Admissions directors are currently reviewing applications to decide who will make up the Class of 2011. This year, the office in Erwin received almost 11,000 applications, a remarkable difference from last year's 9,000.
Kris Shay, director of admissions at Geneseo, stated that there will be students denied admission who would have been accepted in previous years. "We've seen a real spike in the quality of students," Shay said.
Despite the surge of interest from high school seniors, Shay and her staff are "still looking to enroll the same number, around 950 freshmen." Approximately 2,500 to 3,000 will be accepted while about 80 will be deferred to either Spring or Fall 2008. These numbers are consistent with past years.
Shay noted that the mean GPA for potential accepted students is still a 93, but the mean SAT has skyrocketed. Last year, the mean SAT score for incoming freshmen was 1292. This year that number is expected to be above 1300. Geneseo is also 100 percent need-blind, according to Shay, so financial need is not considered in the admissions process.
There are a variety of factors that have contributed to this applicant increase. The College has had positive publicity in recent years and has been mentioned in several publications, including The New York Times' list of 20 colleges nationwide to consider as alternatives to Ivy League schools, and most recently in Kiplinger's Personal Finance as the second best value in public colleges for out-of-state students and seventh best for in-staters. Shay pointed to the other fact that some students have elected to attend Geneseo over such selective private schools as Hamilton, Colgate, Vassar and Cornell. She suggested that Geneseo's popularity centers around its academic reputation rather than its affordability. The possibility of Geneseo becoming the official SUNY honors college remains under consideration. There has also been an increase in students from outside New York State applying to Geneseo.
The increase in quality and quantity of applicants will not have any impact on students seeking financial aid. Archie Cuerton, director of financial aid, said that the increase in applicants hasn't really affected his office. They are, however, receiving more FAFSA data than in the past. "The bottom line is that if the yield is the same, it's not a big problem for us," Cuerton said. The financial aid for freshmen will not affect the aid of current upper-class students.
High school counselors are noticing the increase in Geneseo applicants as well. Marcia Bartalo, a school counselor at Brockport High School in Brockport, N.Y., noted that there definitely has been an increase in students applying to Geneseo from her school. Bartalo also pointed out that most SUNY schools have seen an increase in applications from her students. She also noted that many of her students end up choosing Geneseo over a private school for financial reasons. "If kids get into Geneseo and it's their top pick, they go there," she said.
"This is a really exciting time for the college," Shay said. "We've been seen as a really great value. The academic reputation is really taking us to the next level."