Students walkingBuffalo State welcomes one of the largest incoming freshman classes in history.

Bigger and Better: Buffalo State Ushers in Class of 2011

As summer comes to a close, a new group of students joins the Buffalo State College community. While the start of the fall semester may seem a bit routine for some faculty and staff members, this year’s incoming class is unique in many ways. And though the differences may not be immediately noticeable, says Mark Petrie, associate vice president for enrollment management, the overall student profile should yield positive long-term effects.

“Our applications this year were a little stronger academically,” said Petrie. “With the boom in applications this year, we were able to be more selective in the student selection process. I think that having higher-caliber students can create an even greater atmosphere of learning and positive thoughts here on campus.”

Lesa Loritts, director of admissions, also agrees. “This year’s incoming student seems more engaged, curious, interesting, and willing to take initiative,” she said.

The big news for Buffalo State came in July, when, for the first time in at least 15 years, admissions closed early for freshmen due to overwhelming demand. Nearly 10,000 students applied, and more than 1,500 first-year students—projected to be one of the largest freshman classes ever—are now on campus.

Altogether, this year’s incoming class (freshman, transfer, graduate) should total more than 2,800 students—possibly the largest in Buffalo State’s history. As of July, transfer slots were also more than two-thirds full—well ahead of the typical pace. Total enrollment for fall 2007 should be about 11,350, according to Petrie. Final enrollment numbers will be available after the freeze-file date in mid-October.

“We’re no longer the ‘safety net’ school,” said Petrie. “For many, Buffalo State is a first-choice college. We have wonderful programs here, and the early admissions close is a tribute to that success. I credit the faculty and staff. They’re providing the right programs and the right curricula within those programs. The word is out—Buffalo State is an exciting place to be, with cutting-edge programs and high value for the cost.”

Last year’s trend of the New York City metropolitan area draw to Buffalo State continued for 2007. Nearly one in every four incoming freshmen hails from the southeast corner of the state.

As in past years, Residence Life will provide temporary housing accommodations for the overflow of students. At the beginning of the semester, the office expects 227 students to be assigned to the nearby Holiday Inn and Adam’s Mark hotels. The expected opening of Cassety Hall by the end of the semester will help alleviate the situation, providing space for 150 students.

Incoming students also are taking advantage of Buffalo State’s specialized programs, with 45 students (39 freshmen) joining the All College Honors Program, more than 250 freshmen and transfers joining the Educational Opportunity Program, 80 registering for three learning communities, and 140 signing up to take advantage of 38 service-learning classes.

“This year’s incoming class is as good as or better academically than last year’s,” said Petrie. “We have 800 new students living on campus. And our number of returning students is greater.”

Indeed, all signs point to positive changes for Buffalo State this fall.