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New Scholarship Attracting Top Students To Hudson Valley

CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Monday, January 27, 2003

Recent New York Times Story Addresses Nationwide Community College Effort To Recruit Scholars

After graduating fourth in a class of 64 at Berlin Junior-Senior High School in 2002, 18-year-old Caitlin Durnin had a tough decision to make. With a 91 average and an above-average SAT score, she had been accepted at schools such as Rensselaer Polytechnic University and Clarkson University. Which college would she choose?

Durnin had already been involved with RPI through the New Visions Math, Engineering, Technology & Science program, for which high school students visit RPI once a week to gain college credits and insight into the applied science field, so RPI might have been a natural selection.

"But I knew I wanted to come to Hudson Valley Community College," said Durnin, now an Engineering Science major at Hudson Valley.

Durnin's decision to enroll at Hudson Valley was helped along by a new initiative at the college. Along with 16 other students, she recently received a Presidential Scholarship. These scholarships are offered to high school seniors graduating at the top of their class, and they cover three quarters of the college's tuition cost. The award comes to approximately $880 per term.

Consider that – at $2,350 per year – Hudson Valley already has the lowest tuition of any community college in New York State. With the aid of the award, which is renewable for a student's second year with the maintenance of a 3.0 grade point average, Presidential Scholarship recipients will pay less that $600 per year for the first two years of their college tuition.

"Getting the Presidential Scholarship was definitely a plus," Durnin said. "I felt like I didn't have to rely on my parents to help out. For a year of college, I'm paying what some people are paying just for books. And I'm getting a quality education."

"Our largest growth market right now is traditional high school seniors who are looking at Hudson Valley as a first choice," said Mary Claire Bauer, Hudson Valley's director of admissions. "Our academic reputation is solid and it continues to grow, and offering these scholarship opportunities to top students is a viable way for us to compete in the marketplace."

According to a Dec. 15 New York Times story ("Junior Colleges Try Niche as Cheap Path To Top Universities"), two- and four-year colleges are competing for students more than ever before. Like Hudson Valley, according to the Times, other community colleges are "eager to entice the best and brightest with promises of huge savings and easy transfer into a premier university after two short years."

"I like the atmosphere at Hudson Valley," said Durnin, who is planning to transfer to a four-year school after graduating from Hudson Valley. She's considering pursuing Biomedical Engineering. "The people in my classes are like me. They don't want to be in debt, and they're here to learn. They want to be here. It's tough – I took 19 credits this past term – but it's a great learning environment."

The other Presidential Scholarship recipients were: Jason Adams of Schodack Landing; Marc Aloan of Wynantskill; Clarissa Anderson of Winchester, New Hampshire; Robert Brown and Vincent Caruso of Clifton Park; Andrea Catroppa of Manlius; Rohit Gupta and Andrea Isgro of Albany; Matthew Kutryb and Dayna LaRosa of Latham; Lyle McCormack of Round Lake; Michael Pantuosco and Brad Pikcilingis of Schenectady; Anthony Ruotolo of Averill Park; Shane Swartz of Castleton; and Kelly Vadney of Delmar.

Two recipients scored over 1300 on the SAT, and the average SAT score was over 1150.

"We offer great articulation agreements and Hudson Valley is a great place to get started," said Bauer. "The Presidential Scholarships simply make us an even better deal for top students."

For more information on the Presidential Scholarships, and other scholarship opportunities at Hudson Valley, go to

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 50 degree and certification programs in four academic divisions: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Business; as well as programs run through the Educational Opportunity Center offering certification programs in workforce and academic preparation. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has graduated more than 55,000 students.