SUNY applications rise in falling economy

With the economy causing a rise in tuition costs, public colleges, specifically those within the SUNY system, are experiencing a dramatic increase in applications for the 2009-2010 academic year.

According to an article posted on the WSYR-9 Web site on Oct. 29, a SUNY spokesperson has announced that Binghamton's applications are up 50 percent from last year and Oswego's are up by 30 percent.

At Geneseo, Director of Admissions Kris Shay said that she is also seeing an overall significant increase in applications.

"At this point, we are significantly up in common applications and slightly down in SUNY applications," she said. "We have been told by school counselors across the state that they are sending us many more students this year, so we are expecting to be up quite a bit by our deadline of Jan. 1."

Many students have already decided to come to Geneseo for the affordability of public schools in contrast to private schools.

"After going to a private school close to home and having to pay over 20 grand a year, I thought it would be worth driving an hour to school every day to have an affordable and excellent education," said junior Mackenzie Sigwald.

Sam Androphy, a freshman, acknowledged the economic factors leading to his decision to come to Geneseo.

"I thought that if I could get a good education and not be in debt for the rest of my life … sign me up!" he said. He continued to say that given the current state of the economy, he thought people would want to come to public schools like Geneseo in part because of their reputations.

"We are still much more affordable than private institutions," said Shay, noting the caveat that private institutions, "may be able to offer significant merit scholarships - as they have in the past."

Shay explained that all colleges will be facing the pressing issue of the economy. "Since endowments are also being affected by the economy, we don't know exactly what to anticipate in this regard - it'll be an interesting year."