Colgate University (named the most beautiful college campus in America by the Princeton Review in 2014!) sits on a 553 acre campus in rural New York. And despite sharing a name with a top toothpaste brand, it is not a dental school.
While Colgate lacks a dentistry program, the university does offer 56 diverse majors and numerous possible minors, including Neuroscience, LGBTQ Studies, East Asian Languages and Literatures. (It’s a liberal arts school, if you couldn’t tell.)
In fact, Colgate University is tied for 16th place in US News & World Report’s rankings for Best Liberal Arts Colleges–and Colgate is also ranked first nationally by the Institute of International Education in percentage of undergraduate students participating in semester-length, off-campus study programs in a liberal arts college.
Two-thirds of its 2,900+ students participate in a study abroad program during their time at the university! And if you’re interested in staying a little closer to home, Colgate students can also enroll in classes at the equally prestigious nearby Hamilton College.
On top of all of that, the environmentally-minded will be happy to note that Colgate has a perfect sustainability score from the Princeton Review–the college even loans out a stable of bikes to students to explore its pristine natural surroundings!
Which is all to say, there are a ton of reasons why you might be interested in this university…so let’s check out some of the admissions stats, and help you figure out how to get into Colgate! 🙂
Colgate University at a Glance
Average SAT composite: 1465
Average ACT composite: 32.5
Average high school GPA: 3.82 out of 4.0
Acceptance rate: 22.6%
Okay, there’s your glance!
Knowing the averages is a good start, but it’s only a small part of the picture..so keep reading for the full breakdown, plus some great advice from Colgate’s Senior Assistant Dean of Admission & Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment.
And I promise there won’t be any more dental humor.
Colgate SAT Scores
While Colgate doesn’t have a minimum SAT score for admission, it’s enrolled students definitely score well on the SAT.
According to data on Colgate’s class of 2023, student’s middle 50% of SAT scores fell between a 1410 and a 1520. We advise our students to aim for the 75th SAT percentile for the best shot at admission…so in this case that would be a 1520!
Colgate SAT scores are considered high, but you should take comfort in that fact that a full 25% of admitted students’ scores are below that middle range. On the other hand, there are lots of ways to get your SAT scores up–which we’ll cover later in this post!
Colgate University also superscores the SAT, so if you’ve taken the test multiple times, they’ll put your best scores together for a new report showcasing your highest performance. Hopefully that takes the pressure off a little!
Colgate has also joined other universities in allowing students to self-report their scores. This means you don’t have to pay the testing company to send a copy of your scores to the university unless you’re admitted.
That being said, you should obviously be careful to report your scores accurately: Colgate warns against recalculating or superscoring your results yourself.
There could be major repercussions for lying about your scores, so don’t tempt fate–just report your scores honestly!
Colgate ACT Scores
84% of Colgate students scored between a 30 and a 36 on the ACT, and the middle 50% got between a 31 and a 34.
The average of Colgate ACT scores is pretty high: a 31 composite score would put you in the 96th percentile of all students who have taken the ACT that year, and a 34 would put you in the 98th percentile! (Magoosh can help with this: We guarantee that your score will go up by at least 100 points on the SAT and at least four points on the ACT or your money back!)
The further below a 31 your score, the less likely your chances of admission are, but get higher than a 34 and you can feel confident your score is above average.
As with the SAT, you are allowed to self-report ACT scores until you’re admitted, and Colgate will superscore your results.
Colgate Admissions Rate
Colgate considered a highly selective school.
Nearly 10,000 students applied for fewer than 2,500 admission slots, meaning 22.6% — or 1 in 4 — students who applied were admitted. 81% of students come from the top tenth of their graduating class, and 94% were in at least the top half.
Colgate offers two Early Decision deadlines, one on November 15th and another on January 15. As a selective college, if you’re certain Colgate is the right place for you applying Early Decision could increase your chances. A unique offering is the Deferred Entrance program, for students who wish to take a gap year before enrolling.
Colgate GPA Average
As mentioned above, 81% of Colgate freshman came from the top tenth of their class, so it makes sense that nearly 50% of admitted students had GPA higher than 3.82 in 2019.
Just don’t forget that improving your standardized test scores, having diverse interests and extracurriculars, and expressive application essays can help to round out your profile–even if your GPA isn’t quite as high as you’d like it to be.
Colgate Freshman Profile
Colgate received applications from every state in America for the class of 2023 and from 133 countries. 10% are international students, and one-third identify as multicultural. Over half came from public, not private, high schools.
Students tend to gravitate toward the following majors: Economics, Political Science, History, Psychology, and International Relations and Affairs. And freshman are pretty satisfied with their experience at Colgate, as the average freshman retention rate is 95 percent
Advice from Colgate’s Admissions Office
We talked to Jamiere N. Abney, Colgate’s Senior Assistant Dean of Admission & Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment, to get his expert advice on how to get into Colgate University.
Let’s see what he has to say!
“My biggest advice for a student seriously interested in being admitted to Colgate University is to make sure to challenge themselves academically and socially to be prepared for the rigors of our community. Colgate is located in rural central New York – this is both liberating and challenging for our student who come from across the globe to join our community of 2,900+ undergraduates.
Our size allows us to offer a tight-knit environment where students are pushed to create new knowledge and actively engage both in and outside of the classroom. This level of detail necessitates someone who has really prepared themselves to be pushed to think critically and be prepared to take on more responsibility for their social environment as well.
Due to our holistic admission review we truly look for a student who is interested in engaging. So the ability to eloquently talk about one’s passions and how they have pursued them thus far helps us truly understand how a student will fit into our residential, liberal arts environment. Further, a student who has shown the want to go beyond minimum graduation requirements will be someone who can see beyond the potential barriers of small town Hamilton to see the possibility for a global connection. From our 10% international students from 70+ countries, to our 35,000 living alumni – Colgate students are truly connected to the world. It takes a special student to see that.”
For more information, check out the “What we look for in Applicants” and “High School academic preparation” click-down tabs on the Colgate admission webpage to see what they’ve documented as important considerations within their admission process.
How to Get Into Colgate
First, make sure you know what the Colgate ACT scores and/or the Colgate SAT scores are—and make scoring near the 75th percentile your goal. You should figure out your GPA, and see if falls into the Colgate GPA average range for admitted freshman, and try to keep your GPA up, even if you’re nearing the end of high school.
Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!
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About Molly Kiefer
Molly is one of Magoosh’s Content Creators. She designs Magoosh’s graphic assets, manages our YouTube channels and podcasts, and contributes to the Magoosh High School Blog.
Since 2014, Molly has tutored high school and college students preparing for the SAT, GRE, and LSAT. She began her tutoring journey while in undergrad, helping her fellow students master math, computer programming, Spanish, English, and Philosophy.
Molly graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a B.A. in Philosophy, and she continues to study ethics to this day. An artist at heart, Molly loves blogging, making art, taking long walks and serving as personal agent to her cat, who is more popular on Instagram than she is.
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