Location: Oswego, NY
Percent Women: 51.6%
Tuition (one year): $21, 459
Most Popular Majors: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Education; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Psychology; Visual and Performing Arts
Greek Life: Yes
Acceptence Rate: 48.4%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit SUNY Oswego's website at www.oswego.edu/admissions.html.
Why Choose SUNY Oswego?
"Aside from the boring things like Oswego offering me the biggest scholarship and it being relatively affordable, I'd say the SUNY Oswego's main selling point, for me, was its potential for study abroad. I'd always dreamed of spending a semester somewhere outside of the U.S. and this school had an incredible array of programs; I ended up going to London and it was the best thing I've ever done."
"There were several reasons why I chose to attend Oswego for college. The school wasn't too far from home, but at the same time, it wasn't too close. I could go home if I wanted and if I needed a break from school. I liked the journalism program also. A lot of schools I looked at had just communications and I didn't want that. I also like the atmosphere of the school and the town it is located in. The hockey arena was also a big reason. I took one look at it and said to my mother, 'This is it. This is the school. Send in my deposit.'"
"Oswego wasn't my original choice. I felt like I was settling for Oswego after I didn't get into other schools I wanted. However, being a state school it offered great financial benefits and I knew it had a good communications program."
"I chose Oswego because everyone was very nice when I visited the campus. I liked the school because as soon as stepped onto campus it felt like home."
"It felt like home when I did a college visit for Oswego. Something just clicked with the college and its campus that made it feel like home to me. One thing that I really liked about the school was it's campus size and how every building is relatively close to each other."
"Location, the lake is beautiful. Good bio program."
"During the summer months the town is absolutely gorgeous. I remember visiting for the first time in June and thinking it was one of the prettiest places I'd ever been; the proximity to the lake and the freshness of the air was just really enthralling. I've always been keen on being outside, and when the weather cooperates Oswego is a great place to be for that. Aside from that, I'd say the small size of the school. I've gotten to know a lot of great people (professors and students) and frequently having small classes is a big reason for that."
"I think the lake is a big appeal for people and it is beautiful. It's a nice place to just get away. I like that the campus is big. It can be a pain in the winter, but in the summer, it's nice to get some fresh air. The campus is also beautiful. I think some of the buildings are nice to look at and I feel like I'm so lucky to go to school here."
"I think the hockey games are the best part. You won't find a better Division III hockey atmosphere in the country."
"Hockey, hockey and more hockey."
"Sunsets on the lake, hockey games."
"Well, the weather is pretty awful for the majority of the school year. Between the constant, whipping winds, the six foot deep snow drifts, and the school's steadfast refusal to ever cancel classes, it can be a little exasperating. The city of Oswego itself is also a little disappointing. It has a few really great gems hidden throughout, and if you try to see it as a great place it can definitely be one, but it's not really what comes to mind when you think of a typical college town. As far as academics go, though, I don't really have any complaints!"
"My number one issue with Oswego is the dorm life. I've lived in a dorm all four years and the dorms need some help. The washer and dryer situation is my least favorite. I'm not completely informed and what goes on with buying new washers and dryers, but ours are terrible. They are always breaking down. The food isn't my favorite, but I'm used to my mother's homecooking. I also think the dorms could look a little nicer. People from downstate aren't fans of the winter, but I'm used to it. Just bundle up and take the bus."
"When I lived in the dorms I think the dining halls were awful. I really think Oswego dining is some of the worst in the state. Everyone will say the weather stinks but in all honesty I like it. It keeps things interesting and entertaining."
"The snow! The lake effect snow is really terrible and my absolute least favorite thing about Oswego... especially when professors/the college expects you to go to class still."
"Honestly, there is nothing I dislike about Oswego except for the bad weather--especially this crazy wind! I've literally had to stop walking at times to keep myself from falling over. We also have a lot of fire drills, which can be annoying. Also, my dorm only has one microwave on the first floor for the entire building to use, which is pretty inconvenient."
