Archive for the 'Helpful Hints' Category

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Melissa Evans, Assistant Director of Admissions

With May 1st fast approaching, we are giving prospective SUNY Potsdam students as many opportunities to get to know the campus as possible.  Please check out our website and register for an upcoming event.  We have Decision Day Open Houses, Multicultural Weekend, daily visits, and online chats.  We are also bringing our campus to you with Regional Receptions around the state of New York.  Here are the links you’ll want to check out:

Also, don’t forget to simply call our office to speak with our Admissions Staff.  We will be happy to answer your questions!

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Melissa, Assistant Director of Admissions

I thought I would share this article that gives some very helpful tips for completing the FAFSA.  Don’t hesitate to contact our Financial Aid Office if you have questions specific to your situation (315-267-2162).

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Melissa, Assistant Director of Admissions

Since we are just about in the heart of application season here at SUNY Potsdam, I thought I would give everyone a quick list of application do’s and don’ts.


  • Submit the Common Application or the SUNY Application.
  • Send us an official high school transcript or complete the SOAR.
  • To complete the supplemental application, submit an essay and a letter of recommendation.
  • Be sure to proof your essay and letter of recommendation.
  • Remember to pay the $50 application fee or apply for a fee waiver.
  • Try to schedule an admissions interview and tour.  If you can’t make it to the campus, call and speak with an admissions counselor over the phone to check on your application status and to let them know you are very interested in attending.


  • Send us an essay or letter of recommendation that tells us you can’t wait to attend a school that is not Potsdam!  We understand you have choices but the only school your essay to SUNY Potsdam should mention is SUNY Potsdam!
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to ask for a letter of recommendation.
  • Don’t forget to read your email and mail thoroughly for instructions from us.
  • Don’t let your parents do all of your work.  It will look better for you if you are making the effort to communicate with us directly.
  • Don’t forget to let your school counselor know you applied!
  • Don’t hesitate to call our office if you have questions or concerns.  315.267.2180

Good luck!

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Vincent, Class of 2013

With two final papers down and three exams to go, there’s always room for a quick bouldering session to ease some tension from the week. Potsdam makes an effort to help students stay focused and relaxed during finals. The college put on a relaxation clinic with oxygen bars, yoga, chill out music, food, and other ways to just sit around for an hour and detox. SES also had a study night at Hurley’s nightclub and most of the on-campus organizations made their weekly meetings casual, fun, and stress relieving for members. Circle K had a cookie baking and charades night last Wednesday that really gave me some down time to de-stress over my finals. I also have another place to turn to when I get the finals week jitters, our campus’ bouldering cave in Maxcy Hall. Bouldering is unlike giant belay-style wall climbing because you’re only about eight feet off the ground and there are no ropes involved. It’s a great upper body workout and has the element of problem solving while swinging from hold to hold. There are routes a climber can stick to, denoted by multi-colored tape, or you can freestyle climb like I do in the picture below. After a good climb it feels great to go back to the books, ready to tackle those finals with ease, and finish up the semester on a positive note. I’m itching to get home for the holidays, but there’s still work to be done!

Vince bouldering in Maxcy Field House

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Vince, Class of 2013

Me too. We all are, especially those who are getting closer to graduation. Want to know what I’ve been told time after time about worrying? It’s natural! I couldn’t begin to tell you all the nights I’ve sat up thinking, “What will I do after I graduate? Am I making the right choices?” I could say that “everything works out” or “everyone finds their place in life,” but I feel like that’s vague and a little cliché. What I’ve found out as the years rolled by is that your future resides in how much you want to succeed. We’re all uncertain at times, forgetting how far we’ve come since high school, and get caught up in the big elephant in the room: the economy. However, this campus has quite the job placement rate and a fantastic career planning service to boot. The key word here is “placement,” and in order to get assistance for placement students have to start planning earlier on in their academic careers. For example, there are various free workshops, open seminars, and one-to-one assistance on post-graduate marketability that are held each semester. A major affair, graduate school information sessions, the internship office, guest speakers, and even the writing center are here to help the nervous
undergraduate bolster some confidence in the job hunt. For those who want to make the step towards graduate school, get well acquainted with your professors early on in your undergrad years. For instance, I’m getting a lot of advice from my English professors on what graduate programs to choose and some tips on the application process. This was because I love what I do, show interest, and have a better sense of what I want to do now that I’ve utilized Potsdam’s career resources. The SUNY Potsdam community cares about its students and it’s all right to be nervous about the unknown, but this campus will certainly never leave its students out in the dark.

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Chelsey, Class of 2013

Many students worry about safety on college campuses, but that is something you definitely don’t have to worry about at Potsdam! Our college puts a lot of effort into protecting our students.

University Police:
We have University Police that make rounds constantly. Many residence halls have an officer on call nightly to make sure everything is running smoothly.  Something unique about our campus’ policing system? University Police are trained state-official officers!

Educated Staff and Student Population:
Our staff is sure to notify us when there’s something we should be looking out for. We get urgent messages to our school emails and brightly colored notifications are hung on many doors throughout the campus.

Campus Rescue Squad:
We have a group on campus that looks out for our medical safety! Campus Rescue Squad is constantly available for anything you may need – from a sprained ankle to a concussion! They are heavily trained, and many have even taken EMT courses!

