Special Admissions Programs

Amaze Yourself…

SUNY Ulster accepts students in a number of special programs that offer full tuition scholarships, provide high school students with an opportunity to take college courses, and present intellectual challenge or develop college readiness skills. 

College Scholars Program

The College Scholars Program provides full-tuition scholarships to graduating students from Ulster County high schools, or to graduating high school students who are residents of Ulster County who rank in the top 10% of their graduating class.

The College Scholars award is combined with all other financial aid awards and any additional Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc. scholarships to guarantee full tuition. The scholarship is good for two consecutive semesters of full-time study and does not cover fees or books. After completing a full academic year at SUNY Ulster and maintaining a 3.3 cumulative average, student may be eligible for second-year College Scholars funding at SUNY Ulster. 

Eligible applicants must

  • Be accepted into full-time study at SUNY Ulster.
  • Graduate from an Ulster County high school or be a resident of Ulster County and graduate in the same year of application to SUNY Ulster and attend no other college or university. 
  • Receive a NYS Regents Diploma. 
  • Apply for Federal and State financial aid and provide all award certificates to SUNY Ulster's Financial Aid Office. 

For consideration, submit a College Scholars Program application, including a statement by the applicant's guidance counselor, to the Admissions Office.

Collegian Program

Our Collegian Program enables accomplished high school students to enroll in college classes taught during the day – at their own high school by selected high school faculty – and earn college credit for those classes.

While specific classes vary from high school to high school, classes have included College English, American History, Computer Art, Psychology, Accounting, Criminal Justice, Math, General Biology, Spanish, and Computer Applications for Business. 

Plus, Collegian students receive

  • Significantly reduced tuition while taking the Collegian course;
  • A SUNY Ulster ID to use Library services and attend campus special events, and
  • A SUNY Ulster transcript listing the course completed and grade earned, which can be applied toward a degree from SUNY Ulster or transferred to a four-year college or university.

Participating Schools include:

BOCES Career & Technical School, Ellenville High School, Highland High School, Hudson Valley Pathways P-Tech, John Coleman High School, Kingston High School, Marlboro High School, The Mount Academy, New Visions Classes BOCES, Onteora High School, New Paltz High School, Rondout Valley High School, Saugerties High School, Wallkill High School, Woodstock Day School.

Learn more and register.

Early College Program

If you are a highly motivated high school or home-schooled student—and you are ready to experience college early—this program is perfect for you! You’ll create a college transcript that can be used towards your studies at SUNY Ulster or other colleges and universities. You can even take honors coursework, if you qualify.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • HS seniors who wish to complete remaining HS graduation requirements at SUNY Ulster.
  • HS students interested in completing some coursework at SUNY Ulster.
  • Home-schooled students with SUNY Ulster coursework built into an approved Individual Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) within the school district they reside.
  • Others may qualify and will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

To help you get started please see our Early College Program Info Sheet highlighting important criteria about the Program, which will help you to determine if you are a potential candidate.

Students in the Early College Program have the option to take courses during our Summer Session I & II, as well as, our Fall and Spring semesters. Placement in SUNY Ulster coursework is based on the entering assessment exam results which are based on pre/co-requisite requirements, as highlighted in our course descriptions. Access our Early College Program Application & Enrollment Plan.

Candidates for the program are required to take our Entering Student Assessment Exam. There is no charge to take this exam and testing is done right on our Stone Ridge Campus. So if you are planning to pursue this opportunity for one of our upcoming semesters, we strongly encourage you to contact our Admissions Office.

Fresh Start

The Fresh Start Policy (FSP) provides a student who left SUNY Ulster without completing an academic program an opportunity to return and start again with a new grade-point average (GPA). FSP is an option, however, only for students who have not taken a course at SUNY Ulster for at least two academic years. 

The FSP student will retain previous credit that

  • (1) was completed with a grade of C- or better and 
  • (2) can be applied to the requirements of the student's current academic program. However, no quality points earned from these courses will be applied to the student's GPA. The College may allow up to six credit hours of D+, D, or D- work from the student's previous courses when the inclusion of that work will allow the GPA for course work being accepted under FSP to be a 2.0 or higher. These credits will be considered only as general electives and will not be accepted in the major area of study.

Only quality points earned from courses taken after readmission will then apply to the student's GPA. Also, only those courses taken after readmission will count toward the student's eligibility for the Dean's List and other honors. 