New Collegiette on Campus
"Well I had a particularly awful first year experience, but I don't think that it was the school's fault. I had put my housing requests in late so I ended up in a slightly larger-than-average room with two other girls, which was a little cramped and lead to some issues. I had just gotten into a relationship about two months before I went away to school, I wasn't used to such big changes, and I'd never been very great at talking to people so I didn't transition to school very well. It wasn't for a lack of trying on the school's part; they advertised all sorts of events and clubs (there are something like 200 clubs on campus), I was just too scared and socially inept to make myself go to anything. Don't be like me!"
"You have to get involved right away. I made the mistake of not getting involved and was close to transferring, I hated it so much. Once I got involved I met plenty of people and it changed my whole experience. Oswego has plenty of opportunities to meet people."
"I had a tough time transitioning into college. A couple of years later, my family told me that they used to worry about me all the time and didn't think I'd actually finish college. I slept all the time and didn't speak to anyone. After about two weeks of this, I decided I needed a change. Oswego is pretty helpful when you first go to school. There are plenty of people around to help you and talk to you. I don't have as many friends as I did in high school, which made me feel like I was doing something wrong, but I did meet quality people and wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. I honestly didn't start liking college until my senior year, but it depends on the person. I missed my family a lot and was too stubborn to get out there and do something. Oswego has a lot of great clubs to get involved with and if you attempt to talk to the members, it will be worth it. Freshman year of college is what you make of it. If you sit in your room all day long and do nothing but sleep and watch Teen Mom, chances are, you won't like life very much."
"Being a first-year student at Oswego, was a big change for me. But everyone has made the transition a lot easier than what I expected. Meeting new people and to have a roommate for the first time, has been hard but also a lot of fun."
"It takes a lot to adjust to living with someone new, especially if you are an only child and have never shared a room with someone. You just have to adjust and understand that your roommate is going through the same thing and give them space when its needed."
"I've only ever participated in White Out Weekend, and only during my freshman year. I'm not a sports enthusiast by any definition, and hockey is probably one of the sports that I have the least amount of experience with, but the White Out Game was a definite highlight of my time at Oswego. The level of energy and enthusiasm that permeated the crowd was pretty intoxicating; I had no idea what was happening in the game, but I had a great time anyway!"
"I've never participated in Bridge Street Run, but I know it is a lot of fun. Quest Day is always good because it's a day to relax but often times I've been presenting or working so I'm not always able to relax. The White Out game is easily the best game to go to, it's a lot of fun and its probably my favorite Oswego tradition."
"A lot of the traditions such as BSR (Bridge Street Run) and White Out weekend are what draws students into the college. Having something fun to look forward to during the year always makes the semester go a bit smoother."
All About Academics
"I'm not a fan of the library, I try to avoid it at all costs. It seems to be filled with Greek life all the time and I prefer to stay away from that crowd. Course registration is easy, as long as the server works. As you get older it's easier to get into the classes you like."
"As a dual English Literature and Creative Writing major with a minor in Spanish Language, my workload can be a little overwhelming. If you're really concerned about this you should look at the requirements for your program and try mapping out semesters ahead of time so that you can mix up the difficulty of your time here. You can't take upper division classes for the first two years (most of the time, anyway), so the last two years can be a little rough, but they wont be so bad if you don't slack off in your 'easier' classes. Just do your work and show up to class, you'll be fine."
"I'm part of the Honors Program at SUNY Oswego, and so I have to write a thesis. It can be on whatever I want and it's due at the end of my senior year. I know History majors have to write a thesis as well; I think every major has some sort of a capstone class. The thing about this is that while the assignments may seem daunting, you usually have an overwhelmingly long amount of time to get them done. You may have to write fifty pages, but it's fifty pages over the course of a year (if you're attentive), not a semester."
"I think advisors are randomly assigned by the system. Truthfully, and this is bad, I'm not entirely sure how the system works. If you stay on top of your own requirements and make sure that you're not getting yourself off track, you really only have to deal with your advisors a few times. I've had a fine experience with mine, but I know a lot of people who haven't. Ultimately, you should listen to your advisors, but depend on yourself. Your credits are your responsibility and it's not difficult to figure out what classes you need."