Night Guide Team:
Potsdam has very recently instituted a Night Guide Team. This is a team of students that operate between the hours of 8pm and 2am. In groups of two (one female and one male) they are on call every night to deliver students to their destination safely. They walk into town as well.

Blue-Light System:
There are blue lights across campus. These are stations where you can contact campus police should you feel you need them for any reason. They are easy distinguishable by the glowing blue light on top!

Potsdam has an incredibly secure campus and we are constantly developing new ways to ensure safety! The best part? Students can easily become involved in protecting themselves and their peers by joining the volunteer systems like the Night Guide Team and Campus Rescue Squad!

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Vince, Class of 2013

Work-study job? Classes? Sports? Clubs? How can it all be managed? There just simply aren’t enough hours in the day when you’re a busy college student. While everyone has obligations to academics and their social life, stay conscious of when there is enough on your plate. It’s easy to spread yourself too thin when you get involved around campus on top of taking classes, but still try to get out there and do other things besides just hitting the books. A good plan for freshman year is to get your feelers out for the campus, take the introductory classes, join a student-run organization, and if you can manage a job that’s not a bad idea either. Remember where your priorities are though, maybe sacrifice a Friday night out to take a shift at work or pass up the vice president position to focus on your studies. College is a place to grow as an individual, not to become overworked and stressed with all the small stuff. Knowing what you can handle is important when trying to juggle college life, which will be rewarding if managed properly.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Vince, Class of 2013

Composition courses are a real treat here at Potsdam. We have an excellent faculty and a great creative writing program to offer at the college. After completing Comp 101 or transferring applicable AP test scores, any major is allowed to take an introduction to creative writing course. The course load spans over multiple genres like playwriting, creative non-fiction, poetry, fiction, and personal memoir. Last fall I took a course specifically on creative non-fiction, an up and coming genre, and it was a very unique style of writing. The creative non-fiction genre fuses together the tools of the fiction writer but adds an authors’ personal touch into the mix. The class was small, about fifteen students, with smaller student groups to work with outside of class time. Writing courses have a lot of peer reviewing on essay drafts to fine tune pieces until they’re ready to be handed in. Working with other aspiring writers is rewarding and there’s a lot of talent to be found at Potsdam. Professors give individual attention to students if they need help on a piece and in future semesters ambitious students have an opportunity for independent study. This semester I’m in an independent study creative non-fiction class where the pieces I worked on last year are now being polished for publishing opportunities. I hope to get some of my work into literary magazines within the next few years and the class is really helping me achieve that. There are plenty of opportunities for writers at the college, check them out if you’re interested on the English department’s webpage.

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Melissa, Assistant Director of Admissions

Here are 10 questions to ask during a college visit:

  1. What is the average class size for freshman and upperclassmen?
  2. What is the average debt accumulated for students completing a degree in four years?
  3. What are scholarship requirements for incoming students and what scholarships are available for returning students?  (If you don’t qualify as a freshman, will the school reward you for proven results once you are there?)
  4. Where are students interning and for what types of positions?
  5. What is the size of the student body?
  6. What is life like in the residence halls?  What conditions are the rooms AND bathrooms in?
  7. How safe is the campus?
  8. How do students describe the faculty?  (Are they accessible?  Do the students form relationships with the faculty?)
  9. Does the college offer my main areas of academic interest? (If you change your major, hopefully you won’t have to change schools.)
  10. How active are the alumni?  (A strong alumni base typically means that they feel a strong connection to their alma mater and value the time and money they spent there.)

Here are 10 questions you need to answer for yourself:

  1. What subject area(s) would I enjoy learning about?
  2. What is the average salary for the career I am interested in?  (Does it support the amount of debt you will accumulate at your top choice schools?  If not, reconsider your choice of schools, not your career choice!)
  3. What type of learning environment will suit my learning style?  (large school v. small school)
  4. How far away from home am I comfortable going?
  5. What type of setting will suit my interests best: urban, suburban or rural?
  6. I think I know what I want to major in.  Have I spent time shadowing a professional in that career so I really know what the job is like?
  7. What is my cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)?  (That way you will be able to research admissions requirements for colleges and know which colleges you have a solid shot of gaining entrance to.)
  8. What are my strengths and weaknesses as a student?
  9. Do I have the dedication to continue my education at the next level?
  10. Am I making the important decisions for the right reasons?
Friday, May 6th, 2011

Jeffri, Class of 2013

Choosing the right college is like choosing a new home. Not every location is right for everyone. At first, I assumed that since I am a city boy, I could not attend a school located in rural or suburban America. I later found out that wasn’t true. I chose to come to SUNY Potsdam because of the great reputation the school holds. All of the alumni/ae that I was able to meet were all ecstatic when it came to describing their college years here. After those raging reviews, I immediately decided that I needed to visit. I came up and learned an even greater deal of information. I was also pleased to see all of the great resources offered by the school.  There are great tutoring services. There are also computer labs and two different libraries with staff that is more than willing and motivated to help each student.

One other thing that aided with my decision was the surprising variety of food, both on campus and in town. There’s everything one could crave for such a small town. Choosing a college is not easy. However, go with what feels right for you and you’ll be surprised how easy the choice becomes.