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Colgate’s admission process is designed to identify individuals of academic skill, intellectual and cultural diversity, and wide-ranging interests and backgrounds.
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New for 2017-18: Colgate will now accept self-reported ACT or SAT scores for all applicants, and will waive the application fee for any student who is applying for financial aid and qualifies for a Common Application or Coalition Application fee waiver. Read more here.

Colgate accepts the Common Application, and we are proud to be a founding member of the Coalition Application. No preference is given to either of the two approved sites. Choose the application with which you are most comfortable.

If your attempt to apply to Colgate has been impacted by recent storms or fires, the office of admission wants to work with you to provide all the application support you need during this time, including a deadline extension and application fee waiver. Simply reach out to us by phone or email if you have been affected, let us know what would be helpful at this time, and please accept our deepest sympathies. 


-Early Decision I: November 15
-Early Decision II: January 15
*Regular decision applicants may change their application to ED II by submitting the Early Decision Agreement no later than March 1
-Regular decision: January 15

Decision Release

Admission decisions will be released through the applicant portal on the following dates:

Spring 2018 Transfer applicants:
The evening of Thursday, December 7.
First-Year Early Decision I applicants: The evening of Wednesday, December 13.
First-Year regular decision applicants: The morning of Saturday, March 17.

Preparing to Be a Successful Applicant

    What we look for in applicants
    Our students are selected from applicants throughout the United States and around the world for the qualities of talent and intellect they can contribute to our community.

    Academic achievement, reflecting a student engaged with both ideas and learning, is important to the admission decision. We also value the student with interests that reflect a curiosity and commitment as well as sympathy and excitement for the spirit of intellectual pursuits. Well-developed special interests, talents, and skills of all kinds can be a significant part of an admission application.

    In addition, we are committed to attracting people who represent a wide range of intellectual perspectives as well as diverse economic, racial, religious, and geographic backgrounds.

    All admission credentials, from the traditional secondary school record and standardized testing to letters of reference that cite intellectual and creative promise, are important. Personal character and qualities that both reflect and determine the productive use of a student’s talent are also important to the admission decision.
    High school academic preparation
    While other considerations are important, the academic record stands at the heart of any admission decision. An academic record is evaluated strictly in terms of course selection and achievement — that is, what a student did with what was available in the school attended.

    The number and difficulty of courses chosen each year are an important measure of academic motivation and achievement. While each student’s record is evaluated individually, the strongest applicants will have completed five major academic courses per year whenever possible. The senior year program is most important as the final preparation for college-level work. It should include at least four to five courses, including honors or advanced-level courses such as AP and IB courses. Colgate encourages students to pursue cumulative subjects, such as foreign languages and mathematics, through senior year.

    The typical distribution of courses across disciplines for most accepted students is four years of English (especially composition and literature); four years of mathematics; at least three years of natural and physical sciences, with a lab; at least three years of social sciences (particularly advanced courses in history); and at least three years of a foreign language. Colgate encourages elective coursework in the arts and strongly advises students to pursue honors and advanced-level courses in major areas of interest.