"Course registration is, and always will be, The Hunger Games of college. There are never enough classes, never enough seats, always really inconvenient times for things, and little details that people miss very frequently. If you communicate with your advisors in advance, acquire any codes you might need beforehand, and write down a list (and a back up list or two) of the classes that you need, registration will usually go smoothly. It helps a lot if you transfer in college credits as a freshman, but as a freshman you should never expect to have a perfect schedule. It just doesn't happen. There are a lot of horror stories, but then there are people like me who have never had a substantial problem. If there's a class you absolutely need to be in and there is no space by the time it's your turn to register, you can usually pleadingly email the professor and a spot will be found for you."
"I didn't think the General Education requirements were difficult to deal with at all, and from what I understand there are even less now than there were when I was a freshman. Of course, my General Education requirements were slightly different because I'm in the honors program, but there are hundreds of Gen Ed classes to choose from all of the time."
"People spend a ton of time in the library. Especially during midterms and finals seasons. It can be impossible to find a seat, it can violent finding a seat, a lot of the time I just stay in my dorm or go into one of the less explored areas of the campus center. There aren't any books, but there's wifi and access to food."
"The workload is more compared to the last college I attended. I have had to do a large final project already in my business management class. I thought the course registration was a little stressful, but I did get all of the classes I wanted for next semester. I only spent time in the library if I was working on my group project. I really liked to study in the Campus Center because it was a lot quieter at night."
Learn from the Best
"Every class and professor has a different style of teaching. In my experience, the creative writing classes have been the most fun because the professors are usually down to earth and just want you to create something. I've loved my english classes because they've been challenging and have forced me to think in so many different, new, ways. I think my favorite classes would be Screenwriting with Jamie Adams, Fiction with Chris Motto, and Intro to Shakespeare with Dr. Patrick Murphy."
"My favorite professors would be Tim Delaney of the sociology department and Arvind Diddi of the journalism department. My favorite classes are the easy classes I've taken like HSC 241 or any coaching class. I go to office hours and I think they're very beneficial."
"People do actually go to office hours! I don't, because I'm scared of authority, but I know a lot of people who frequently stop by their professors' offices to ask them questions and discuss assignments. Most professors are ready and willing to meet with students, and it leaves a really good impression if you care enough about your grades to take time out of your day to meet with someone."
"Well I know the Modern Language Department has a lot of cultural fairs throughout the semester. There are presentations about different cultures, different items of food, and a lot of people from all over the world. There's also another thing called International Coffee Hour which is usually mandatory if you're in any language classes, but is essentially an hour of getting together with other language students and professors and playing games while trying to communicate in whatever language you're learning. I was extremely nervous about attending, but we ended up playing a some sort of Spanish casino game (with fake money); it's a lot of fun, and a great way to get professors to know you better."
"I've had wonderful professors at Oswego. Some better than others, of course. One thing I like about professors in college is that they aren't as stuffy as some high school teachers are. For instance, I had a professor who swore all the time. She dropped the F-bomb at least three times per class, if not more. The students didn't care. I absolutely love the professors in the communications and creative writing/English departments. I think it has to do with the fact that most writers are kind of crazy and these professors fit that perfectly. As for the classes, they definitely can be challenging. Every professor I've had has been more than willing to help students that have problems with school work or even problems in general. My favorite professors are Linda Loomis and Leigh Wilson of the creative writing department, Maureen Curtin in English, Maggie Simone in journalism and Michael Riecke in broadcasting."
Interests & Involvement
"Yes, a lot of people I know are involved with all sorts of extracurricular activities. SUNY Oswego has a plethora of options when it comes to club involvement, I think there are well over two-hundred student-ran clubs."
"You can look them up on Oswego's website. The list may be a little dated, but there is definitely a list... and it's huge. There are also advertisements taped up all over campus for all sorts of things. If you're looking for something to join it will be easy to find."
