Location
Hamilton, NY
Undergrads
2,850
Tuition
$44,640
Admission Difficulty
Hard
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Reviews 939 total reviews with an average rating of 3.5

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5 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: BEST BEST BEST BEST BEST

5 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: Degree is extremely valuable. Anywhere you go and say you have a degree from Colgate will respect you.

3 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: I wasn't in a house so it's hard to say. But the number of options is gradually shirnking, causing many more students to be turned away as houses fill up each year. Whatever.

4 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Very nice small town. Not much there besides the university. Great scenery and beautiful landscapes. But I can't see myself living there if not affiliated with the school.

3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: Frank dining hall is pretty terrible. The Coop is delicious, but is not covered in the meal plan so it costs more to eat there.

4 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: I really can't speak about this knowledgeably.

4 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: The area really is very safe, though there were occasional instances of theft, usually by local residents. I actually had a laptop stolen from my room, but in fairness I had forgotten to lock the door and my room was the first one inside the building. But honestly I never felt unsafe walking around, even alone at night. Campus safety and Hamilton Police are very present and active.

5 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Fantastic all around. Loved almost all my professors across every department. Facilities such as science labs and the library really can't be topped. Workload generally seemed reasonable for most classes and I always felt that I could get help from teachers or peers when needed.

5 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Physics is a small program, so I actually had more opportunities than if I had gone to a big science school. I had the freedom to do any research I wanted, plus the students and faculty all grew very close over the course of the program. While it was sometimes stressful, I loved every minute of it.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The housing system changes each year at Colgate. Each student submits their room type request and, if desired, roommate request. Then the school uses this information and a survey to determine the building. Freshmen housing is classical dorm style and is the closest to classes and the center of campus. Apartments and townhouses are available for upperclassmen. Overall, the buildings are well-maintained, clean, and relatively spacious.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The town of Hamilton is absolutely lovely, well-maintained, and has a variety of shops and restaurants. It is small, though, so certain activities are very limited.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: I am not a member of a sorority/frat, and I don't go to any of their events. However, I have friends who are involved in them, and they are always busy with something to do with Greek Life. I think sometimes Greek Life can diminish your ability to do things with people who aren't in your chapter, but a lot of people really like the parties they throw. Above, none of the housing descriptions really matched - most of the houses aren't really "opulent", but they definitely aren't run-down. And you aren't forced to live in Greek housing for more than a semester for most chapters.

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4 College Junior

Athletics: Most people seem to be involved in a varsity/club/intramural sport, and students are really supportive of the teams. I personally don't attend a lot of athletic events, but I am part of the figure skating club, whose synchronized skating team recently won the Empire State Winter Games in our group (open collegiate). I also have friends on the curling team, which is ranked number one in the country. The athletic facilities are available to all students, faculty, and some members of the community. There are a lot of options to choose from, including workout classes, weight rooms, treadmills, etc.

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4 College Junior

Majors: You don't start out at Colgate with a major - you have an "intended major" listed on your transcript, but you are not actually in a major program until you declare later on (which you must do by sometime in March during your sophomore year). I didn't encounter any difficulty entering in my major and minor programs - I simply talked to a professor I had taken a class with and liked in the department, and whose more specific interests were similar to my own, filled out the declaration form with them, had them sign it, signed it myself, and had the department chair sign it. Then I turned the form into the registrar, and that was that. This seems to be somewhat different from most colleges, where you enter with a specific major, and what you intend to major in affects whether or not you get in - but it didn't really seem to affect my admission into Colgate.

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4 College Junior

Majors: My program (history) offers a really great study abroad program in London - one of the classes you take while abroad is an independent study that allows you to do research in the National Archives (which is especially amazing if you're interested in research as a career, or an aspect thereof). The workload seems pretty average to me, although it of course requires more reading and writing than, say, a math major. The faculty is really top-notch, especially considering that the current chair of the department (Ray Douglas) is a really well-known and respected historian, whose most recent book received some prestigious awards.

