Early Decision

Early Decision is an ideal option for students who know they want to attend Colgate and are ready to apply.

Colgate offers Early Decision I and II for students who have identified Colgate as their first choice. Both options are binding, which means admitted students must agree to withdraw all other applications and attend Colgate.

Early Decision Applicant Checklist

Required Application Materials

  • Colgate's application fee is $60.
  • Colgate will waive the application fee for any student who is applying for financial aid and qualifies for any fee waiver guidelines set by either the Common Application or Coalition Application without requiring further verification.
  • The application fee is waived for non-U.S. citizens (does not apply to U.S. dual citizens or permanent residents).
  • The application fee is waived for all U.S. military veterans.
  • Colgate accepts official fee waivers from the College Board, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and Expanding College Opportunities. All other fee waiver verifications must be submitted on school/organization letterhead and signed by a counselor.

Submit the Early Decision Agreement (PDF) with the signatures of the student, a parent/guardian, and a guidance counselor.

Recommendations must be from core academic teachers who worked with a student in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade.

The guidance counselor recommendation should detail academic and personal preparedness for post-secondary education.

An official high school transcript will display courses and grades for all years of high school attended. If your high school does not provide a transcript in English, we require an official original transcript and an official English translation.

Colgate defines mid-year grades as the first semester or first trimester grades from your final year of high school. If these grades are not available by the early decision deadline, that does not impact your application status; Colgate requires this item to be submitted by February 15. Let us know if you or your school counselor have any additional questions about this.

Optional Application Materials

To offer each applicant the opportunity to share additional information in their application, Colgate offers optional supplementary questions. Students can choose to respond to any or all of the essay prompts, which will be available in their Colgate applicant portal after their application has been received and processed by our office. Students who choose not to submit responses to supplemental questions will be at no disadvantage in the application review process. 

Deadlines for applicants choosing to submit supplemental essay responses:

Early Decision I: December 1

Early Decision II and Regular Decision: February 1


Supplemental Questions will be available by July 1.

Submission of SAT and ACT scores is optional for all applicants through 2023. Applicants should indicate on the Colgate questions page of their application whether or not they would like their scores considered on their application.

For students who choose to submit their scores, Colgate will accept self-reported ACT or SAT score results. Applicants may list ACT or SAT results in their Common Application or Coalition Application.  Additionally, students may send a copy of their score reports to admission@colgate.edu. Colgate's school code for the SAT is 2086. Colgate's school code for the ACT is 2702.

Official TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for non-native English speakers who do not study at a secondary school where English is the primary language of instruction. These scores must be sent from an official testing agency. Colgate's school code for the TOEFL is 2086.

Students who choose not to submit test scores will be at no disadvantage in the application review process. 

Supplementary Materials

Students wishing to document specific extracurricular achievements in high school may submit supplementary materials for review with their applications.

Applicants are welcome to supplement their application with a SlideRoom submission to showcase their work in the arts. Submission deadlines coincide with application and financial aid deadlines for all application plans, and we cannot accept submissions for review via email, or after the deadline has passed. There is no disadvantage to providing a SlideRoom submission, every submission will be assessed by a Colgate faculty member, and all reviewed will be considered as part of the holistic application review. Acceptable submission types are visual art and media(of any kind), music (instrumental, vocal, and composition), theater/musical recordings, and dance portfolios. SlideRoom submissions may include more than one submission type, and should be indicated as such on the SlideRoom submission form. Please note that written work (poetry, creative writing, etc) and videos not created in conjunction with an arts project cannot be reviewed by faculty. If you would like to include them in your application, please consider one of the other listed submission types. Additionally, please make sure that submissions highlight your individual ability, and our faculty will be able to easily assess you as an individual artist.

Submitting material for review does not require a commitment to a major, nor will it impact academic placement. No audition or placement material is required to declare a major in the arts. Technical specifications for submissions can be found on the SlideRoom website. The submission fee is $12.00 USD, and applicants receiving a Common or Coalition application fee waiver will have this fee waived in SlideRoom. Colgate is unable to provide SlideRoom fee waivers. If you have questions about the supplement, please email admission@colgate.edu. If you have questions about a specific major, or faculty/student organization, please email the academic department directly.

To document athletic achievement, please follow the guidelines in the application and send tapes and talent resumes directly to a coach.  

c/o (Coach for your sport)
Department of Athletics
Colgate University
Hamilton, NY 13346

Some applicants may wish to share additional digital materials which showcase their background, talents, or creativity. Some examples include, but are not limited to, creative works, social media profiles, performances, online boutiques, and community pages. Applicants are welcome to share the web address/URL on the Colgate supplement as part of the Common App, Coalition Application, or Questbridge Application. 

We often receive other samples of students' achievements in fields such as journalism, student government, community service, etc. Such information is most helpful when it is a concisely presented sample of your best work or accomplishment. Such supplements should complement, but not replace, the effort to complete the application questions with regard to activities and involvement.

Challenges in obtaining required application items

Any student experiencing difficulty obtaining a required application item or meeting an application deadline as a result of local restrictions, natural disaster, or other emergency should contact the Office of Admission at admission@colgate.edu or 315-228-7401 to discuss these concerns and options.

Application Deadlines

Early Decision I Early Decision II Regular Decision
Deadline: November 15
Decision Release: Mid-December
Deadline: January 15
Decision Release: Mid-February
Deadline: January 15
Decision Release: Late March


*Regular decision applicants may change their application to ED II by submitting the Early Decision Agreement (PDF) no later than February 1. 

Early Decision II option for Regular Decision applicants

Regular Decision applicants who have applied by January 15 may convert their applications to Early Decision II up until February 1. This option is designed for students who decide Colgate is their top choice after January 15 to be able to indicate their strong desire to enroll.

Financial Aid for Early Decision Applicants

Colgate meets full financial need for all admitted students, including Early Decision applicants. If you plan to apply for need-based financial aid, we highly recommend using an online cost calculator to estimate of your financial aid package in advance.

Financial Aid Deadlines

All applicants must submit required documents by these dates:

  • Early Decision I: November 15
  • Early Decision II: January 15
  • Regular Decision: January 15

Apply for financial aid

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