SUNY Orange ranks fifth in fall 2023 enrollment growth

Orange County. The college saw a surge in overall enrollment as well as in first-time student enrollment.

| 06 Dec 2023 | 11:14

According to data recently released by the State University of New York (SUNY) and Governor Kathy Hochul, SUNY Orange ranks fifth among SUNY’s 30 community colleges in year-over-year fall semester enrollment growth, as well as in first-time student enrollment growth.

SUNY Orange reported an 8.0% spike in overall enrollment (based upon headcount), compared to the Fall 2022 semester, while also seeing a 12.8% increase in enrollment by first-time college students. Both percentages shared by SUNY show a higher than average growth of the community college sector, which came in at 1.8% in overall growth and 3.9% for first-time students.

The Fall 2023 increase in students at SUNY Orange was the largest at the college in 22 years.

“This fall marks our third straight academic session with higher enrollment, following increases this past spring and over the summer,” said Dr. Erika Hackman, SUNY Orange provost. “That’s a credit to the combined efforts of everyone at the college. Our student services teams admit, enroll, and advise incoming students while at the same time supporting our continuing students. And once students are in the classroom, they are learning from an expert team of faculty who are providing a challenging curriculum designed to prepare students for their future.”

“It’s important that enrollment system-wide has increased as well. I hope this signals that higher education, particularly within SUNY, is finally turning the corner after the pandemic,” added Dr. Kristine Young, SUNY Orange president. “And from the community college perspective, we are educating 44% of the students within SUNY, most of whom will transfer to a SUNY four-year campus or use our degree to gain meaningful employment ‘at home’ in their own communities.”

For the first time in a decade, year-to-year total system-wide student enrollment increased, up 1.1% overall from fall 2022 to fall 2023, for a total of 367,542 students. Undergraduate first-time enrollment was up across all sectors at 4.3%. The technology sector showed the strongest increase at 13.%, followed by community colleges at 3.9%.

“New York continues to make important progress towards building the best public higher education system in the country and as a result, more young students are choosing SUNY,” Hochul said. “I know firsthand that access to higher education is an engine for social mobility. That’s why I will continue to make important investments in our higher education systems and take steps to ensure college is affordable and accessible for students of all backgrounds.”

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. presented the enrollment data during a special meeting of the SUNY Board of Trustees.

“There is a place at SUNY for every New Yorker, and the great news is that more students across the state are discovering their SUNY success stories. Governor Hochul and the legislature have made a significant investment in higher education, and we are pleased to see more New Yorkers taking advantage of everything our campuses have to offer — an excellent and affordable education that can empower them to pursue their career and life goals,” King said. “We will continue reaching out to students and adult learners across our state to ensure they know about the opportunities on our campuses and the financial aid available to help get them there.”

SUNY Orange’s year-over-year headcount enrollment was up 5.2% in the spring semester and 16.4% during the summer sessions.