"Some of the most popular clubs would be The Oswegonian, which is the campus newspaper, WTOP/WNYO, the campus TV and radio stations, The Storyteller's Guild, The Outdoor Club, The Pride Alliance, and quite a few more.
"It's easy to join clubs, there is an involvement fair at the beginning of each semester. It's a great way to see all the clubs and learn what the campus has to offer."
"People do participate in extracurricular and clubs. You can find out about the clubs on the Oswego website. I am on the Women's Tennis team and so far I have really enjoyed it!"
"I guess I would say one of the biggest, most popular organization that people participate in on campus is Greek life."
"I know a groups of guys who started their own club. I'm not sure how easy it was, but they didn't seem to have too much trouble with it. I'm in a few clubs on campus and I've loved everything I've learned from them. I learn from the people and from what we do in the club. I definitely suggest joining at least one club, otherwise you'll be sitting lonely with nothing to do. If not an actual club, at least be involved with something. Plus, it looks good for future jobs."
"We have a widely recognized hockey team; The Oswego Lakers. I have absolutely no interest in sports and I've attended quite a few of the games; it's a regular thing among the students. Some games are more populated than others, but in my experience the seats are usually full."
"There are a variety of club sports. From broomball to volleyball to field hockey, there's a league for just about anything on campus. If there isn't already one in place, I know that it isn't difficult to create one if you can prove that there's interest. A lot of my friends participate in club sports. One of my housemates was the captain for her club broomball team this past semester, and I plan on joining club soccer."
"I don't know enough about being a school athlete to talk about the culture, but everyone I know who's on one of the school's sport's teams (as in not a club organization) is always swamped with either practice, traveling, or some sort of an event. The teams always end up becoming something like auxiliary families, from what I understand."
"Hockey is the most popular sport at Oswego. There are intramural and club sports. I don't think there is a separate athlete culture like at some other schools."
"Like many other students, I love going to the hockey games. I try to go to all of them. Hockey is a pretty special sport and I'm glad our team has an unbelieveable amount of talent and can continue to be successful year after year. I have gone to other sports, like basketball, tennis, soccer, volleyball and field hockey, but there isn't an energy like there is at the hockey games. Many sports get a lot of fan support, which I think is great. Hovkey might be number one, but it's not our only sport."
"Hockey is a very popular sport to watch at Oswego. Since coming to Oswego I have definitely found a new sport I like to watch!"
"I feel fine being a woman at SUNY Oswego. I usually feel safe walking to and from classes, even in the dark, and have never had a problem with anybody."
"The women wear all sorts of things. Seriously, there isn't an 'Oswego uniform' that we all subconsciously conform to; there's always a serious variation in clothing."
"I don't know about a women's specific resource center, but I understand the Lifestyles and Health centers to both be very helpful, positive places for girls. There is a women's studies program and I'm certain that there are student-ran women's organizations and clubs as well. Throughout the semester there's usually at least one event (if not more) that revolves around the empowerment of women, like Take Back the Night."
"The ratio seems pretty even. I don't feel outnumbered by anybody, but I also don't feel like I outnumber anyone else."
"As a woman on campus, I feel very safe. I’ve never come close to a situation where I felt otherwise. I think our campus is safe, as is the town of Oswego. I don’t think women on campus wear any particular type of clothing. They don’t wear six-inch heels or anything out of the ordinary. It’s the usual Uggs, hoodies, jeans, sweatpants type of thing. I don’t feel that women are outnumbered or anything. I participated in Take Back the Night one year and I thought that was a wonderful idea. We have several classes that are geared toward women. I took one once and thought it was pretty interesting."
"I transferred to Oswego in August, and I was really surprised by how diverse the student body is here. Each girl seems to have her own unique style, so you never have to worry about not fitting in. I've seen girls in dresses, skirts, jeans, sweatpants. You name it! I've noticed girls with different-colored hair, too (including blue, purple, and pink!) It's so refreshing to be able to wear what you want and not have to worry about being judged for it."
