College overview: Syracuse University

Located in New York, Syracuse University is a college widely known for its environment, learning styles, and school spirit.


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On Sept. 21, Hills juniors and seniors attended a virtual information session about the university, which was hosted by admissions officer Lisa Raney. She gave students insight on Syracuse and answered their questions via Zoom. Students were able to sign up for the virtual visit through Naviance. 

Syracuse University (commonly referred to as Syracuse or S.U.) is a college located in New York, approximately four hours from Pascack Hills. The university is widely known for its location, learning styles in and out of the classroom, and school spirit among current students and alumni. 

One aspect that students at Syracuse like about university is the location. 

“The setting is a unique city,” Raney said, “students really like the environment.” 

Senior Jacob Charnow attended the virtual visit, and plans on applying to Syracuse. He has visited campus several times. 

“On the visits I took to the campus, I immediately saw how nice it was,” he said, “it was the in-person visits that really convinced me [to apply there]. Seeing the actual studios pulled me in right away.”

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Syracuse is considered a large university, measuring 721 acres in area. It has a large student body, too, but Raney noted that this is not reflected in the size of classes there. 

“[The class size] is big enough for experts, but small enough to collaborate,” she said. 

In the classroom, students engage in activities that Raney described as “hands-on interdisciplinary tasks.” She said that they are able to learn through the use of physical items, such as the art and engineering program collaborating annually to build a model volcano. 

The study abroad program is also popular at Syracuse. Raney noted that 50% of the students choose to study abroad during their time there. Some countries that students are able to go to include Spain, France, and Italy. 

Another quality that makes Syracuse stand out as a campus according to Raney is the high level of school spirit. Students enjoy attending sporting events and participating in clubs at the school such as football and basketball. The school’s mascot, Otto the Orange often appears at these games, which makes students feel excited. 

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Syracuse cheerleaders at a women’s basketball game.

In addition to sports, Syracuse offers several clubs that students partake in. Raney shared her personal favorite: the Chimes Masters. They are unknown students who are in charge of ringing the chimes by the Newhouse Tower at the hour daily. She said that they also play a range of genres of songs–such as the Beatles and Disney–and disclose their identities at graduation. 

After students graduate from Syracuse, they often stay in touch throughout the rest of their life. Raney talked about one alumni story that she found memorable.

A student from West Virginia that attended the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications grew close with Raney. She completed graduate course work for the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN), and later married another Syracuse alum. 

As an admissions officer, Raney primarily communicates with students via email to discuss admissions and answer questions. 

“Our role is to facilitate the decision making process for [students],” she said. 

If Raney could give Syracuse students a piece of advice throughout the college admissions process, she would tell them “be yourself because everyone else is taken…and proofread!”

Hills junior Kaitlyn Lafferty attended the virtual visit, and commented on the school. 

“That was the first virtual college visit I attended, and I learned so much–not just about Syracuse–but about the process of finding a major or minor, joining clubs, the college application process, and more.” 

“The virtual visit was kind of the cherry on top of everything else,” Charnow added. 

Raney concluded that the school is fitting for many different types of students, and said that it is her job to help them decide if it is right for them. 

“Syracuse has something for everyone,” she said. 

For more information on their programs, check out their website.