Frequently Asked Questions for New Students Skip Navigation

Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you ever wanted to know about preparing for college!
How do I access my Colgate network ID/E-mail?
Once you have made your admission deposit, you will receive an e-mail welcoming you to Colgate. This message contains information to access your e-mail address and portal account. (Please check your spam folder if you have not yet received this communication). Otherwise, please contact Information Technology Services for assistance.

First-year Arrival

When will I receive information in the mail?
You should expect to receive a mailing from the dean's office in early May. We will also share important updates with you electronically, via e-mail. Be sure to check your e-mail account regularly.
When should I arrive for my pre-orientation program?
The residence halls at Colgate do not officially open for new students until Arrival day.  If you have been accepted for a pre-orientation program, please complete an early arrival request on the Colgate Housing Portal, and plan to arrive on the day your program begins. If you have completed an early arrival request, you will move in to your permanent room assignment on the day you're approved to arrive (except students participating in Wilderness Adventure Session I, will move into their rooms on the official arrival day). Students who are not involved in an approved University program requiring early arrival should plan to arrive on August 25, 2019.  The application for early arrival is only available to students involved in an approved University program requiring early arrival.  If you have questions about this, please contact Residential Life at or 315-228-7367.
When can first-year students move into the residence halls?
Arrival day for first-year students is Sunday, August 25, 2019. Unless you are attending a pre-orientation program, you should plan to arrive that morning, as check-in begins at 9:30 a.m.
May I bring my belongings to campus early to store them until school starts?
You may not store your belongings at Colgate prior to arrival day. However, you may ship up to two large boxes, if necessary. They will be stored at Mail Services and will be available for pickup on arrival day. Please limit the number of shipments you send from retailers, as storage space is limited. 

Packages should be addressed in the following manner:

Full name (including middle initial)
Colgate University
13 Oak Drive
Your CU Box #
Hamilton, NY 13346.

You will receive your CU Box # with your housing assignment in August.
Should parents make it a point to attend the Parent/Family Orientation sessions?
The program will be brief, but parents and families are not obligated to attend. Parents and families are encouraged to attend the more extensive Family Weekend in September. It is important to make accommodation reservations for this event early!


What should I bring; what will I need in my dorm room?
Friends and family are good sources of information about what to bring to college. Also check the Residential Life FAQ for a more comprehensive list of items. Don't forget to coordinate with your roommate.
What kind of bedding will I need?
Extra long bedding (80" twin sheets), pillow, mattress cover, blankets, or duvet. Colgate University has partnered with Residence Hall Linens who provides specially sized linens guaranteed to fit. Please contact them directly for additional information.
Where can I do my laundry?
There are shared laundry facilities located in every first-year residence. The facilities require payment using your 'Gate Card. It is easy to add money to your 'Gate Card account online.

The local business Bizzy Bodies also offers laundry and dry-cleaning services with pick-up and drop-off locations on the Colgate campus. To learn more, visit the Bizzy Bodies website.
How do I get my belongings to my residence hall?
See our arrival day page for a complete walk-through. On arrival day, you will park on Whitnall Field and register for orientation in the Hall of Presidents in James C. Colgate Hall. Unload your luggage on Whitnall Field and student volunteers will move it to your residence hall.

Please make sure that the luggage stickers sent to you by mail are attached to every box and piece of luggage.
You also may ship up to two large boxes ahead of time. They will be stored at Mail Services and will be available for pickup on arrival day. Please limit the number of shipments you send from retailers as storage space is limited. Packages should be addressed in the following manner:

Full name (including middle initial)
Colgate University
13 Oak Drive
Your CU Box #
Hamilton, NY 13346.

You will receive your CU Box # with your housing assignment in August.
As an incoming student, can I select my own roommate?

The staff in Residential Life will assign students to rooms and roommates using the information you share with us in the housing preference form (available to all new students on your Housing Portal this summer). Roommate requests will not be granted. We hope you will embrace the opportunity to learn about a person's story, background, and part of the world that you may have never before experienced. There will be many ways for you to build a meaningful connection with your roommate, floor-mates, and Residential Commons throughout your first year at Colgate, and a community of students, faculty, and staff who will support, challenge and advise you along the way.  

