DUANESBURG – High school senior Arianna Marcucci said she will consider several colleges, but only as a backup to SUNY Schenectady, which promised admission to her entire graduating class.
Marcucci, who is interested in sociology and policy analysis, said Wednesday SUNY Schenectady was “pretty much set in stone” as her top choice.
All 53 members of Duanesburg’s class of 2022 were assured enrollment at SUNY Schenectady, which has suffered a significant 10-year drop in enrollment.
Duanesburg had partnered with colleges on instant college admit day events in the past. But Wednesday’s event in the Duanesburg auditorium was the first time all seniors were admitted to a college at a single event on the same day.
“It’s helpful and beneficial for a lot of students who don’t have a lot of choices for school, and it’s a good option because of its low price,” Marcucci said of the Instant Admit Day and SUNY Schenectady’s $4,608 yearly tuition.
Fellow Duanesburg senior Guilliano Amelo posed for photos with SUNY Schenectady President Steady Moono.
Afterward, Amelo said he was seriously considering SUNY Schenectady, mainly for its proximity to home.
Amelo said he wants to study fiber optics or culinary arts.
Moono, along with SUNY Schenectady Director of Admissions Laura Sprague, and Duanesburg Central School District Superintendent James Niedermeier, made formal remarks to the students, many of whom wore neon because it’s homecoming week at the school.
Niedermeier called SUNY Schenectady an incredible resource that is at times overlooked “because we always take things in our backyard for granted.”
Moono lauded the more than four dozen students’ collective resilience in continuing with their studies the past 20 months of the pandemic.
Sprague outlined the community college’s more than 50 degree offerings and three types of programs: transfer degree programs that allow students to continue on to a four-year institution, and career and certificate programs.
SUNY Schenectady’s registration for fall 2022 opens March 8.
The college’s enrollment challenges were recently outlined in the “SUNY 10-year Enrollment Trend Report” during a State University of New York Board of Trustees meeting.
Preliminary enrollment figures for fall 2021 at SUNY Schenectady show 3,995 students, a decline of about 20 students – or 0.5% — from fall 2020, but down more than 40% — a loss of 2,764 students — from 2011 when the college had 6,759.
SUNY Schenectady is one of eight SUNY community colleges with a 10-year change indicating a drop of at least 40% and one of 18 schools with a 10-year change indicating a drop of at least 30%.
SUNY Schenectady officials have said the enrollment data had been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The report does not include that this fall the college experienced an 11.49% (54 students) increase in full-time first time/transfer students and a 28.44% (64 students) increase in part-time first time/transfer students,” the institution said in a statement. “With ‘College in the High School’ enrollments still coming in, the final enrollment figure is likely to be at the very least flat [for fall 2021]. This is notable in the COVID period for any college.”
Every Duanesburg senior is eligible for one free SUNY Schenectady “College in the High School” course.