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: There's definitely a variety of options for housing, but it tends to change based on your class year. Freshmen and sophomores are limited to traditional housing for the most part (singles/doubles/triples with shared floor bathrooms, sometimes suites with a common room) but sophomores have access to some suite options (with bathrooms within the suite). Juniors and seniors really don't have access to those housing options, and are instead relegated to apartments, townhouses, Greek houses, and interest housing (which is located in actual houses along the main street running through town). Housing is somewhat less convenient for upperclassmen, since we are located the furthest from the academic buildings (and have to climb the hill to get to class), but this is somewhat preferable to being so close to the more regulated parts of campus where the freshmen live.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: For such a small town, it's surprising that there is a variety in terms of ethnic cuisine and other local spots. Dining varies from Indian to Mexican, bar/grill types to cafes, and there's even a local combination candy/ice cream store.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Hamilton is a really small town, and the closest grocery store is about 20 minutes away by car. There are quite a few places to shop in town (local, independent stores), and there are very few chain stores, which I personally like. However, if you want to go to a mall to shop at your usual chain stores, you have to drive at least 40-60 minutes to get to one. But there are definitely a lot of nature-related activities (hiking, skiing, etc.) in the area.

3 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Everyone is pretty much the same - preppy, wealthy, entitled...you get the type. Luckily, there are some who fit less into that mold, and that is the group of friends I've settled into. I tend to feel out of place, as I come from a different socioeconomic background from most students, so I am usually uncomfortable in a class that I don't have any friends in (and I find it difficult to make friends with anyone in the class).

4 College Junior

Facilities: One of the biggest draws of Colgate is the physical aspect of the campus itself. It is absolutely gorgeous, though the fact that it sits on a huge hill is a bit of a drawback - and makes it difficult (if not impossible) for anyone with a physical disability (that affects their walking) to go to this school. There are a lot of places both inside and outside for studying and hanging out, and the library offers study spaces for every style - quiet floors, tables/rooms for group study, cafe area, couches, carrels, etc.

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: Frank Dining Hall, the main one on campus, isn't that great. The quality is okay, but generally varies depending on what the particular meal is. The other dining options - the Coop and the Edge - are a LOT better, and are actually worth the expense of the meal plan.

College Junior

Nightlife: I am not really into the "party scene," so I really don't feel comfortable rating this aspect of Colgate. I know a little about it because I have friends who go out, but I can't offer much of a review in this area.

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: I feel pretty safe on campus - occasionally there are reports that make me feel a little nervous walking around at night on my own, but there is a "blue light" security system on campus that improves access to Campus Safety. All the officers I've met in the past have been very friendly, and I would feel comfortable reporting an incident to them. There is an officer who specializes in issues relating to sexual misconduct/harassment/assault, which is a prevalent issue on college campuses across the country. Campus Safety also offers a transport service for injured/ill students, bringing them to class or health services if necessary.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Colgate has a lot of awesome professors. However, I feel that with the lottery system some of these great professors are hard to access in one's first few years at Colgate. Though there are a few professors here that probably shouldn't be, many them are excellent educators.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: The major list feels limited, but Colgate does a pretty good job of fulfilling its students in this sense. Many of the popular majors, like Biology and Psychology, can have classes of up to 80 students. A class of this size is rare though, since most classes average around 15 students, with the majority of the largest classes averaging 30 students. Also, class sizes for majors like Bio and Psych will decline as studies continue.

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Colgate University Chapel
Colgate University Chapel

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

David Esber
Hometown
New Franklin, Ohio
Major
Peace and Conflict Studies
Grad Year
2013
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Among other small liberal arts colleges, Colgate has a way of standing out and rising above the rest, and students here come to cherish their four years spent in the town of Hamilton. Partially a result of the myriad opportunities afforded to students and partially a result of the students Colgate seems to attract, this is one exciting place to get an undergraduate degree. Professors tend to say they aren’t teaching students lessons so much as teaching them how to engage with the outside world and succeed in their careers. The University is not a cutthroat place by any means, and while many opportunities are competitive, there is so much opportunity to go around that students are genuinely happy and proud of their peers when they succeed. Colgate is about community, and although each person on campus is involved in a number of different activities, students have much in common in their drive to achieve, and commitment to the school and surrounding area. Once you get past the cold winters, you come to realize that there is a reason Colgate’s rural location contributes to this go-getter attitude and encourages self-reflection and new experiences.

It’s the people that make Colgate so special, and without the unique mix of caring faculty, attentive staff, and fun and outgoing students, Colgate wouldn’t quite be the same. While students excel in the classroom, their real passion is engaging with each other and bringing different perspectives and interests to a relatively small population of students. You might not be able to return to the glory days of college after you graduate, but Colgate alums are among the most supportive of any institution and are truly proud of their alma mater.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

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