Herald Inside LI hosts staying local for college webinar


When college doors reopened in the fall and fears of spreading the virus were prevalent, many colleges on Long Island adopted the hybrid model for classes and for extracurricular activities— which changed the academic and physical dynamic of the college experience for many. 

With new social distancing guidelines also being applied to many colleges, long islanders attending colleges part time or those living in college dorms, experienced many social, emotional and psychological changes in their college experiences. 

With only a few weeks before the spring semester begins and with the second wave of the pandemic in full effect, many college-aged long islanders are being faced with the decision of either returning to their dorms for school or transferring to local schools. Many are wondering what are the benefits of transferring to local schools. 

Herald Inside LI hosted a free live Zoom webinar, sponsored by Molloy College, on Thursday, January 7 at 7 p.m., for the purpose of answering many of the questions that college-aged students and parents of those students have about staying local for college. 

During the webinar, representatives from Malloy College, Adelphi University, Nassau Community College and the New York Institute of Technology provided insight about how their schools have become more flexible in many ways because of the pandemic, including their new decision to begin accepting students on rolling admissions to accommodate those making last-minute decisions to stay local in the spring semester. 

“We went test-optional by eliminating the requirement of applicants having SAT and ACT scores for admissions and now we are only looking at academic scores,” said Marguerite Lane, the assistant vice president of enrollment management at Molloy College. “They can send ACT or SAT scores if they want, but, Malloy college won’t use students’ scores for their disadvantage, but only to their advantage because many students might not have been able to test more than once or take a review course because of the pandemic.” 

Molloy College will start their spring semester on January 20 and students still interested in applying have up to two weeks into the beginning of the semester to apply. 

“Most of our students had a good experience in the fall semester at home doing school and I know they are continuing with that in this upcoming spring semester because our admission numbers for the spring are where we expected it,” Lane said. “People have been resilient and college students, particularly new ones, have adapted well to the hybrid model for events and classes, but we hope to return to a normal college experience in the new year.” 

Nassau Community College went 90 percent online for the fall semester and it will continue that way in the spring. For the community college, SAT and ACT scores have always been optional. For the spring semester, Nassau community college has adopted a late start semester to allow for students to apply later than usual and start later than usual. 

“Even though we have seen an uptick of 22 percent more students taking winter classes, we are under the normal enrollment for spring semester,” said Dave Follick, the Dean of admissions at Nassau Community College. “We are doing more initiatives to get more people to enroll, but we think a lot of people are not returning because they did not like online school.” 

In the new year, Nassau Community College will offer in-person sport options and mostly virtual clubs and extracurricular activities. 

For Adelphi University, the vice president of enrollment management and university communications, Kristen Capezza, said enrollment has been the same for spring semester, however she said she has noticed a shift in students who are participating in clubs, with more students than ever before joining virtual clubs. 

“People can still remain connected if they want to and we offer dorms, as well as, virtual tours where students interested in applying can provide commentary and receive feedback while getting an online tour,” she said. “This past semester we also saw students who had stellar grades and then because of the pandemic we saw a fall in their grade point average. We know that the pandemic affected them, so we just asked those students to share what happened and we are doing our best to be understanding.”

In the same way, Karen Vahey, the dean of admissions and financial aid enrollment management at New York Institute of Technology said that students at her college have been more involved in virtual events. 

“Even though I worry about students getting bored with virtual events, much more students are getting involved in virtual activities than they ever did before with inperson campus activities,” Vahey said. “We pushed back our deadlines for enrollment and waved the standardized testing to get in. We just want to get these students over the finish line despite the pandemic.”