Food & Drink
"The food has its good days and its bad days, but a lot of them are bad. Really bad. I would try to stick to the salad bar and the sandwiches most of the time. My personal favorite was Pathfinder because it always seemed to be the cleanest, and I always had access to grilled sandwiches."
"I never used the kitchens while I lived in the dorms because it was just too cumbersome of a task to have to 'rent' out all of the equipment and make sure you weren't cramping anyone else's style. Now that I live in the Village, though, I cook all of the time (we have our own, personal kitchens), and it's great."
"If you're interested in Spanish food, La Parilla is the way to go. The food is all locally grown, which is a plus, and the ambiance in the restaurant is nice. If you're looking for a good lunch, I'd suggest Port City Café; the paninis are a little expensive, but they're delicious and varied. The Red Sun is also good for lunch (they have brick oven pizzas), but I've only been there for dinner, which was great. My absolute favorite restaurant in town is Bistro 197, though; the food isn't just great, it's phenomenal, and the establishment recently opened up an attached Piano Bar. The Bistro is expensive, but I think it's worth it. A lot of people might say that Canale's is the best place to go for a bite to eat, but I don't really like it; it's watered down Italian food for people who don't regularly eat Italian food."
"The dining hall food is awful. I think their selection is terrible and quality is lacking. Off campus I enjoy Bridge Street Pizza, the Press Box and Fajita Grill."
"I think the food on campus is pretty good. I do like the food and my favorite dining hall is Lakeside. I do use the kitchen, it is usually for late night snacks. My favorite place to eat off-campus is Fajita Grill and The Sub Shop."
"I'm not a fan of the food in the dining halls. I do like that the dining halls have a variety of things to eat. It just depends on the day if it is good or not. The on-campus places to eat (like Crossroads and the bagel factory) are usually pretty good. I like those."
"People go to parties on the weekend. At night, anyway. During the day everyone is usually too hungover to be seen before 11 AM."
"Oswego has a service called the D-Bus for people who want to get to and from parties either from campus, or an off campus address. It costs two dollars for a ride and is a great alternative to driving."
"I wouldn't say that people feel pressured to drink on the weekends, but I know firsthand that the weekends can be boring if you're not involved with the party scene. Of course, it really just depends on who you're friends with and how many people you're friends with; if you're friends with good people they're not going to make you feel bad for not wanting to get drunk."
"There's a really great movie theater in town if you want to do something that doesn't include going to a party, and it's probably cheaper than spending dollars on booze and D-bus rides. The tickets are remarkably cheap and the theater itself is a slightly refurbished old school theater, where plays were performed, so the walls are adorned with all sorts of paintings and the ceilings are really, really high. It's a fun thing to do. There's also bowling, ice skating, and planetarium showings on Sundays in the new science building."
"I think the social environment is definitely inclusive, but you can't sit around and expect strangers to grab your hand and take you fun places. You have to try a little bit to talk to people (just leave your door open, say hi to your neighbors, bake your hallway cookies, whatever) and introduce yourself, then making friends really isn't difficult. I didn't do any of that when I was a freshman and I regret every second of it. Don't let yourself be scared of people, there's no reason to be, even if a pit forms in your gut at the thought of talking to someone new and strange, just do it."
"It depends on the week! I think the second or third week of every semester is Rush Week, which is when all of Greek life is tripping over itself to find new pledges, so the parties are all either free or a lot cheaper than usual. Aside from that though, there aren't really mid-week bonanzas except Mug Night, which is fifty cent beers at Old City -- a local bar."
"People go to parties. It's easy because there are a million busses that drive to and from. I don't think people feel pressured and there are opportunities to do things other than party. I think the social scene is inclusive. Yes, Greek life always seems to be having parties during the week, however they are often times inclusive and only mixers."
"On the weekends people usually go to parties and the hockey games. I think a lot of people go to the Village for parties or off-campus. I think it is relatively easy to get to parties for students. Instead of going to parties people can go to the movies or just hangout!"
"Parties are normally house parties, frat parties and sometimes the sports team houses. Using the D bus, it makes it easy to get to the parties off campus. Partying during the week mostly happens during rush week for Greek life."
