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Move-in Days Feature Strong Freshman Class

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Aug. 22, 2009) - The students now making their home on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus continue to grow in academic strength and ethnic diversity, according to college admissions statistics.This is, in part, because SUNY Plattsburgh has once again exceeded its enrollment goals.

Link to SUNY Plattsburgh Move-in Days Video

"We have more entering freshmen - a couple of dozen more - than we set out to have," said SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling. "Our goal was 975, and we actually have 1,102."

In addition, the college has seen a 35-percent increase in applications over the past five years. For the third year in a row, SUNY Plattsburgh had so many applicants that it had to turn away more than half. This year's acceptance rate was 48.3 percent, down from 49.3 percent last year.

Sophomore Alex Malsan carries boxes to his residence hall room.

"We can't take as many students as are potentially qualified on paper, the way we were doing five, six or seven years ago," said Ettling. "So our actual acceptance rate for the last three years has been under 50 percent. That makes us selective. Well over half of the students who apply to SUNY Plattsburgh, unfortunately, are disappointed."

Meanwhile, the college has intentionally capped enrollment in order to ensure quality.

"Even though we've seen a 35-percent growth in applications, enrollments have only grown by seven percent. That's conscious," said Ettling. "We're trying to limit the size of the student body here because we believe that there is a point beyond which things start to come apart; they start to deteriorate."

"In our memorandum of understanding with SUNY, we said that if we were to grow enrollments, we would do so at our Branch Campus at Adirondack Community College," said Ettling. "I'm pleased to say that that seems to be working pretty well. Enrollments there are strong."

When it comes to diversity, 17.2 percent of SUNY Plattsburgh's incoming freshmen come from minority backgrounds. That number has been steadily climbing. It was 16.2 percent in 2008 and 15.5 percent in 2007.

The college's reach is wide-spread across the state of New York. This year's freshmen hail from 52 out of the 62 counties in the state, with many students coming from Suffolk and Nassau counties on Long Island, as well as Clinton, Albany and Orange counties.

The number of out-of-state freshmen has also risen slightly, from nearly 11 percent last year to 12 percent this year. Approximately six percent come from other states, most notably Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Maryland. More than six percent come from other countries, including Canada, China, Japan, Vietnam, India and South Korea.

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