New Paltz opens door for 1,570 new students
NEW PALTZ -- The SUNY New Paltz campus will come to life Wednesday, Aug. 21, when about 920 new freshmen students move into their new homes in the residence halls. About 650 new transfer students will join them later in the week.
The freshmen were selected from a pool of more than 13,500 applications - a 12.5 percent increase over last year's record-breaking pool of 12,000 applicants. New Paltz received more applications than any of SUNY's 12 other colleges.
While the number of new students remains about the same as last year (913 freshmen, 609 transfers), the academic performance of those students has increased. This year, 83 percent of New Paltz's accepted freshmen came from the top two SUNY quality groups, up from 75 percent last year. Freshmen from the top two groups have an average SAT score of 1170 and a high school average of 90.
"We have consciously chosen to stay at our current size, and that has meant a jump in the proportion of our new students who are the cream of the crop academically," said Interim President Steven Poskanzer. "We're experiencing the fruit of 11 years of successful recruiting."
The slight increase in transfer students reflects "the great relationship we have with our community colleges and the success of our newly forged articulation agreements," Poskanzer said.
With an acceptance rate of 41 percent, New Paltz remains one of the most selective universities in the Northeast and among the 5 percent of campuses across the country who accept less than half of their applicants. While entry to New Paltz is becoming significantly more difficult, the university is still attracting qualified students from all backgrounds - 24 percent of the incoming freshmen come from historically underrepresented groups.
Returning students will notice several campus changes, including the new state-of-the-art Language Learning Lab in Lecture Center 110/112 and the conversion of the former language labs, English as a Second Language offices and Special Programs area into 10 new "smart" classrooms and one "smart" seminar room. Smart classrooms are equipped with the latest in audio/video presentation technology. Work continues on rebuilding the plaza deck and stairs between Smiley Arts Building, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, the Student Union Building and the Haggerty Administration Building. The completed project will become an east-west pedestrian spine for the campus.
This fall, students can also expect groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Athletic and Wellness Center and Lenape Hall, a new 238-bed residence hall, located on the current site of the women's varsity softball field. The women's varsity softball field will be relocated to a new, improved location adjacent to the men's varsity hardball field.
The new 57,000-square-foot Athletic and Wellness Center will be built just south of Elting Gymnasium on the site of the Air Structure, which will be removed. The center will include a cardiovascular wellness center at one end and a weight training fitness center at the other end. These two areas will be connected with an overhead, glass-enclosed running track above a premium, varsity basketball/volleyball court. The court will also serve as a practice area for many teams and general student activities.
In addition, the project, scheduled for completion in 2005, will include an outdoor National Collegiate Athletic Association track with associated field activity areas, several new athletic fields with improved storm drainage systems, and a new west-side campus entrance with additional parking.
Also, a newly refurbished John R. Kirk Planetarium, located in the Coykendall Science Building, will re-open this fall after being closed for 11 years.
Beginning in April 2003, New Paltz will celebrate its 175th birthday as an institution of higher education.
Note to editors: Media are invited to cover move-in day on Wednesday, Aug. 21. The majority of the activity occurs between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Contact Shelly Wright at 257-3245 for details.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.