Hamilton, NY
Colgate University


47 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Alex
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The size and location of Colgate are perfect for my tastes. I'm a townie from a big state university, so Colgate's close and...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The size and location of Colgate are perfect for my tastes. I'm a townie from a big state university, so Colgate's close and intimate environment were the main attractions for me. Colgate's administration, in my experience, is very efficient in dealing with students. Although they've made some very disagreeable decisions over the years (see DKE affair), the administration has given the campus very nice new facilities (Ho Science Center, Case Library) and helps keep Colgate running smoothly. Downtown Hamilton itself is a very nice little town with nice people who like Colgate (and Colgate students with fat wallets), but outside of the immediate town the countryside seems poor.

Describe the students at your school.

Although Colgate is regarded as homogeneous, every clique is represented at Colgate if you look hard enough. A lot of kids played sports in high school, so a strong majority of the students are in shape. You won't see many fat people here. Politically, most students are at least mildly liberal but Colgate has its fair share of moderates and conservatives. What kids wear to class varies. Personally, what I wear to class and around campus is different from day-to-day. I can go to Frank in a stupid t-shirt and ratty sweatpants with a friend who is wearing a button-down and Timberlands. Of course, be sure to make sure you don't look scruffy if you're trying to attract the opposite sex in class.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

The Jug downtown is wildly popular, but you need to be there on a night when just the right amount of the right (hot) people are there. When it gets full of ugly people eating each others faces, the Jug can be the lamest time of your life, even if you're trashed. Nichols hard to get into if you don't know anybody that works there, or if your fake ID is weak. Anyway, Colgate was the perfect choice for me, I couldn't imagine going anywhere else.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

For the most part, yes, but I think the rich and preppy kids only are more noticeable than the other types of students.

What are the academics like at your school?

The professors at Colgate are great people and even better teachers. Most of them make themselves very approachable and want to be involved in the students lives. The classes here are all so interesting, I wish I had more time to take classes outside of my major. Cheating (on exams, projects, or papers) is not very common, but it does happen. Academics as Colgate is education for the sake of education, but professors realize that students want the security of a career after college, so if you talk to a professor about life after Colgate they'll suggest all sorts of internships or programs that will help you. As a freshman, I have not gone to the Career Services department yet, but I hear it is helpful -- resume writing, job interview practice, etc.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Colgate administration and student groups host tons of concerts, parties, and other events year round which are fun to go to, but Colgate there are certain things you absolutely cannot miss. Dancefest is an awesome concert twice a year when a bunch of dance clubs at Colgate perform in the Chapel in front of a jam packed audience. Spring Party Weekend is the most outrageous couple of days of your life, guaranteed. I can't think of words that can accurately describe it -- you have to experience it. Football games are somewhat popular to go to, as are the lacrosse games, if they are good that year. Hockey games are good too, especially when playing Cornell (SUNY-Ithaca). Actually, almost any sporting event is great to attend if you're hammered. The university has been trying hard to get students more passionate about sports teams. Frats parties are reliable for a good time. I've never been to a sorority party though; never really had to.

Whitney
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The education is amazing, the Professors are all wonderful and the size of the school is great! The student to teacher ratio...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The education is amazing, the Professors are all wonderful and the size of the school is great! The student to teacher ratio is 10:1 which means you have an opportunity to know your Professors on a more personal level. The class sizes are smaller so discussion is a main factor really making the learning environment much more interactive and enjoyable. The town is pretty small, and far from any city but it is very nice and all the necessities are nearby. The athletic facilities are very nice, except for maybe one or two. When people hear that you are attending Colgate or have graduated from there they are always very impressed and it is very useful when applying for jobs. The Alumni network is incredible. It is large and spreads throughout the world giving many connections in order to find jobs or internships. Most complaints about the school are the amount of homework, the smallness of the town, and the distance from any large city.

Describe the students at your school.

Colgate is very liberal and most students feel very comfortable going there. There are many different religious groups and churches, LGBTQ groups and culture oriented organizations. All students wear different things to class, the most common is probably jeans, a t-shirt and a jacket. Occasionally - as in any other school/city - there is some discrimination and prejudice, but very rarely. Most students come from wealthy backgrounds but there are also a great deal of students who receive aid or scholarship in order to attend.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

I had a hard time at first being away from my friends, family and home but after some time Colgate became my second home and I loved it very much. If I could go back I would choose Colgate all over again.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Most people - but not ALL - are financially comfortable and intelligent. The education is very good, slightly too expensive, NOT in the Ivy league and NOT a dentistry school.

What are the academics like at your school?

