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Date Posted: 08/13/15 3:57:57pm Thu
Author: Fordham alum
Subject: college life at Colgate

My daughter recently visited Colgate and both of us really loved the school and the people we met there. It seems like the university really tries to instill a sense of community there. Any insights from you all in terms of minimum SAT scores and whether it makes sense to apply early decision would be really appreciated. Would you all recommend that your child attend? Just interested in what you think the pluses and minuses are. thanks very much for any insights!

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[> Re: college life at Colgate -- Eyes of the beholder, 08/13/15 4:53:00pm Thu

Fordham alum, this will provide some of the parameters, statistically speaking, of the incoming freshman class:
Keep in mind, a school of 'Gate's size and selectivity is looking at more than just stats to select students to contribute to this "community."

I would recommend that your daughter arrange through the admissions dept to spend a night or two with current students during the school year. Now that she has presumably experienced Hammy in all of the bucolic charm of summer, an additional visit in January would be part of the litmus test if it were my daughter.

Yes, the environment and sense of community at Colgate are somewhat unique. But, like every other college, each is not the ideal fit for each prospective student who ostensibly fit within the school's statistical parameters.

On that January visit, your daughter might want to meet kids coming from your area and elsewhere. It would be advisable for her to spend some time with students pursuing the major or career plans and co-curricular activities that interest her.

And please feel free to check back with other questions as you help your daughter process her January trip. Gate alums will love to share our experiences and help you and your daughter make the right decision for your family.
Best of Luck!
go gate!

>My daughter recently visited Colgate and both of us
>really loved the school and the people we met there.
>It seems like the university really tries to instill a
>sense of community there. Any insights from you all
>in terms of minimum SAT scores and whether it makes
>sense to apply early decision would be really
>appreciated. Would you all recommend that your child
>attend? Just interested in what you think the pluses
>and minuses are. thanks very much for any insights!

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[> Re: college life at Colgate -- gate, 08/13/15 6:22:29pm Thu

Enough with the "January visit" propaganda. Last time I checked, Boston was still melting in May. Anyone who understands geography knows that all 4 seasons at Colgate are beautiful but that winter has a stronghold. I'd guess that more than 2/3 of all applicants never visited campus...and lo and behold, they didn't transfer. Alumni know the true benefits of a Colgate degree despite the prolonged winter or the pastoral campus. Colgate does not hide these facts but embraces them. Prospective students are not ignorant and must embrace them, too.

What is it about Colgate, exactly, that appeals to your daughter? I would be interested to know which other schools she is considering. The D-I sports and larger student body make it noticeably different from NESCAC schools, very comparable to Patriot League schools (Lafayette, Bucknell, Holy Cross), but smaller and less selective than the Ivies.

My degree from Colgate impressed at every job interview; the alumni network is the most dedicated, respected, and well-renown anywhere.

As you have mentioned, there is a true sense of community at Colgate. It is even mentioned in the supplement to the application. Students are encouraged to contribute to the community in any way, shape or form. Here is a link for you:

(click on the double arrows on slide for info)

And some additional information; some compare Colgate to other Liberal Arts Colleges, others (Payscale, Brookings, Princeton Review) compare Colgate to all National Colleges and Universities. I do have links for each article.

#10 for Most Income Earned by Graduates (Money Magazine)
#6 best Liberal Arts School for an Education (Money)
#4 Best College for Highest Paid Grads (Money)
#1 Most Beautiful College Campus (PR - Princeton Review)
#10 Best College Library (PR)
#11 Best Financial Aid (PR)
#36 Top Green Colleges (PR)
#7 Happiest Students (Unigo)
#2 "Value Added" (Brookings Institute)
#12 College Salary Report by Earnings (Payscale)

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[> Re: college life at Colgate -- Fordham Alum, 08/13/15 10:19:25pm Thu

Thanks very much!

My daughter wants to make a career in education with a focus in Math -- on our visit, we met with the head of the education department and what really appeals to me is a New York State teaching certification at the end of the process. Curiously, it's the only program at Colgate to offer a Master's (10 students last year).

We also visited Hamilton College since we were in the area and we both felt it was a little "loose" there - coed bathrooms, no core curriculum -- things that matter to me as a parent. It's a nice campus, but we felt much more comfortable at Colgate.

What I've heard about Colgate was that it's "preppy" and a school for "rich kids". Not coming from a school with any Greek life, that worries me a bit. They said the university controls those houses and the Greek life is emphasizes for ways it adds to the community; in other words, it's more than just a place to party.

My daughter is a bit on the shy side and I thought the campus was very manageable and would be the perfect size for her - not too big and not too small.

The tour guides also seemed pretty diverse in all ways, a very appealing thing.
She's seen Fordham already since I went there but I'd like her to do something different. We're going to look at Holy Cross, some Boston area schools, maybe William & Mary as well. I could tell she felt very comfortable with Colgate, and I would be thrilled and beyond proud if she was accepted there.

I hope that with its location the school would be a friendly community with no one feeling "excluded," lots of opportunities to meet friends, etc.

