SUNY New Paltz prides itself in providing students with a high-quality liberal arts education. The University has quietly inched its way up national rankings in recent years, a result of record-high application numbers and increasing selectivity. NP students attribute the school’s academic appeal to great professors, many of whom are published authorities in their respective fields. Inevitably, there are a few bad apples, but for the most part, lackluster professors are outshone by their seemingly overqualified counterparts. The best teachers’ classes fill up quickly, a fact attested by the unmistakable chorus of underclassman groans at registration time. Yep, juniors and seniors get priority pickings, but don’t dismay: this is merely a rite of passage! You’ll be eligible for early registration before you know it.
The workload at New Paltz depends largely upon your major and what classes you take. But beware: even the easiest professor will expect you to put time and effort into his or her class. This applies not only to the countless papers and pages of reading you’ll be assigned but also to classroom attendance; missing more than a couple of classes can be a surefire ticket to academic probation! The workload picks up as the semester continues, and one can often gage the time of year by how many kids are in the library and—on a less healthy note—by the extent to which campus ashtrays are overflowing with cigarette butts. By late spring, the library is infested with caffeine-rattled students, so claim your workspace early!