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


Nov. 15: Early Decision I (binding) application, CSS PROFILE, Early Decision Agreement Form, and any additional required forms for Early Decision I financial aid candidates

Jan. 15:
Regular decision application, Early Decision II (binding) application, CSS PROFILE, and any additional required forms for all regular decision and Early Decision II financial aid candidates

March 1:
Deadline for regular decision applicants to change status to Early Decision II (Early Decision Agreement Form)

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.

    Through the interdisciplinary study of global issues, the AP Capstone Program provides students with the skills they need to be engaged and productive citizens of the 21st century: critical inquiry and research; understanding of and sensitivity to diverse perspectives; and effective communication. The Colgate admission staff views the AP Capstone Program as an academic experience with particular merit and we believe it prepares students well for the expectations and rigor of the Colgate curriculum.

    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.