SUNY Oswego's new Early Action Program has helped jump-start the college's recruitment for the Class of 2021, providing a significant initial boost to applications, allaying anxiety about acceptance for 2,100 high school seniors, and prompting scores of those prospective students to reserve their places for the fall by early February. 

Early Action is a non-binding application option that allows students with a strong interest in attending Oswego to learn their admission status by mid-December -- a full month before regular-decision candidates for the fall class should have submitted applications.

"Now, almost three months after the Early Action application deadline of Nov. 15, we are up over 7 percent for applications on the freshman side," said Jerry Oberst, senior associate director of admissions. "In December, we were up 25 to 30 percent."

Early Action -- prompted by federal changes that enable students and their families to apply earlier for financial aid and to learn sooner about colleges' and universities' bottom-line costs -- replaces Oswego's binding Early Decision program, which drew about 300 applicants a year compared with Early Action's 2,700 applications, Oberst said.

"What we found was that the people who were applying Early Action appeared to be above our average (academic) profile," he said. "In general, people who apply early tend to be a little more organized, a little more sure of their choice of a four-year school." 

Excited students

Here's what three high school seniors -- all new members of the SUNY Oswego Class of 2021 -- had to say about Oswego's Early Action option:

Nicholas Proietti of Amsterdam, who plans to major in physics: "I took the early-action option because it simply made my senior year of high school less stressful. I was able to research college options as early as sophomore year and I realized early on that SUNY Oswego was a suitable match for me. I felt confident that this was a top choice for me, so I just said to myself, 'Why not apply to the early-action option and get the job done?'"

Andrew Shippee of Central Valley, who has declared a business administration major: "I chose the early action program due to the accelerated admissions decision and better scholarship consideration."

Lauren Downen of Buffalo, a Class of 2021 zoology major: "I am absolutely set on coming to Oswego as it is a perfect school for me. … I knew Oswego was the school I wanted to further my education at, and the early action option provided me with a quick acceptance that eased the 'waiting process.' Early action also showed that I was serious about my education at Oswego and gave me an early step into the zoology academic program."

The Early Action Program also gives the college more time and opportunity to encourage accepted students and families to visit and to engage more deeply with faculty and administrators. The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management is in the midst of a "Stick with Us" campaign for those accepted students who have not yet submitted deposits indicating their commitment to the college.

"We are encouraging Early Action students to 'stick with us' by getting people to take action, schedule a visit, watch a video, take a virtual tour, and display their Oswego pride with a window decal," Oberst said. "We want them to be aware of our desire to be welcoming and to let them know more about what we have to offer."

In addition, the college's Office of Communications and Marketing partners with the Admissions Office and student interns on an accepted students Facebook group for members of the Class of 2021 and transfers to let them connect with future friends, ask questions and learn more about Oswego's strengths.

Opportunities to visit

SUNY Oswego has scheduled five information-rich Admitted Student Days, urging School of Business freshmen and transfers who have been accepted to visit Friday, March 31; School of Communication, Media and the Arts on Monday, April 3; and all majors on Saturday, April 8; Monday, April 10; or Saturday, April 22. These days include opportunities to speak with faculty, admissions staff, representatives of college offices and current students, and to attend student-guided campus tours, presentations and an information fair.

The college also offers regular information programs at 10 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and at 1 p.m. on select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Individual appointments with an admissions counselor and student-guided tours are offered between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for those who call 315-312-2250 for an appointment.

Finally, Oswego will offer open houses designed for students beginning their college search on Monday, May 1; Friday, July 14; and on three dates to be announced this fall.

Visit, email or call 315-312-2250 for more information.