Mission review and protection of taxpayer dollars
  • Wheels of academia move slowly

Help is available!

  • Guidebooks provide profiles of average enrolled students
  • SUNY Website has stats
    • Gauge student’s chances for admission based on where they fall
    • in the mid-50% range
    • If they are above, their chances are good for admission
    • If they fall below, consider what else the student has to offer the
    • campus: leadership, special talent, diversity or special
    • circumstances.

Help is available!

  • SUNY viewbook and website have a great deal of information.
  • Recruitment Response Center 1-800-342-3811:

Mid 50% Range

  • 50% of the incoming class falls within this range
  • 25% have higher stats
  • 25% have lower stats
many other aspects of application are taken into consideration
Potential for success

Preparation (BOCES courses, Tech Prep, College Prep)

Rigor of courses

Improvement in performance – Trend of grades


Fit with the campus mission

Many other aspects of application are taken into consideration:

Building a Community:

  • Within the mission of the institution, some students will
  • be admitted to build the type of community that reflects
  • New York State AND the campus’ unique needs:
      • Campus wants to build an honors program
      • Orchestra needs a trumpet player
      • Football team needs a QB
      • Student organizations need leaders
      • Campus needs writers,artists, actors, musicians
      • Community want representatives to ensure ethnic and
      • cultural diversity; socioeconomic and geographic diversity

Making a Case for Admission:

  • If student’s record falls below the institution’s mid 50%, the
  • student may need to present their case.
  • Be sure to check with each school to determine what
  • mechanism they use to consider special talents, special
  • circumstances, exceptions to their levels of admissibility
    • Interview
    • Essay
    • Portfolio review
    • Audition
    • Teacher, Guidance Counselor or Coach recommendations
    • Creative writing samples
    • Explanations of life situations that have affected them

Let’s make admissions decisions:

  • Decisions are made within the context of each institution’s academic range of admissibility
  • Their level of competitiveness (demand for positions in their school)
  • Their assessment of the student’s likelihood of success/perseverence.

Case studies: 

  • Smithtown High School – Long Island
  • 3.85GPA
  • 84% rank in class
  • 550 Verbal 520 Math SAT (1070 total)
  • College preparatory curriculum
  • Accelerated throughout HS in History
  • Strong extracurricular activities
  • Particular focus on music. NYSSMA participant, active in band, requested an audition with the music faculty

B. Williamsville East High School –Williamsville

95 GPA

Top 7% of his class

7 AP courses by the time he graduated

700 Verbal 800 Math SAT (1500 total)

Active in school: varsity soccer, band, National Honor Society, math club, peer leader


C. St. Joseph Academy – Brentwood, Long Island

2.26 GPA

Rank in class not computed

450 Verbal 480 Math SAT (930 total)

Life altering trauma: brain tumor diagnosed in freshman year

Uptrend in grades in junior and senior years (2.89 as junior, mostly A’s and B’s senior year.)

Excellent essay on how the trauma affected her life


D. Wheatland-Chili High School – Scottsville

86 GPA

78% rank in class

College preparatory curriculum, AP history in junior year

25 ACT score (1140 SAT equivalent)

Wide range of extracurricular activities: drama club, vocal music, student government, peer leader


E. Elmira Free Academy – Elmira

81.7 GPA

390 Verbal 500 Math SAT (890 total)

59% rank in class

College preparatory curriculum: Regents track

Uptrend in grades: 88.5 in 4 strong regents level courses in senior year

School he applied to does not collect supplemental information, thus no information available on extracurricular activities or community service.