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Incoming freshmen SAT scores on the increase

By : Sarah Lifshin

Binghamton University continues to be a top choice among the state's most talented and able students, even as enrollment and the demand for higher education grows, members of University Council were told last week.

Incoming freshman scores for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) increased approximately 30 points during the past two years, putting Binghamton among the best public universities in the United States, according to Peter Partell, director of institutional research. The middle range of Binghamton's SAT scores is 1120-1310 putting it among such academic institutions as high-ranking UCLA, University of Virginia and University of Wisconson.

Partell was joined by Provost Mary Ann Swain and members of International Student and Scholar Services in outlining the demographics and academic components of new students for 2003-04 year.

Statewide, the number of students seeking a college education is increasing, and academic institutions must now find space to accommodate them, said President Lois B. DeFleur.

More than 45 percent of workforce jobs require a college education and degree, she said.

?Our students want to prepare themselves the best way possible for the future they face,? DeFleur said. ?We are very selective and we want to ensure they have the education where they will be successful throughout their lifetime.? However, New York state needs to find additional ways to accommodate more students ? unlike California, which in an effort to address an increase, has raised tuition three times in two years and limited enrollment at its state colleges and universities.

The demands of the students have also changed during the last few years. Binghamton has seen a significant increase in enrollment in nursing, human development and economics, compared to a few years ago when many students enrolled in finance and School of Management.

?We offer many opportunities for the future to prepare our students,? Swain said. ?The absolute criteria are that the students bring a broad range of experiences.?

Students also benefit from the vast range of learning opportunities while they are here, she said, from art exhibits, concerts, plays and lectures, clubs, student government, study abroad, volunteering and experiential learning.

Also contributing to enrollment is a growing international student population. A record 347 international students are enrolled, and 148 or 43 percent of those students are new on campus.

?Our students come from 86 countries, and when we add U.S. permanent residents, the number of countries increased to over 100,? said Ellen Badger, director of international student and scholar services.

The majority hail from South Korea, China, India, Japan, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Kingdom. However, adding permanent residents, large numbers come from Russia, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines.

Badger said the international students? majors vary. Nationally, students tend to study business, computer science and engineering. However, locally, 53 percent are enrolled in Harpur College, 27 percent in the School of Management and 13 percent in the Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, along with the Decker School of Nursing and School of Education and Human Development.

?Binghamton?s international students can be found in every undergraduate program we offer, thus giving them an opportunity to have an impact on the education of our U.S. students throughout the University,? Badger said. Beginning this fall, students in Turkey are enrolled in programs that allow them to earn diplomas from their Turkish institution, as well as from SUNY. Up to 75 students are expected on campus next fall for study in global and international affairs, and information systems. Eventually, up to 500 Turkish students a year could participate in the program. In addition, American students will be encouraged to pursue similar study programs in Turkey.

Binghamton also remains in the top 20 in doctoral institutions in terms of the number of students who study abroad.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08