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University applicants up from 2017-18 school year

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UAlbany has received an increased influx of new applicants for the fall 2018 semester.

As of the beginning of February, the university has received 27,637 applicants for next semester. That is an 18.3 percent increase from the same time last year. This number is expected to increase, as the regular application deadline will not close until early March.

UAlbany attributed the increase to two factors: the Excelsior scholarship, and the addition of new academic programs.

“This is a significant bump, and interest in UAlbany is at an all-time high thanks to the University’s largest academic expansion in 50 years and the remarkable opportunity afforded students by the Excelsior Scholarship,” said the statement.

“Between now and enrollment we will work to ensure that the resources are in place to provide all students with the quality education expected from UAlbany.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed at the beginning of the month that the Excelsior Scholarship was the driving factor behind an increase in applications to state schools.

SUNY institutions saw a nine percent increase in year over year freshman applicants received through SUNY’s Application Services Center and CUNY institutions saw an 11 percent increase in applicants.

According to the Daily Gazette, just under 1,000 students are receiving the free-tuition scholarship at UAlbany. Approximately 23,000 students are making use of the Excelsior program statewide. This number is expected to increase as well, since the yearly maximum income for Excelsior eligibility is rising from $100,000 to $110,000 per year.

While many students applied to UAlbany because of the scholarship, some were disappointed by the outcome.

“The Excelsior scholarship affected my decision to come to this school because it promised free tuition. Although it came through, it didn’t deliver as much money as promised,” said Luke Woods, a freshman art major.

“I only applied to SUNY colleges because I thought it would be cheaper, especially with the Excelsior scholarship,” explained freshman political science major Nick Abbott. “It covers less than a thousand dollars each year which barely makes a dent in the total price of college. I wish I looked at other schools.”

Fredrik Wieneke is a freshman currently studying cybersecurity who feels that he has gained a lot from the program.

“Studying homeland security has given me intense insight on the way our nation protects its citizens, its assets, and its territory,” said Wieneke

It is unknown at this time how the increased applicant pool will affect the size of the upcoming freshman class or the university’s acceptance rate.

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