Anyway, enough from me - I'd welcome any and all thoughts. Again, I loved it.

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[> [> Re: college life at Colgate -- 60'salum, 08/14/15 9:32:52am Fri

Just my 2 cents for what it's worth. Obviously Fordham is a city school and Colgate is very rural. Some students dislike this isolation, but others thrive and find it much easier to devote time to their academic pursuits without the distractions. As others have said, the winters at Colgate can be long and cold, but the beauty of the campus at that time of year comes close to matching the other three seasons. Fall on campus is especially great, and with a Div-I football program, weekends take on a celebratory atmosphere. Athletics are a big part of life on campus but not the sole focus by any means. There are interest groups for everyone's taste and always something to do. Just look at the Colgate calendar on-line for details.

Greek life has tamed down in recent years, and certainly from my day. There are enough other groups to join that the Greek system does not overpower the student body. You mentioned your daughter was "comfortable" during her visit. This may be the #1 thing that caused me to chose Colgate. After interviewing - (yes, we had to have interviews back in the day) - at four other northeastern colleges on a par with Colgate academically, there was no question where I was going attend. The comfort level was so great -- there was no question that Colgate would be my first choice.

I've not talked about the academic and living sides of this equation as others have already done so. But suffice to say Colgate's reputation is solid on all departments as pointed out by previous posters.

Let us know how your search goes, and if we can answer any further questions.

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[> Re: college life at Colgate -- 'gate80, 08/14/15 9:50:39am Fri

Fordham alum, I was a shy math major when I came to Colgate (from Fordham Prep). I think Colgate's size and isolation/community does foster friendships and inclusion. As does Greek life IMO if your daughter is interested in that. I have lifelong friends from my fraternity. Despite Colgate's lack of grad programs, I got a great science background that benefited me in later years. (Plus Colgate's only grad program is what your daughter is interested in.) The only potential negative is obvious - being in a rural, isolated location wouldn't be for everyone. I grew up in NYC and commuted between boroughs going to Fordham Prep, so Colgate's atmosphere was perfect for me and added to my college experience. Good luck to your daughter.

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[> Re: college life at Colgate -- gate, 08/14/15 8:17:42pm Fri

Fordham Alum,

Sorry to bore some, but I smiled at your daughter's interests. I am a teacher and earned my BA and MAT from Colgate. Every interview at every school in every department knew of Colgate. Not just because of its reputation, but because they had hired Colgate graduates and said they were some of the best in education and in their fields. I was deciding between Brown and Colgate for grad school (having been accepted to both). The Dean at Brown phoned me for a personal interview. In the end, she herself acknowledged Colgate's small but nationally recognized program and inferred that I would be crazy not to go there. I turned down an Ivy for the second time (undergrad being the other) and never regretted the choice. I am a legacy at Colgate, however, with several siblings, uncles, and a grandfather having attended.

The MAT program at Colgate was only 1 year, full time (which I recommend, get it over with), with an incredible internship in my field. I also received full financial aid, even as a grad student. In that regard, Colgate treated me just like any other student, irregardless of my graduate status.

Thank you for sharing the other schools. I can't speak for everyone, but Hamilton College, while a terrific school, is a bitter pill to swallow for most Colgate students, much like Cornell! IMO, Hamilton fits the mold that USNews&WR rankings and high school counselors admire more than say, Colgate's rah, rah, preppy, Greek, jock-school mentality. I never thought I would see the day it would surpass Colgate in selectivity. Never. (FWIW, I have half of my second masters in higher ed admin.)

On a personal level, I was not into the Greek scene but found a great niche just the same. I am a die-hard Red Raider but believe there is apathy among students. I am very proud that Colgate has been ranked as having the second-highest D-I graduation rate for student athletes, behind only Notre Dame. Not only are our athletes intelligent, but we have winning traditions and many athletes play in the pros.

As much as I appreciated Colgate as a student, I appreciate it even more as a graduate. And yes, having NYS certification is golden and offers reciprocity with most states that do not even require a master's degree.

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[> Re: college life at Colgate -- FU Alum, 08/14/15 9:41:03pm Fri

I must say, THANK YOU ALL. The feedback I have received from you all has been incredibly valuable. It's a nerve-wracking experience to go through this process with your first born child (and a daughter no less for all the obvious concerns), but I really thank you all for the insights. 'gate, I appreciate your thoughts on the education program -- the head of the department really made a strong impression on us, and I agree, it's hard to do better than NY State for teachers.

I think we might go back in the fall for a football game, and perhaps take in a hockey game in the winter (although the Cornell game would be a tough ticket). One thing I forgot to add was how charming I thought the town of Hamilton was - yes, it's small, but it looks fun too!

I took an informal poll of the Fordham guys on the message board and their praise for Colgate and Colgate people was unanimous --- said Colgate grads they've interacted with are the best and well prepared for the work world as any school in the country.

btw if Hamilton is out polling Colgate, there is something really wrong with that based on what we saw.

thanks very much - I'm going to encourage my daughter to apply early decision and keep my fingers crossed. thanks so much again!

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