Academic Information and Calendar

When will I receive course registration materials?
The Office of the Registrar will mail registration information in early June. More information will be posted on the registrar's page. Contact the registrar's office at 315-228-7676 or with additional questions.
What is the last day of the fall semester?
The final day of exams for the fall 2019 semester is Friday, December 20. The residence halls and dining halls close to all students at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 21. Students are advised to return to campus Saturday, January 18, when residence and dining halls reopen. Classes for the spring semester start Monday, January 20, 2020. FULL ACADEMIC CALENDAR
When is Family Weekend and where can I learn more about it?
Family Weekend is September 20-22, 2019. For more information, along with a complete schedule of activities, please e-mail us at or call 315-228-6206.

Computing and Technology

What type of computer and other electronic equipment should I bring to campus?
You can bring either a Mac or a Windows computer to campus. Wireless access is available in all rooms.  

The Colgate Bookstore offers great deals and service on student computers when you buy from the Bookstore. Please call Rebecca Dowsland for more information 315-228-7776 or e-mail her at

Printing is available on campus at various locations, but you may want to bring your own printer, which can also be purchased at the Bookstore. Personal wireless printers will not work with the wireless network on campus, so keep that in mind before making your purchase. 

Other items you may want to bring to campus are: external storage devices (such as a USB stick or an external hard drive); a security cable to lock down your laptop; software and computer recovery disks as well as license codes and product keys. Information Technology Services (ITS) will help you connect game consoles, media streaming devices, tablets, and e-readers.
What do I need to know about my Colgate computing accounts and important websites?
Here is a listing of important websites you will need to know:
    The Colgate Portal provides access to important campus life, academic, and financial services. On the portal register for classes, view grades and unofficial transcripts, view class schedules, find student employment and more.

    Your Colgate e-mail account provides you with Gmail services including e-mail, calendaring, Google Drive, and more.

    Faculty use Moodle for managing their classes and posting materials online. Many of your courses will use Moodle to host the course syllabus, readings, online discussions, and more.

    Use this site to change your Colgate network and e-mail account credentials.

    Use this site to schedule appointments with advisors and offices and create your student portfolio.

    Use this site to track your courses, major/minor requirements and progress towards degree completion.
What do I need to know about cell phones?
Verizon Wireless and AT&T are the two cellular companies with full service in Hamilton, NY.

Health Insurance

Do students need health insurance?
All Colgate students are required to have health insurance. Students may enroll in an insurance program through the university or waive the university insurance to participate in a family plan. Please contact Student Health Services at 315-228-7750 with additional questions.


What are my transportation options to and from campus?
You can review your travel options on the Maps and Travel Options page.
May first-year students have a car on campus?
Yes, students are permitted to have a car on campus for all four years. However, on-campus parking is limited, and first-year students are required to park in a designated lot at the bottom of the hill near Reid Athletic Center. Keep in mind that it is a truly residential campus, and almost all students remain on campus over the weekends.

All students must register their vehicles with campus safety within 24 hours of the vehicle’s arrival on campus. Application forms are available at the campus safety office. You will be asked to show your Colgate ID, your state-issued driver's license, and your motor vehicle registration. For more information please see campus parking regulations.
Are there taxi services in Hamilton?
Check out the On-Demand Shuttle for getting to and from Syracuse and Utica, and Hamilton Taxi at 315-682-1962.

Local Services

Which banks have branches in Hamilton?
There are two banks in Hamilton: NBT Bank and Community Bank, N.A. There is one ATM on campus in the O'Connor Campus Center, which is owned by NBT Bank, and both banks are located within walking distance of campus.
Are there independent storage companies that students can use?
The following are some storage options around Hamilton:
  • Hamilton Lumber and Hardware Inc., 2552 Rte 12B, Hamilton, NY 13346
    Phone: 315-824-1448
  • Hamilton Self Storage, Rte 12B, Hamilton, NY, 13346
    Phone: 315-824-4021
  • M. Burton Marshall Rental and Real Estate, Rte 12B, Hamilton, NY 13346
    Phone: 315-824-2811

Special Services

What resources exist for students with disabilities, or who need special accommodations?
Students in need of special accommodations may contact Lynn Waldman in Academic Support and Disability Services.
What resources exist for international students?
International students may contact the Office of International Student Services (OISS) at You can also visit the international student page for more information.

Contact Us

Do you have a question that is not answered above? Ask!
Lindsay Hadlock
Administrative Assistant and Arrival Day Coordinator