Application Process at Colgate University Skip Navigation

Application Process

A student does homework on Colgate's Academic Quad at sunset
Application types
Students can apply to Colgate in a variety of ways. In addition to the traditional regular decision option, we offer Early Decision I and II, both of which are binding agreements. This means that if a student is admitted to the university, the student must enroll and withdraw all applications to other institutions. We do give slight preference to Early Decision applicants, however applying through the Early Decision process will not make an inadmissible student admissible.

It is also important to note that Early Decision is a viable option for students applying for financial aid. An admitted student who applies for aid will receive the same financial aid package regardless of whether they apply Early Decision or regular decision.

Early Decision I
Applications must be submitted by November 15. Decisions are mailed mid-December.

Early Decision II
Applications must be submitted by January 15. Decisions are made within four weeks of completion of the application. Regular decision candidates may convert to ED II by submitting an Early Decision Agreement prior to March 1.

Regular Decision
Application must be submitted by January 15. Decisions are mailed by late March.
How to send application materials
Students must submit all application materials online through the Common Application or Universal College Application.

Common Application and Universal College Application Materials, including the transcript, school report, guidance counselor recommendation, and teacher recommendations can be sent online through the Common Application or Universal College Application, or via postal mail.

Official Standardized Testing must be on an official high school transcript sent from a guidance counselor or sent directly from a testing agency.

Mid-Year Grades (including first quarter grades in the Early Decision process) can be submitted online through the Common Application, via e-mail, faxed (315-228-7544), or taken over the phone.
Standardized testing
Colgate superscores the ACT and the SAT, meaning we combine a student’s best subscores, even if they are from different test dates. We evaluate each application using the highest combination of the ACT or SAT.

Colgate does not require SAT subject tests, nor do we require the ACT writing section. We do not consider the SAT writing section in our evaluation.
Typical coursework
Many students ask us for advice about what courses they should be taking throughout their high school career. While we would never advise a student to take one class over another, we do have some suggestions of what the typical coursework of a successful candidate may look like.

English = 4 years
Mathematics = 4 years
Natural & physical sciences = at least 3 years of lab sciences
Social sciences = at least 3 years
Foreign language = at least 3 years

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 it is the final preparation for college-level work.
Foreign language requirement
There is a Colgate graduation requirement of competence in a foreign or classical language. Competency may be demonstrated in one of three ways:
  1. Completing three years of study in one foreign or classical language in secondary school
  2. A score of 580 or better on the SAT II subject test in foreign or classical language
  3. Successfully completing one semester of a foreign or classical language at the intermediate level at Colgate
Pre-matriculation credit
Colgate has specific guidelines for transfer of pre-matriculation credit. Each department at Colgate treats AP credits differently. Find out if your student’s AP credit will transfer to Colgate.
Fee waiver policy
The application fee is waived for non-U.S. citizens; these students may select "other fee waiver request" when submitting the Common Application. Additionally, Colgate accepts official fee waivers from the College Board, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and Expanding College Opportunities.
Financial aid
Colgate is committed to meeting 100 percent of the demonstrated need of accepted students.

The average financial aid award for first-year students for the 2013—2014 academic year is $42,575.

A typical financial aid package consists of grants, a modest student loan, and a campus job opportunity, with grant funds generally representing the largest portion of the financial aid award.

Helpful links:
Explanation of decisions
Accept: Accepted students must make their final college decision by May 1. Students who decide to enroll at Colgate must send in their enrollment certificate (with all required signatures) and the $500 nonrefundable deposit by May 1.

Waiting list: If students are offered a spot on the waiting list, they could potentially still receive an offer of admission to Colgate. Students must reply, affirming that they choose to accept a spot on the waiting list. Waiting list activity can start in May and all offers of admission to students on the waiting list must be made no later than August 1. Demonstrated interest is a factor for students on the waiting list. Students should contact their regional representative to indicate their continued interest in attending Colgate throughout the duration of the waiting list process. A student may choose to withdraw from the waiting list at any time.

Deny: Due to the selectivity of our pool, some students will receive unfortunate news from Colgate. Any students who are still interested in Colgate are welcome to apply as transfer students in future years.

Deferrals: In our Early Decision I & II processes, some students may be deferred to our regular decision pool. They are then released from the Early Decision binding agreement and will be notified of their decision along with the regular decision applicant pool.

Deferred entrance: Accepted students who do not matriculate at another institution may request to postpone their enrollment for one year. Students must pay a non-refundable $500 deposit and submit a signed enrollment certificate by May 1. A request to postpone enrollment should be made in writing to the Office of Admission by June 1 of the year admission was offered. Upon approval to postpone enrollment, an additional $500 deposit and a signed deferred enrollment contract are required within ten days to hold the student’s place in the class.