The student who chooses this option must apply for the FSP when returning to the College. Fresh Start Application

The eligible student will be granted FSP officially only after completion of 12 new credit-bearing semester hours with a GPA of 2.0 or higher in courses approved by the Associate Dean for Counseling and Student Services. To be eligible for a degree, the student must take at least 18 additional credit-bearing semester hours at SUNY Ulster for a minimum of 30 credit hours after readmission. The FSP student who wishes to obtain a one-year diploma must complete a total of 15 credit bearing semester hours after readmission. 

Application for FSP must be made at the time of reentry and can be made only once during a student's academic career at SUNY Ulster. Once accepted, the student cannot petition for any other transcript modification. The student will sign an agreement acknowledging his or her understanding of this policy.

Honors Studies

Join the highly motivated students in Honors Studies at SUNY Ulster, who 

  • enjoy the exhilaration of intellectual challenge as part of a learning community of professors and students.
  • transfer to a wide variety of major colleges and universities that have enthusiastically endorsed the high academic standards and integrity of the program. 
  • realize unequaled economic savings in their first two years of college study through SUNY Ulster's low tuition rates and high levels of scholarship support. 
  • attend specially structured Honors classes that are kept small to encourage maximum interchange between students and professors. 

Honors classes feature

  • small class size, providing a seminar environment. 
  • emphasis on writing, discussion, and student presentations instead of tests. 
  • readings of original sources and research articles, where possible, rather than textbooks. 
  • enrichment activities outside of class, including field trips, speakers, and cultural and social events. 

Honors Studies are open to students in all programs who meet the criteria for admission. Students who successfully complete 18 credits of Honors-level courses, fulfill the requirements of their academic programs and earn an overall GPA of 3.5 receive the Honors designation at graduation.

Criteria for Admission

A student may enroll in ENG 171 or ENG 172 by recommendation of the English Department, usually based on the English placement essay. A student will be advised to consider enrolling in other Honors classes if he or she meets one or more of the following criteria:

Early Admissions Students

The student has a high school average of 90 or higher, is eligible for ENG 171, and the results of all placement tests are sufficient to allow the student to take only college-level course work. Under those conditions, the advisor for Early Admissions students may recommend Honors classes.

Incoming Freshmen

The student is a College Scholar and is eligible for ENG 171.
The student has a high school average of 90 or higher, is eligible for ENG 171, and the results of all placement tests are sufficient to allow the student to take only college-level course work.
The student has an earned G.E.D., is eligible for ENG 171, and the results of all place-ment tests are sufficient to allow the student to take only college-level course work. In addition, there is some evidence, such as a high standardized test score, to suggest that the student shows academic promise.

Continuing and Transfer Students

The student has a distinguished academic record, with a GPA of 3.5 earned in college-level course work and a grade of B or better in ENG 101 or its equivalent.

Intermediate Studies

Students accepted for study in degree, diploma, or certificate programs and whose academic records or Entering Student Assessment scores, or both, indicate a need to strengthen learning skills to improve their chances for success will be required to enroll in Intermediate Studies courses. 

These developmental courses are precollege level and do not apply toward degree, diploma, or certificate requirements. Students who have been out of school for some time or who lack confidence in their skills to succeed in college level work may also enroll. 

Developmental courses are designed to help students achieve proficiency in communications (reading, writing, listening, and speaking), mathematics, and general study skills. The courses emphasize an individual approach which utilizes an assessment of each student's needs in planning a meaningful course of study. Academic records of students designated as in need of developmental studies will be reviewed at the end of each semester by faculty to determine the students' academic progress and to ascertain their continuance at the College. 

Students enrolled in developmental studies courses who anticipate receiving any financial assistance should contact the College's Financial Aid Office.

Intermediate studies include the following (click on the course number for a description):
ISP 050 English as a Second Language:Workshop I
ISP 051 English as a Second Language:Workshop II
ISP 070 Reading Workshop
ISP 080 Writing I
ISP 081 Writing II
ISP 091 Prealgebra

Reaching Independence through Supportive Education (RISE)

RISE is a joint effort of SUNY Ulster and the Ulster County Department of Social Services. This program assists qualifying students in successfully completing a college program and acquiring full-time employment. 

Components of the RISE Program include, along with full-time college attendance, student orientation, employability readiness, the Essential Skills Workshop, Employment Exploration Seminar, employment strategies, job placement, and child care assistance. 

Persons who are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) assistance and interested in full-time study leading to employment may be eligible for this program.

VAN 119
1-800 724-0833, extension 6010 or 845 687-6010
or contact the Ulster County Department of Social Services.