How to Get Into Colgate University: Admissions Data & Strategies

May 10, 2022

Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, has long been a highly-selective liberal arts school, but its popularity among top-of-their-class teens has exploded in the last couple of years. In fact, they have seen a 146% rise in applications from 2020 to 2022. The end result is yet another school that is now an uncertain admissions outcome for even the most accomplished students. Almost 4 of 5 attending students are in the top decile of their high school cohort and the SAT range is now 1370-1500.

Given that the process of gaining acceptance into Colgate becomes increasingly challenging with each passing year, this blog is designed to provide you with data on:

  • Colgate’s Class of 2026 acceptance rate
  • Colgate’s ED acceptance rate
  • SAT, ACT, GPA, and class rank of accepted Colgate applicants
  • Admissions trends for the Class of 2026
  • The demographics of current Colgate undergraduates
  • Colgate’s yield rate
  • How Colgate admissions officers evaluate candidates
  • Tips for applying to Colgate
  • How to assess whether applying to Colgate is even worth the $60 application fee (for you)

Many students applying to Colgate may also find the following blogs to be of interest:

How to Get Into:

Let’s begin with an examination of the most recent admissions data.

Colgate: Acceptance Rate – Class of 2026

The University received over 21,000 applications for the Class of 2026 and admitted a paltry 12% of that group. Last year, the school admitted 17% of the 17,540 hopefuls. For perspective, the Class of 2024 saw a much friendlier 27% admit rate.

Colgate: Early Decision Acceptance Rate

In putting together the Class of 2026, the school experienced a 32% increase in ED I applications. While no official acceptance rate is available from this cycle, the Class of 2025 saw 324 ED I applicants accepted from a pool of 531 applicants—a healthy 61% acceptance rate.

Colgate offers both ED I and ED II, with November 15 and January 15 deadlines.

Colgate Admissions – SAT, ACT, GPA, and Class Rank

Students enrolled in the Class of 2025 possessed an average unweighted GPA of 3.77 and middle-50% standardized test scores of 1370-1500 on the SAT and 31-34 on the ACT. Further, 77% percent of students from the most recently admitted cohort placed in the top 10% of their high school class; 90% were in the top 20%.

Admissions Trends & Notes – Class of 2026

  • Colgate will remain test-optional at least through 2023.
  • Those admitted into the Class of 2026 had an average GPA of 3.95.
  • The number of applications rose 21% from the 2020-21 cycle to the 2021-22 cycle.
  • 121 legacy applicants were admitted from a pool of 282. Legacies ultimately accounted for 5.8% of the Class of 2025.
  • Last year, international applications spiked by 41%.

Who Gets Into Colgate University?

Let’s look at the demographics of Colgate undergraduates:

Geographically, the greatest number students come from the following U.S. states:

  1. New York
  2. Massachusetts
  3. New Jersey
  4. California
  5. Connecticut
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Connecticut

As with all selective colleges, those from lower-populated, more remote areas of the country (e.g. Wyoming, South Dakota, and Alaska) enjoy a boost to their admissions prospects.

Nine percent of undergrads are international students. Out of the 44 countries represented in the undergraduate student body, the most heavily-represented are:

  1. China
  2. Canada
  3. India
  4. Vietnam
  5. South Korea

Looking at ethnic identity, the breakdown of current Colgate undergrads is as follows:

  • Asian: 5%
  • Hispanic: 9%
  • African American: 4%
  • Two or more races: 4%
  • White: 65%

The breakdown by gender of the undergraduate student body is as follows:

  • Male: 45%
  • Female: 55%

The majority of 2021-22 freshmen attended public schools:

  • Public: 56%
  • Private: 44%

Colgate’s Yield Rate

Colgate University’s yield rate — the percentage of accepted students who elect to enroll, divided by the total number of students who are admitted — was 30% last year. For comparison, schools like Stanford and Harvard were over 80%, and the University of Chicago, MIT, and Yale all sported 70%+ yield rates. Colgate also finished behind other comparable institutions such as Boston College (33%) and Georgetown (44%).

How Colgate Rates Applicants

Colgate ranks only three factors as being “very important” to their admissions process: rigor of secondary school record, GPA, and class rank. Rating as “important” are: standardized test scores, essays, recommendations, extracurricular activities, talent/ability, and character/personal qualities.

In the words of Colgate admissions officers themselves:

  • “Colgate’s admission process is designed to identify individuals of academic skill, intellectual and cultural diversity, and wide-ranging interests and backgrounds.”
  • “All admission credentials, from the traditional secondary school record 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.”
  • “Academic achievement, reflecting a student engaged with both ideas and learning, is important to the admission decision. Colgate also values students with interests reflecting curiosity and commitment as well as a sense of empathy for others 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.”

Tips for Applying to Colgate

If you plan on joining the 21,000+ Colgate hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

  • There are virtual interviews offered through the university. For tips on how to ace a college interview, check out this blog.
  • Colgate states that they do not consider “demonstrated interest”. However, we still recommend that you initiate contact with the admissions office, connect through social media, and (when COVID-19 is no longer an issue) visit campus or meet Colgate reps at college fairs near you.
  • Since Colgate does not currently require supplemental essays, make sure you dedicate sufficient time to your Common App essay.

Should I Apply to Colgate University?

With Colgate growing increasingly more selective pretty much every year, you will likely need to possess strong SAT/ACT scores, close to a 3.8 weighted GPA, and earn a place in the top 10% of your high school class.

Further, all college-bound teens need to make sure that they formulate an appropriate college list, containing a complement of “target” and “safety” schools. You’ll definitely want to do this in conjunction with an admissions professional (including your own high school counselor). For more, revisit our blog entitled: How Many Colleges Should I Apply to?