Is Colgate Ivy League? Ranking, Acceptance Rate, and More

The Ivy League schools are considered the most sought-after institutions across the United States and around the world. First grouped together as an athletic conference, these eight private Northeast schools have widespread name recognition and social prestige. 

This group contains some of the oldest universities in education, promising exclusive opportunities for students to become the best in their fields. In particular, the Ivies are known for their ability to churn out well-rounded future leaders, Nobel Prize winners, and high-achieving graduates.

Located in Hamilton, Colgate is known for its beautiful campus, distinctive architecture, and hillside location. This distinctive university also provides intellectual rigor, world-class professors, and state-of-the-art resources. In particular, the scale at Colgate is unlike any other university in America. 

With nearly 3,000 undergraduates, the campus is small enough to form meaningful relationships with professors while also large enough to support students in a vast array of fields. 

As a liberal arts school, Colgate is committed to teaching students to think critically, communicate, and analyze other perspectives. Whether in the life sciences or communications, undergraduates engage with significant questions surrounding the human experience. 

Students have many opportunities to further explore their field through research or study abroad programs. This interdisciplinary education instills many desirable skills including intellectual curiosity, a commitment to rigorous discourse, and the pursuit of knowledge.

Is Colgate an Ivy League School?

Colgate University
Fryslan0109, Colgate East and West Halls, marked as public domain

Colgate is not a member of the Ivy League athletic conference and therefore is not considered an Ivy. 

On the other hand, Colgate competes in the NCAA Division I Patriots League. While Colgate has a smaller reputation on a global level when compared to the Ivies, it is still highly regarded in the world of liberal arts. 

Despite not being an Ivy League School, Colgate is recognized as a member of other groups of prestigious institutions. 

In a book published by education experts Howard and Matthew Greene, Colgate is designated as a Hidden Ivy. This list of highly selective colleges offers a premier liberal arts education, from small colleges to larger research universities. 

Howard and Matthew Greene created the term to bring awareness to the distinctive clusters of excellent colleges and universities available to the top students. 

While these universities may be less well known, they still provide an educational experience that rivals that found on Ivy campuses. Colgate was selected based on the comprehensive academics, rigorous admissions process, financial aid, and student experiences.

Newsweek, a widely distributed magazine, coined the term New Ivy to define another group of elite universities. Stretching across the country from New York to California, these schools provide great academics and first-rate faculty members. 

Colgate is included in this group of New Ivies, recognized as a world-class school that is suited to educating the top students across the globe. Based on admission statistics, and interviews with administrators, faculty, students, and alumni, Colgate is considered on par with Cornell and Dartmouth.

Why Is Colgate Often Confused As an Ivy League School?

Ivy League schools are known for their highly selective admissions, academic excellence, well-respected professors, ample research opportunities, and promising career opportunities. 

Despite not being a member of the Ivy League, Colgate shares many of these qualities and is considered on par with these prestigious universities. 

While on campus, undergraduates have plenty of opportunities to participate in institutionally funded advanced study. 

Alongside leading faculty members, Colgate students contribute to extremely valuable research projects across the full academic spectrum. From the natural sciences to the humanities, Colgate students can make groundbreaking discoveries like many of their Ivy League peers.

Through research and study abroad opportunities, the experience at Colgate helps students earn the most competitive jobs and graduate school placements. The university produces students who can grow, lead, and change society, skills that the top employers demand. Like the most prestigious schools worldwide, a degree from Colgate opens up doors for students with its reputation for academic excellence.

Like many of the Ivies, Colgate has thousands of living alumni that are extraordinarily loyal and successful. 

Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Charles Addams, Ken Baker, and Michael J. Poulos are just some of the notable Colgate alumni whose work affects our world today. Generations of Colgate graduates and faculty have made the university what it is today. This alumni network is spread across the arts, business, culture, government, the sciences, and literature. 

No matter what a student majors in, they will graduate with a supportive community of peers dedicated to their success. A robust and searchable alumni directory was created to drive professional and social connections between the Colgate community. 

