Applicant Checklist - Applying to Colgate University Skip Navigation

First-year Applicant Checklist

Deadlines

  • 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
  • Regular Decision: January 15
Students walking on the Academic Quad

Applying for Financial Aid

If applying for financial aid, United States citizens and eligible non-citizens must submit the CSS / Financial Aid PROFILE and the FAFSA online. International applicants must submit the CSS / Financial Aid PROFILE. All applicants must submit required financial aid documents by November 15 for Early Decision I or January 15 for Early Decision II and Regular Decision.

Students with questions or concerns about filing the PROFILE or FAFSA should contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@colgate.edu or 315-228-7431.

Required Application Materials

Application
We accept the Common Application or Coalition Application, which include the following items:
  • Personal statement
  • Colgate University writing supplement
Colgate University supplement
In addition to your personal statement, Colgate requires a supplemental short-answer essay, applicable for both the Common Application and the Coalition Application.  Please respond, in 250 words or less, to one of the following prompts:
  • The Mission Statement for Colgate University sets forth 13 Goals for a Colgate Education. One goal for Colgate students is listed as: Be engaged citizens and strive for a just society: embrace the responsibilities to local, national, and global communities; use their influence for the benefit of others. Please describe how you would embrace this goal as a Colgate student.
  • Colgate prides itself in tradition. Please describe a religious, cultural, or family tradition you can share with the Colgate community.
  • We want to get to know you better. What are three words that your best friend would use to describe you and why?
  • Colgate's core curriculum teaches students empathy, informed debate, and critical thinking. Please tell us what book or piece of literature you believe is important for the entire Colgate Class of 2021 to read. Why?
Application fee ($60)
  • The application fee is waived for international applicants (students without U.S. citizenship; fee waiver does not apply to U.S. dual citizens or permanent residents).
  • Colgate accepts official fee waivers from the College Board, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and Expanding College Opportunities.  All other fee waiver verifications must be submitted on school/organization letterhead and signed by a counselor.
Official standardized testing scores: SAT (old or new version) or ACT
    Students must have testing results submitted directly to Colgate from the testing agency.  Alternatively, testing results reported on an official transcript will be accepted.  Colgate's school code for the SAT is 2086.  Colgate's school code for the ACT is 2702.

  • All testing must be completed by November for Early Decision I applicants and all testing must be completed by December for Early Decision II and Regular Decision applicants.
  • Colgate will continue to focus on a 1600 reporting scale which includes the Critical Reading and Math sections on the old SAT and the Evidence-Based Reading & Writing and Math Sections on the new SAT. 
  • Colgate will superscore (combine the highest subscore a student receives for each test date submitted) within test types - old SAT with old SAT, new SAT with new SAT.  We also superscore the composite sections on the ACT for a highest superscore.  We encourage all students to submit all of their testing and we will determine their best performance.
  • Colgate does not require the SAT Essay section, the ACT Writing Test, or SAT Subject Tests.
Two academic teacher recommendations
Recommendations must be from core academic teachers who worked with a student in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade.
Guidance counselor recommendation
The guidance counselor recommendation should detail academic and personal preparedness for post-secondary education.
School report
The school report details academic information pertinent to a student's individual course selection and academic record in the context of the student's high school.
Official high school transcript
An official high school transcript will display courses and grades for 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.
High school senior grades, including at least first quarter or first trimester senior grades
  • ED I applicants: due December 1
  • ED II and Regular Decision applicants: due February 15

Supplementary Materials

Students wishing to document specific extracurricular achievements in high school may submit supplementary materials for review with their applications.

Interviews

Interviews are not required, and are non-evaluative. We do, however, strongly encourage you to visit campus to meet students and faculty, appreciate the scope of our facilities and the beauty of the campus, and perhaps ask questions of an admission representative. You may do so in an individual meeting, or in a group information session. Both formats enable students to learn more about Colgate without the pressure of an evaluation. Think of it as your time to "interview Colgate." It is the time spent on campus, however, that will be especially helpful in getting a full sense of the Colgate experience.

Why doesn't Colgate require or evaluate interviews? The college is interested in emphasizing all that a student has accomplished throughout high school, both in and out of class, and not a 45-minute conversation that may just skim the surface of the story he or she has to tell. Some students interview well, and some do not. Colgate prefers to base its decisions on a record established over time, the input of teachers and counselors who know the student, and the student's own voice as portrayed in the essay and throughout the application.

An interview remains a terrific opportunity to get to know Colgate, and admission staff welcome the opportunity to speak with prospective students. Most of all, however, the college encourages students to visit. It makes a tremendous difference in understanding all that Colgate has to offer.

Early Decision

Colgate offers Early Decision I and II for candidates who have identified Colgate as their first choice. Both options are binding, which means the student agrees to withdraw all other applications and attend Colgate if admitted.

The Early Decision Agreement form is required and should be submitted with the signatures of the student, a parent/guardian, and a guidance counselor.

International Students

International students are defined as students without U.S. citizenship. This definition does not include U.S. dual citizens, permanent residents, or U.S. citizens living abroad.

Please note that all documents must be in English or certified translations of official documents are required.

TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for students who do not study at a secondary school where English is the primary language of instruction. These scores must be sent from an official testing agency.

Optional InitialView Interview
    Colgate offers a dynamic learning environment which requires strong communication and writing skills. For those students for whom English is not their first language, we offer another way to demonstrate English language proficiency: Students may participate in an interview/writing sample conducted by InitialView. InitialView will provide a recording of the interview and a copy of the writing sample to us for our review.

    InitialView does not rate or grade the interview/writing sample. Evaluation is done by our admission office. Please arrange to have your interview/writing sample completed as early as possible. The deadline for completing the interview is January 15. Please note that this is only a recommended option; it is not a required part of your application. 

    An InitialView interview does not replace the English proficiency examination (TOEFL or IELTS) requirement.



If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Admission at admission@colgate.edu or 315-228-7401.