By TED MEBUST
ONEONTA – Hartwick College has announced its commitment to furthering educational avenues for students from rural upstate areas with its HartLand Promise, which will make attending Hartwick, a private school, comparable to attending a four-year public college or university in New York State.
“We understand a liberal arts education may seem financially out of reach by many in our region, but we feel important, life-changing decisions should not feel restricted because of where you live,” explained Darren Reisberg, who assumed the office of college president this past August.
The program, beginning in the fall of 2023, will allow eligible students to pay $8,775.00 in tuition and fees per year, less than 20 percent of the normal cost of tuition. Current high-school seniors and college students from the 97 public and 11 private schools within Otsego, Chenango, Delaware, Herkimer, Madi-son, Montgomery, Oneida, and Schoharie counties will qualify, so long as they live on campus.
“As an Oneonta native, it was very important to me to go to school in the area,” said Skylar Thompson, class of 2019. “I made and built many connections in this area and wanted to keep those going. I still live in this area and hope to for a very long time.”
Thompson now holds a seat on Oneonta’s Town Board and works in the community.
“We know that when students from rural areas are able to pursue their college goals without leaving the region, they are more likely to stay enrolled for the duration of their program,” said Reisberg. “We’re launching this initiative because we know that when these students graduate, they are more likely to live and work within their communities, which contributes to the economic prosperity and vitality of our region.”
Hartwick College’s announcement represents an integral piece of their new “future-focused” approach, approach, Flightpath, which offers a “distinctive blend of curricular, co-curricular and real-world work experiences, building on Hartwick’s long history of integrating broad-based studies with experiential learning.”
When asked what a liberal arts education can offer students of this area, President Reisberg had the following to say:
“A liberal arts education, like the one we offer at Hartwick, affords every student from the outset the opportunity to: take small classes and develop meaningful relationships with their professors who serve as mentors throughout and beyond the college experience; learn how to think critically and communicate clearly by being exposed to a range of academic disciplines and perspectives; and engage in real-world experiences that, building off areas of academic focus and with the individual mentoring available at a small school, helps students forge and follow their career paths.”