"Not everyone parties on the weekends. I am one of those people. It's too much for me to go out at night. I'm too sleepy or it's too cold. Plus, being around hundreds of strangers does not appeal to me. That being said, I have gone to a few parties during my time in college. Some were more enjoyable than others, but it was something I had to experience. Don't go into college thinking you have to drink or whatever to fit in. It's definitely not true."
"The dorms are generally cramped domiciles. They can be a little loud on the weekends, but being forced to live in a building with hundreds of other people your age can be a great way to make friends if you're willing to try. Although we all have our share of horror stories, dorms are a good thing for first year students and their social lives. The RAs are forced to run weekly programs for the residents and encourage as heavy of a turnout as possible, these activities can vary from sex-ed to board games and are great ways to meet and bond with people."
"All of the dorms have security protections on the outside doors, and then all of the students' rooms lock on the inside. It varies from building to building, but generally you can't get into a building if you don't have an ID card, and you can't get into a locked room without a key or proof that you live there."
"I'd say most upperclassmen live off-campus. I live in The Village, which I think is technically considered on campus housing despite the fact that it's apartment style living. I live with three other girls (although the buildings are co-ed), we each have our own bedroom, there's a kitchen and a spacious living room. It's a convenient alternative to having to commute, which is the biggest complaint from people who move off-campus."
"Dorms are safe, very unpopular for upperclassmen. I lived in a dorm for two years, I don't think it was great but I dealt with it. There are nice new dorms and bad old dorms. There are activities but not many people go to them."
"As a transfer student, my dorm was pretty boring. However I know the other dorms do a lot more bonding activities. I do think that the dorms are pretty safe. And I think it is pretty popular for upperclassmen to live in the Village or off-campus."
"I'm rare and have lived on-campus for all four years. It's kind of weird being older than most of the people who live around me, but it doesn't bother me. There is an all-freshmen dorm on campus called Johnson Hall. It's probably the nicest dorm on campus. I didnt live there, but I've heard mixed views on it. Some people liked it; others felt it was high school all over again. The dorms are safe, but I have heard about thefts happening, so make sure you lock your doors and everything should be fine."
"At first glance, the City of Oswego is a depressed little place with not much going for it other than the school. If you look around and hunt a little bit, Oswego's actually very nice. It's a breathtaking place in both Summer and Fall as far as nature goes, and it has a bunch of little treasures that college students tend to overlook."
"I think there are something like forty-two bars in Oswego. There are at least six or seven on the main stretch of road. If you want to go out for a night of debauchery, you will find a place to go in Oswego."
"I'm not entirely sure about the relationship between the school and the city, but I know that there have been several efforts made by school clubs and organizations to assist various organizations and projects in the city. The school seems to employ a large portion of the population and the student body is definitely helpful for the local economy; a lot of the establishments seem to be catered towards college students."
"Going off-campus is not an unusual thing. During the months when the weather is nice there are a variety of hiking options, there are bars and clubs off-campus, nice restaurants, places to be in general. I spend most of my time off-campus."
"SUNY Oswego offers a service called Laker Leads. This online service is sort of like a search engine for local internship and job opportunities, and from what I've seen there are quite a number of available internships for all sorts of majors located around the school."
"Oswego is a good college town despite the fact there is really nothing to do other than go to a bar. I think the school and city don't get along but that is because college students are disrespectful most of the time. I like the food options in town the best. I feel that a lot of people do internships off-campus during the semester and during winter and summer break."
"I like Oswego. I think it's a cute place. There are a lot of different little stores to go to. One of my favorite places in the River's End Bookstore. It's locally owned and a wonderful atmosphere. The people there are kind and the owner cares about the school, which is nice. The bars are a nig part of Oswego, but there is so much more. The movie theather is also cool because it is old-fashioned. I feel like I'm stepping back in time when I look at it. There are buses that go off-campus all the time and there are bus maps all over."
HC's Complete College Guide: State University of New York at Oswego
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