Interest in SUNY Potsdam Surges, with Applications and Acceptances on the Rise at the College


Since SUNY Potsdam became the first college in the State University of New York system to make standardized test scores optional for most prospective students, the College has seen a 14 percent surge in applications. Now, the College has exceeded goal for the Class of 2014, as many are making SUNY Potsdam their first choice.

“It is our job to make sure that students have what they need to succeed during their college careers and that starts with the admissions process,” said Rick Miller, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Enrollment Management. “It's just as important for prospective students to get to know Potsdam as it is for Potsdam to get to know prospective students.”

“The new test-optional policy allows for a holistic review of applicants, which helps us enroll more new students who are a solid fit for SUNY Potsdam,” added Director of Admissions Thomas Nesbitt.

The new policy looks at a variety of information, including grade point average, academic rigor of coursework taken, essays, letters of recommendation, resumes and interviews, allowing for both the College and prospective student to better evaluate how they would fit into the campus community.

SUNY Potsdam announced that it was moving to an SAT/ACT optional policy in September 2009.  The changes take effect for those entering in the 2010-11 academic year and allow the College to maintain a strong and vibrant student body with an increase in selectivity of applicants.

“While planning for a major college-age student population decline over the next 10 years in the North Country, we have been expanding our reach for new students throughout New York State and beyond. Those efforts, in combination with the more personal application review, have helped us meet and exceed our enrollment targets,” Nesbitt said. “Our admissions team has done a fantastic job dealing with an increase in travel, paperwork and visitations to campus, not to mention changing to a test optional policy during the middle of fall travel. They have adapted well and the results have been excellent so far.”