State University of New York at New Paltz


Roughly halfway between Albany and New York City, the State University of New York-New Paltz Campus (SUNY New Paltz) sits on a 257-acre campus in the heart of the Catskill Mountains. New Paltz is one of the largest of the 64 SUNY institutions, with close to 7,000 undergraduates and almost 1,500 graduate students.

New Paltz traces its history back to 1828, when a school was established for the teaching of the classics. Only 5 years later, the New Paltz Academy was founded, which further transformed into a Normal school and then the State Teachers College at New Paltz before being reinvented as the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1948.

Information Summary

Ranks 39th in New York and 409th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 88.2
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $25,641
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 29 / 1270
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 19 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 83% / 100%
Enrollment Total (all students) 7,608


SUNY New Paltz holds accreditation from a number of organizations, including:

Middle States Commission on Higher Education, National Association of Schools of Music, Computer Sciences Accreditation Board, National Association of Schools of Theater.

SUNY New Paltz offers a total of more than 100 different undergraduate programs, with an additional 50 graduate programs available. Five different divisions administer these degrees:

  • School of Education
  • School of Fine and Performing Arts
  • School of Business
  • School of Science and Engineering
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Some of the major departments include Art History, History, Sociology, and Business.

Online learning is also available through the Extension and Distance Learning Program. Web lessons can be taken as either a separate course, or in conjunction with classes taught on-campus and in-person.

Most Popular Fields of Study


College Building :: State University of New York at New Paltz
College Campus :: State University of New York at New Paltz

Unique Programs

The State University of New York at New Paltz has several unique programs that set it apart from other schools in the SUNY system.

Perhaps most worth mentioning is its emphasis on the arts; no other SUNY devotes so much attention to performance and fine arts. The more than 100 faculty members in this department comprise nearly 35% of the total number of professors teaching at SUNY New Paltz.

Another important part of SUNY New Paltz is the Scholar’s Mentorship Program, designed for high achieving students of color. This program links up members of the faculty, student leaders, and peer mentors with freshmen to keep them on the right track throughout the year.


The deadline for early application falls in the middle of November, while regular consideration applications need to be post-marked by the beginning of April.

The average GPA for entering students is approximately 3.5. The average SAT is approximately 1200, while the average ACT is 26. An essay is also required to give admissions officers a more personal look into both your personal and educational experiences. Finally, don’t forget to include a reference from a teacher or guidance counselor along with your application.

Students interested in studying in the College of Fine and Performing Arts need to send in a portfolio containing their best work.

Financial Aid

There are numerous scholarships available to SUNY New Paltz students, including a wide variety that are also available state-wide at other State University of New York campuses. Examples include the Horatio Alger Military Scholarship, the Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation Scholarship, and the Rochester Area Community Foundation.

SUNY New Paltz also has offers grants through the New Paltz Foundation to freshman, transfer students, and continuing students.

The financial aid office guides students through the sometimes complicated application process. Note that in-state tuition is significantly cheaper than tuition for non-residents; students are advised to check residency requirements closely before applying.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4509th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in New York.


The student body of the State University of New York at New Paltz is largely composed of “traditional” students coming straight out of high school, though there are also a significant number of returning and adult students looking to continue their education. Nearly all freshman live on campus or in the town of New Paltz, with a small contingent of students commuting from nearby towns in the Hudson Valley.

The student body of the State University of New York at New Paltz is largely composed of “traditional” students coming straight out of high school, though there are also a significant number of returning and adult students looking to continue their education. Nearly all freshman live on campus or in the town of New Paltz, with a small contingent of students commuting from nearby towns in the Hudson Valley.

The student body is diverse, representing the wide range of ethnicities that make up the fabric of the state of New York. It’s also relatively geographically diverse, split more or less halfway between “down-state” and “up-state”. Another important statistic: there are three girls for every guy, for better or for worse.

Students at SUNY New Paltz are known for their enthusiastic embrace of the art scene. It’s not uncommon to see kids painting or drawing while you stroll through campus. For a small town, New Paltz hosts an impressive number of concerts each week, including the occasional national touring act.

The campus is comprised of 39 non-residence buildings along with 14 dormitories, all within striking distance of the nation’s oldest street. Students also enjoy the brand new Elting Gymnasium, a 57,000 square foot athletic center equipped with an overhead running track and a great basketball and volleyball court. The John R. Kirk Planetarium is another popular destination, located inside the Coykendall Science Building. The SUNY New Paltz campus is currently undergoing significant construction, including the addition of new research labs, dormitories, and the restoration of the Sojourner Truth Library.

There are a ton of opportunities for students to get involved outside of the classroom, including accapella groups, clubs for activities ranging from badminton to jazz, and popular radio and TV communications stations. The Student Association recognizes nearly 150 organizations in total, virtually guaranteeing that every student will find something he or she is interested in.

The Greek scene is a small but important part of life at SUNY New Paltz. Greek organizations include fraternities and sororities that are both local and national in affiliation, including Mu Sigma Upsilon, Chi Upsilon Sigma, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Si, and Alpha Epsilon Phi. Students love to hike in the nearby Catskill Mountains, especially in the spring and fall (particularly during the latter, when turning foliage makes for outstanding scenery). “The Gunks” are also nearby, and world-famous for rock-climbing and bouldering.

Popular spots in town for students to hang out include the College Terrace, hosting live music several nights a week, along with the New Paltz Cinema, screening both classic films and more recent releases.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The State University at New Paltz plays in the State University of New York Athletic Conference, along with 9 other SUNY schools. The school’s mascot is the Hawk, and players proudly sport blue and orange as the school’s colors.

There are 13 varsity sports for students to enjoy watching, including baseball, men and women’s soccer, men and women’s basketball, and swimming. Games are held inside of both the Hawk Center and the Elting Gym, with the latter containing seating for nearly 2,500 cheering fans.

There is also a full roster of club sports for non-varsity athletes to enjoy, such as ice hockey, dodgeball, and Ultimate Frisbee.

Local Community

At its heart, New Paltz is a college town, and the SUNY that shares the same name more or less dominates the local scene. In recent years, the standard fixtures such as Starbucks and Subway have started to pop up, though the town still retains much of its original charm and substance.

One of the most important components of the relationship between SUNY New Paltz and the local community is Partnership for Higher Education/SUNY New Paltz @ Sullivan County Community College. Through this program, SUNY New Paltz brings a number of higher level classes to the community college campus each semester. Most of these classes are scheduled at night to allow students with jobs to attend.


Perhaps the most famous alumnus is James Dolan, owner of Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks, and the New York Rangers. Actor and actress (and husband and wife) Aida and John Turturro also graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz.

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