Sage College of Albany

Sage College of Albany (SCA) is a gem in the heart of New York’s capital city.  You might know that SCA is one half of a two-campus community that make up the Sage Colleges.  However, that is only the tip of the iceberg with SCA.  While the Albany campus has a cozy feel, the co-educational campus of approximately 1200+ students has a host of pre-professional programs such as graphic and interior design and business.  The SCA also has a strong fine arts program and is host to the Sage After Work program and a string of the colleges graduate programs such as Management/Business and Community Psychology.  The professors and administrators on this intimate campus know the students which builds community, accountability, and student engagement in their academic, co-curricular, and professional lives. What struck us on our visit and tour of the campus was student accessibility to all that SCA has to offer.  Our contact and guide during our visit, Paige Collins an Assistant Director of Admissions, made it clear that SCA’s commitment is to develop students who are well-prepared for careers in their chosen field.  That sense of  commitment spills over into the daily lives of the professors and administrators in a way that only can happen on a small campus where students, staff, and faculty meet in and out of class. While the Sage Colleges are set on two distinct campuses with different offerings, students have access to much more than they might at a single campus.  Students can use the free shuttle service between the colleges to attend classes, events, or to explore the sister cities.  The other half to the Sage Colleges puzzle is the Russell Sage Campus located in downtown Troy.  This women-only undergraduate program has a traditional liberal arts bent plus a number of professional programs such as Physical Therapy and Nursing.  (Please note, the linked Physical Therapy program is available to students at either undergraduate campus while the graduate portion is based on the Troy campus only).  The RC campus is also home to many of Sage College’s graduate programs.  We will venture across the Hudson to visit this campus soon (stay tuned for more information). SCA is a private school with a steep cost of attendance.  Sage boasts merit-based scholarship aid to qualified students which can slash the price tag for some students.  Sage is also rightly proud of its financial aid...
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The New Normal: NYSACAC REGIONAL FORUM

On March 11, 2009, admissions1 consultants attended the New York State Association for College Admissions Counseling (NYSACAC) forum “The Economy and College Admissions: This Year’s Financial Picture for Students and Families.”    The program was held at Sage College’s Albany Campus. The informative session updated the audience on proposed and revamped federal and state financial aid methodology. Not surprisingly, a lot of the discussion was couched in the background of ‘the new normal’ –the changes brought about by and the impact of the economic downturn. Jim Vallee of the Sage College Financial Aid Office gave a very interesting presentation on financial aid changes for the upcoming academic year. He touched on proposed and permanent changes to the federal and state guidelines and how they may impact families. The changes he discussed included five new questions concerning a student’s independent status. Jim pointed out that these changes potentially create more questions than answers. Jim also addressed Governor Paterson’s proposed budget cuts which will have an impact on the NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). The proposal includes changing how students become TAP-eligible based on the number of enrolled credits hours. If passed, the changes to TAP would include allowing students to be TAP-eligible based on number of credits attempted (up to 120 as the maximum) instead of based on the traditional eight semesters. Jim suggested that while the proposed budget cuts would save the state 65 million dollars the changes could adversely affect students who may be full-time but only taking 12 credits. Financial aid and Admissions administrators have lobbied state legislators to vote against these proposed changes. The outcome is still to be determined. Attendees from high schools, colleges, and independent counselors participated actively in the discussion. The attendees addressed recent changes in consumer spending habits and how this will play out for admissions and financial aid at colleges. Jim anticipates more students and families will be lining up at the financial aid office to discuss issues such as recent layoffs and changes in income and assets. It was also discussed that schools are making more of an effort to increase their financial aid budgets to assist the growing number of families in need. Sage College has committed to funding full need (based on the results of the FAFSA) for those students who receive aid. So while the news of dramatic decreases in many school’s endowments seem grave, it is...
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