Fredonia to welcome over 1,300 new students

Thursday August 22, 2019Roger Coda
student working on computers

More than 1,300 undergraduate students will begin the next chapter in their educational journey at Fredonia when the 2019-2020 academic year begins on Monday, Aug. 26.

"We are excited to welcome a dynamic incoming class of over 1,300 talented undergraduate students from 19 states and 12 countries. These students are traveling to Fredonia as a destination college and want to contribute to our outstanding campus,” said Executive Director of Enrollment Services Cory Bezek. “They are exceptional athletes, gifted artists and performers, engaged in and outside the classroom and have contributed to their previous schools.

“Now we are excited to welcome them to the Big Blue Family and get to see what they achieve over their time here," Mr. Bezek added.

Even in a challenging era in higher education, Fredonia achieved robust numbers. A record 7,155 applications (6,271 first-year/full-time and 884 transfer) were submitted by prospective students and 5,312 acceptances (4,795 first-year/full-time and 517 transfer) were issued.

Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services Cedric Howard commended the Admissions team for continued success during the Fall 2019 admissions cycle. “They exceeded last year's record setting numbers in the number of applications and admitted students for the 2019-2020 school year,” Dr. Howard said.

Bezek noted that Fredonia continues to see strong enrollment from students living five or more hours away, generally between Albany and Long Island, particularly from New York City.

“Fredonia was the only SUNY university or college that had an increase in applications for Fall 2019,” Bezek said. “The message has gotten out; Fredonia is worth the drive!"

Included in the entering class are over 1,075 first-year students and nearly 250 transfer students. Final enrollment numbers will be determined by mid-September. Graduate programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Education and School of Music have currently enrolled another 208 students and continue to receive applications.

The incoming student population is among the most diverse in Fredonia history; over 30 percent of the students are from ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Impressive credentials abound among admitted students: 51 valedictorians and salutatorians; born in 44 different states and 82 different countries, and fluent in 59 languages other than English. Nearly 1,200 different high schools and colleges are represented.

They’re also talented, too, with 1,841 involved in theatre and 914 in dance, 1,725 who play a musical instrument, 1,668 who sing in a chorus and 89 who have performed at Carnegie Hall. More than 575 are members of the National Honor Society, 61 percent plan to earn a graduate degree, 61 are Eagle Scouts and 25 are Girl Scout Gold Award recipients.

Admitted students were also athletically inclined; they include 3,350 varsity athletes, 1,180 captains and 84 state championships earned.

Another impressive number, Bezek noted, is the more than 500,000 hours of community service the students have performed while in high school.

Fredonia is experiencing enrollment growth in the departments of Communication Disorders and Sciences, Geology and Environmental Sciences, and Visual Arts and New Media, Bezek reported. The number of new undergraduate students pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance has grown by 50 percent.

“It is exciting to see growth in such a wide array of disciplines,” Bezek said.

Derek Raymond, one of the new Visual Arts and New Media students, said his music director, a Music Education major at Fredonia, highly recommended Fredonia. “The campus is really beautiful. I am from a very rural area so I wanted a more ‘city-like’ area but not too much. It was perfect,” Mr. Raymond said.

Making new friends during a summer Jump Start orientation helped to make the going-to-college-experience more real, Raymond said. “I was actually going to college.” Raymond was also surprised that people knew of his hometown, Malone, which is a hefty six hours away. He is majoring in Photography and is looking forward to the start of classes.

From a different perspective, being close to home helped attract Amaya Slaght, a Social Work major from Silver Creek, to Fredonia. She also found the campus attractive and offering many student activities. Meeting other incoming students during summer orientation helped Ms. Slaght make new friends before the fall semester begins.

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