The Colgate Scene
September 2005


August 25, Colgate welcomed 730 members of the Class of 2009 into the Colgate family. With the record books closed on the most highly competitive year for admission in Colgate history, there were 8,008 applicants, a 22 percent increase over a year ago, shattering the previous record of 6,848 applicants (to the Class of 2000) by 16.9 percent.

For the Class of 2009, Colgate accepted 2,168 students (27.1 percent) and 732 enrolled, yielding 33.76 percent. It is worth noting that Colgate's acceptance rate, including wait list offers, dropped from 33.4 percent a year ago, 37.6 percent 5 years ago, and 51.3 percent in 1993. The male-female ratio is 50-50. Their average GPA was 3.69 out of 4.0, and 80 percent ranked in the top 10 percent of their class; 93 percent ranked in the top 20 percent (class rank was available for 36 percent of admitted students). SAT scores (middle 50 percent) were 660-740 in verbal and 670-740 in math, with ACT scores (middle 50 percent) ranging from 30-33. Seventy percent attended public high schools and 30 percent went to private high schools.

Many people have asked me, why did Colgate have such a significant surge in applications this year? We are conducting a survey that we hope will give us concrete answers, but let me offer just a few possible factors that are unique to Colgate. First, through the strong leadership of President Chopp and the Board of Trustees, there have been significant improvements in downtown Hamilton in addition to the important on-campus residential and programmatic changes as well as significant building projects. These improvements have not gone unnoticed by our visitors and the college guidebooks. Second, starting with the Class of 2009, Colgate eliminated the SAT II subject exam requirement, a decision that was embraced by many applicants, parents, and college counselors. These tests, which some alumni may remember as the achievement tests, proved not to be a useful factor in the application process. Third, with the great deal of athletic success in a variety of sports over the last two years, Colgate received much favorable publicity that highlighted our strong combination of academic and athletic excellence. Finally, we have partnered with the communications office to create a new suite of admission publications, including a new viewbook that has tested very well in focus groups.

And of course, if Colgate did not enjoy a well-deserved reputation for offering a strong academic experience, we would not have been blessed with such a tremendous applicant pool. The strength of the Colgate educational experience is a key factor influencing virtually every applicant.

By the time you read this, the admission staff will be on our way to visit approximately 45 states and 17 countries to meet with many of the young men and women who will be entering Colgate next year as members of the Class of 2010.

Gary L. Ross '77
Dean of Admission
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