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Hottest Small State School in America

"Hottest Small State School in America"

NEW PALTZ -- The State University of New York at New Paltz has been chosen as the “Hottest Small State School” in the nation by the 2008 Kaplan/Newsweek “How to Get into College” Guide.

As one of the “25 Hottest Schools in America,” SUNY New Paltz has been recognized for its academic excellence and its unique appeal to students seeking entry into the top schools in the country. One of the contributing factors to the college’s selection was based on admission statistics.

L. David Eaton, vice president of enrollment management at SUNY New Paltz, said he is not surprised, noting that New Paltz has experienced a 40 percent spike in freshman applications since 2000.

For the 17th consecutive year, New Paltz has led SUNY colleges with the highest number of overall applications, which has allowed the college to be more selective in its admissions process. This fall, the college accepted 32 percent of its first-year applicants and 36 percent of its transfer applicants.

Hottest Small State College - Kaplan/Newsweek 2008. Alicia Mejias chose SUNY New Paltz because it was just 90 minutes from her family in Brooklyn, didn't cost too much and had a step team. Her only concern was she'd be one of the few Hispanics on the rural campus of 6,400 undergrads. That worry was allayed by a rush of festivities that included Jam Asia, Carribash and Latino Week.

“What makes us unique and attractive to prospective students is an engaging atmosphere, an extraordinary array of academic programs, and a location that is stunning in its natural beauty, in a college town that is a ‘hot’ destination for visitors in its own right,” Eaton said.

Information about each of the 25 “hot” schools will appear in the 264-page guide, which arrives on newsstands on Aug. 20. In addition to the “Hottest” list and other informative articles, the guide also provides readers with Kaplan’s inside look into the admissions process.

Interviews with guidance counselors, students, faculty and alumni were conducted by Newsweek and Kaplan to learn what makes the college unique.

“It’s an attractive option for students from all over the state,” said Jason Palmer, a contributing editor for the guide. “Students we spoke to appreciate the fact that New Paltz has a small town environment, yet is still close enough to New York City that they can get away for an evening or a weekend.”

Alicia Mejias, a May 2007 graduate of the college, who is featured in the SUNY New Paltz section, spoke about choosing the college for its tuition, proximity to home and student organizations.

Palmer said many first-generation college students like Mejias credited SUNY New Paltz’s diverse student body with making people of different backgrounds feel at home. Of the first-year students reporting their ethnicity, 27 percent come from traditionally underrepresented groups.

Students also spoke highly of the new 57,000-square-foot Athletic and Wellness Center that opened in 2006.

The “How to Get into College” Guide and the “25 Hottest Schools in America” article will be available at most newsstands on Aug. 20 or can be ordered on Kaplan’s Web site at or by calling 1-800-KAP-ITEM.

» Read more on the Newsweek Web site this link opens in a new window

photo of U.S. Ambassador to Argentina and student Esmeily Ventura
Esmeily Ventura, New Paltz International Relations major, talks to Ambassador Wayne, U.S. Ambassador to Argentina, about why he thinks New Paltz is hot at the Education USA Fair organized by the Fulbright Commission in Buenos Aires. Esmeily is studying in Buenos Aires in our exchange program with La Universidad Catolica de Argentina.