Onondaga Community College


Located in Syracuse, New York, Onondaga Community College is a two-year public institution composed of three different campuses: the downtown campus, main campus and north campus. Officially part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, Onondaga offers a beautiful, scenic campus and top notch academic programs across several disciplines and degree programs. Onondaga is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and was founded in 1962.


Information Summary

Ranks 218th in New York and 3297th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 46.4
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $17,310
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 25 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 54% / 31%
Enrollment Total (all students) 9,834


Onondaga offers associate degrees, certificates, and minors (which are rarely offered at the community-college level). Students can earn an associate’s degree in a variety of subjects, such as computer engineering technology, criminal justice, and respiratory care. Students interested in pursuing an associate’s degree should be aware that general studies requirements are part of every associate degree plan. These general studies classes fall under natural sciences, humanities, math, and social sciences. Certificate degree options are available in programs of study such as cooking or law enforcement. Finally, minor options are available in foreign language, mathematics, and computer science to name a few.

GLAD Initiative

GLAD is an initiative to raise awareness of the international community and embrace the richness of the diverse nature of our society. It is the overall goal of this initiative to introduce students to new ideas about diversity and global interconnectedness and multiculturalism. GLAD courses are required under certain degree programs. Courses that are designated as meeting the GLAD requirement include the following examples: introduction to anthropology, contemporary global issues, and human services with diverse populations.

Community/Continuing Education

Those interested in taking a course or two that does not carry college credit may want to consider enrolling in a community or continuing education course. In these courses, you are sure to learn a skill or at the very least become reacquainted with a long buried passion for one subject or another. Hence, whether you are attempting to improve upon on old skill or learn a new once, Onondaga encourages you to enroll in their community education courses that cover a wide range of subjects. Open to everyone from students to community leaders, the community education division offers courses in test preparation, sports, recreation, hobbies, crafts, professional development, and workforce skills.


Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs are offered by Onondaga as well. The ABE program attempts to assist adult learners in grasping basic literacy skills as well as improving basic math skills in preparation for the GED. The ESL program targets individuals with limited English proficiency to also increase their literacy skills, focusing mostly though, on English conversation, writing, and reading skills.

Most Popular Fields of Study


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Unique Programs

Called the Disney College Program, Onondaga sponsors a paid internship partnership with Walt Disney World. Students can earn credit while participating in a Disney Resort internship. This internship may be ideal for students looking to major in hotel management or tourism and would therefore benefit from a hands-on experience in the business where they can gain invaluable insight. Unlike many internships, you are also required to attend courses taught by Disney professors. You will work an entry level position serving in different roles. Students in this program are housed in apartments near Disney World.


In order to be admitted, students must complete an application for admission and submit their official high school transcript or GED. Admission to Onondaga does not equal acceptance to all academic programs; certain programs have additional requirements that must be fulfilled, such as programs in health sciences. These admission requirements can be found on the department page of your program of interest.

Transferring to Onondaga is a relatively seamless process. Transfer students are required to submit official transcripts from all previous institutions attended and complete an application.

International students are required to submit an international student application for admission. There is also a downloadable admission package that international students are required to use that details the admissions process for prospective international students at Onondaga. This “package” includes: a language assessment form that must be completed by a language program director or language instructor, details regarding the TOEFL test, a financial statement form, and the actual international admissions application.

Financial Aid

The financial aid process is relatively simple. First, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known also as the FAFSA. The FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for federal loans, grants, and possibly the federal work-study program. The information needed to complete the FAFSA is your tax return from the previous year or your legal guardian’s tax information from the past year. The information gathered from this form is then shared with Onondaga’s financial aid office. Depending on your eligibility, you will receive a financial aid award that can include a combination of scholarships (awarded by the state of New York or independently by the college), loans, and grants.

If you complete the FAFSA only to receive a reply that you are not eligible for any form of financial aid, you may want to consider other private loan options. Contact any financial institution of your choice, including credits union and private banks to inquire about education financing options.

Furthermore, you can also attempt to find private scholarships on your own by searching the internet. It is common to hear that millions of dollars in scholarship money goes unclaimed each year because there are not nearly enough applicants applying. Simply search online using your background, race, nationality, military status, or location for example as key words. You are sure to find a host of scholarships that could be particularly useful in making your college experience affordable.

Onondaga itself offers scholarships that are need based, merit based, or both. In fact, Onondaga offers 55 of these type of scholarships, including: the SUNY/OCC Diversity Honors Scholarship, the Donald C. Helmer Endowed Scholarship, OCC Foundation Achievement Scholarship, Library Research Award, and many other scholarships available through individual departments and academic concentrations. Review Onondaga’s website for information regarding the application process of in-house scholarships such as those listed above.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 6054th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in New York.


Student Activities and Organizations

What’s college life without fun extracurricular activities? Onondaga encourages students to pursue educational opportunities not only inside the classroom, but outside as well. For this reason, student based activities and organizations, such as the club and associations scene, provides just as much learning as inside the classroom. These clubs fit into more or less three categories: academic based club, social action club, or a special interest club. A few of the clubs mentioned on the college’s website include: Students Acting for Animals, Whole Earth Club, Ski Club, Phi Theta Kappa, Dramatique, Chemistry Club, and quite interestingly, the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Group.

Students can also enjoy giving back to the community through volunteer opportunities that are publicized through the Career and Applied Learning Center. The CAL Center seeks to place willing volunteers with non-profit organizations in need of assistance. Hence, if you are someone who is interested in getting involved in a non-profit organization that is directly assisting in social action then contact the Center for further details about how you can become involved.

The student organizations frequently host events, but there are other events that occur on campus as well such as parties, open mic nights, live entertainment in the form of concerts and plays, art exhibits, lectures, and a host of other memorable activities.

Student Housing

Onondaga offers dormitory living to its students. Three residence halls are available to interested students. In an average suite style dorm, one can expect a fully furnished bedroom and living room, as well as private bathroom and a common kitchen. Onondaga also offers three meal plans for students including the bronze, silver, and gold plans.

Additional Services

There is tutoring offered at Onondaga for students in need of further assistance in any subject from astronomy to discrete mathematics. There are also tutors that specialize in helping students with their writing, helping to proofread and organize essays into coherent papers. There is also a disability services department for students who may have a documented disability and are in need of additional assistance. Finally, if one is having an especially difficult time transitioning to college or happen to have personal issues that cannot be resolved without help, Onondaga provides professional counselors for students.

Student Enrollment Demographics


Onondaga has an impressive athletic program that boasts championship accolades. As a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), Onondaga have been national champions in a variety of sports including: women’s and men’s lacrosse, most recently, as well as men’s tennis and basketball. In fact, these teams “compete in the NJCAA Division III, Mid State Athletic Conference in Region III.”

Other sports offered at Onondaga include men’s baseball, cross country and soccer, as well as women’s basketball, cross country, softball, soccer, and volleyball. If students are not interested in competing on a national level, there are intramural sports also available. Students can choose from the following activities such as badminton, karate, ping pong, and fantasy football, for example. For a school heavily involved in athletics, you can find a high quality fitness center that is accessible to all students. This fitness center is not lacking in terms of anything. It is outfitted with state of the art cardiovascular and weight training equipment.


  • Onondaga Community College. Web. 10 May 2011.
  • Onondaga Community College. “International Student Application Process”. 11 May 2011. <http://admission.sunyocc.edu/index.aspx?menu=780&id=1779#Process>

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