Colgate University: Ranking, Acceptance Rate, and More

Colgate University
Colgate University, Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology at Colgate University, CC BY-SA 4.0

As applicant pools become more and more competitive, it becomes more challenging to gain admission into Colgate. 

For the Class of 2025, 17,500 students applied and just over 3,000 were admitted. This acceptance rate of 17% means that less than 1 in 5 undergraduates were offered a seat. 

Colgate’s admissions process is highly selective, with the vast majority of students falling in the top one-fifth of their class. 

Each year, students present solid academics and extracurricular achievements for the holistic review process. 

Only a few years ago, the acceptance rate was over 20%, meaning that the school is getting more selective with time. 

Because Colgate’s enrollment has not increased significantly, Colgate is getting hundreds, if not thousands, more applicants than just a decade ago.

Regarding ranking, US News calls Colgate the #20 best liberal arts college in the country. 

Like other liberal arts institutions, Colgate emphasizes undergraduate education, particularly in the liberal arts fields of study. This placement is based on graduation and retention rates, social mobility, graduate performance, academic reputation, faculty resources, and selectivity. 

In addition, Colgate is recognized as the #15 best value school nationwide. Considering the school’s academic quality and net cost of attendance, an education at Colgate is well worth the price. The higher the qu12ality and lower the cost, the better the deal for students.

Colgate University was also recognized in the Top Colleges for Getting Rich, as designated by Forbes. Earning a median mid-career salary of $120,000, Colgate was the only non-Ivy League college in the top five. 

While these characteristics are typically associated with Ivies, Colgate graduates find similar success thanks to their academic experience.

How to Get Into Colgate University

Colgate’s increasing selectivity means that students must perform well academically to be granted admission. 

Taking challenging courses and scoring mostly A’s, as the average GPA falls around 3.8, is crucial for acceptance. 

The middle 50% of admitted students score 1370 – 1500 on the SAT and 31 – 34 on the ACT. Students who meet the standards for grades and test scores have a great shot at getting in, but it isn’t guaranteed. With more and more competitive applicants, it is also essential to excel in other admission requirements.

Beyond test scores, students need to differentiate their application from the rest of the competition. Colgate is looking for applicants who will be good school representatives and give back to the local Hamilton community. 

Highlighting extracurriculars aligned with Colgate’s values will allow the admissions team to see past test scores and grades. Extracurriculars are a great way to show passion, individual values, personal growth, or leadership abilities. From debate team to community service, these experiences should demonstrate how you will be valuable to the Colgate community.

Similarly, the admissions essay can help show what aspect of your identity makes you different from your peers and how this affects your worldview. These responses should be personal to you and not generic answers that anyone can write. 

By showing your learning style, curiosity, determination, and genuine interest in Colgate, written responses help the university visualize how you will fit into the diverse community.

Recap: Colgate Is Not an Ivy League University. However, It Is One of the Best Universities in the Nation

Colgate University
photo via Wikimedia Commons

Despite not being a member of the Ivy League, Colgate offers premier academics and resources to produce highly successful graduates. 

The university provides a liberal arts education that builds a strong foundation for their students’ lives. 

In significant publications from US News to Forbes, Colgate ranks high in academics and graduate success without the elite status of the Ivies. 

The Ivy League is a static group that has not changed membership for decades. 

To account for this, many professionals in education have created new groupings to highlight top-tier colleges across the country. Colgate University is considered a New Ivy and a Hidden Ivy due to its world-renowned faculty members, reputation, and successful alumni network. 

Colgate’s students are known for their ability to engage meaningfully, tackle complex challenges, and contribute to the larger community.

At Colgate, students have the opportunity to learn from innovative education leaders. They are well-respected in a breadth of subject matters spanning the liberal arts curriculum. In addition, 

Colgate professors are dedicated to building on an educational tradition of preparing graduates for success. An impressive 96% of faculty members have a PhD or the highest degree in their field, contributing to the intellectual rigor and engagement on campus. 

Thanks to the university’s dedicated faculty, Colgate combines the best aspects of a small liberal arts college and a larger university.