Colgate offers an enormous selection of classes with expert Professors in each field. With the smaller campus size and low student to teacher ratio, nearly all Professors remember your name (given you make the effort too). Class participation is commonly a large percentage of your grade but really helps in learning the material. With so many intelligent students at Colgate, discussions can get very heated and usually turn into a debate and sometimes carry-on into conversations outside of class. The most unique class that I took was Archaeoastronomy with Professor Anthony Aveni who is actually credited as being one of the subjects founders. In the class we learned about ancient civilizations who constructed their homes and cities to align with celestial bodies in the sky. I even had the opportunity to then travel to Yucatan, Mexico with my Professor and some other students to help him measure Maya ruins for astronomical alignments. The other great thing about Colgate is that because it is a liberal arts school, you are required to take classes in many different fields. In doing this students get the opportunity to experience many different classes and some even choose to follow those classes by making the subject their major. It also gives the students a much more well-rounded education.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

All athletic teams tend to spend their time together but this is not to say that athletes and non-athletes are not friends. There are parties almost every night in one place or another but Monday and Tuesday nights are the only ones that can be dead. Most people choose not to be in a relationship but that does not mean that relationships arent around. My closest friends were met in my freshman dorm, freshman classes and on my softball team. There are also many things to do for people who dont want to drink, there is a movie theater in town, a couple resteraunts and nearly every weekend there is an event of some kind put on by the school's many groups.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That everyone is wealthy, and intelligent. That the school is very good, in the Ivy League, too expensive and a dentistry school.

Kathleen
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Colgate's faculty is top notch, and I love how the school is isolated. This environment has fostered passions and nurtured fr...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Colgate's faculty is top notch, and I love how the school is isolated. This environment has fostered passions and nurtured friendships for all of us. I hated Colgate freshman year--very few students seemed intellectual or genuiniely interested in academics, and Greek life dominated the social scene. I decided against rushing sophomore year, and for a while I felt left out of a lot of rights of passage and traditions at Colgate. However, I tried as hard as possible to maintain an open mind. It took a lot of hard work for me to enjoy Colgate, but once I found my niche(s), I couldn't be happier. I've learned to love Hamilton and the idea of being guaranteed to see my fellow classmates wherever I choose to go on a Friday or Saturday night. I've developed interests and passions, and close relationships with professors. Colgate's size is perfect--small enough to know everyone and to have personal attention and access to various resources, and large enough to offer a variety of research opportunities, etc. A lot of the criticisms are true: Colgate students are mostly preppy and White; Hamilton is small, isolated, and cold; Greek life dominates the social scene, etc.; but if you trust yourself and your ability to find your niche despite all of this, you will be rewarded, and you will grow to love Colgate!

Describe the students at your school.

Though Colgate students fit the stereotypes of most small liberal arts institutions in the northeast, I think we are unique in that we are actively trying to change ourselves and our campus climate. If you want an opportunity to change the mindset of your peers, or to make some sort of difference, come to Colgate. You will get the opportunity to teach others about your views on diversity. Be patient though, and keep an open mind!

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Keep an open mind and you'll find your niche, trust me!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

There are students who are rich and preppy and who seem to only care about Greek life, but I've come to learn that Colgate is much more than that. As a rising upperclassman I am realizing that Colgate students have passions, interests, and concerns; it just took a while for these qualities to shine through.

What are the academics like at your school?

Professors really do become your mentors at Colgate. They are passionate and genuinely interested and engaged in your learning experience. I've had dinner with at least five different professors here. There are tons of research opportunities and personal guidance too; I love the faculty at Colgate! Warning: students seem exceptionally apathetic, especially for the first year at Colgate. But there are many gems in the student body if you look closely-- people worth meeting, and who you will meet while being isolated up in Hamilton, NY. Most students become empathetic and intellectual by junior year because the education is so geared toward learning for its own sake. Colgate students are encouraged to "live a life worth living and to create a world worth living in." I really like the CORE curriculum at Colgate too, and the distribution requirements really allow students to find their niche.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

A lot of students are really involved at Colgate, especially because we are a D1 school. If you are looking to play a D3 sport, you might initially be disappointed because it's either D1 or club sports, but you'll probably find a niche after a few years. A ton of students are involved in Greek Life, but I no longer think that's so terrible. There is are low key frats and sororities that offer mixers and brother/sisterhood without all the hazing. Also, I opted out of Greek life and still feel strongly a part of the Colgate community. You just have to keep an open mind. Another thing that's cool about Colgate is that you can change things. Through "The Psychology of Leadership," a course that is a part of the (optional) Sophomore Year Experience, students invest in a semester long project concerning an issue they would like to change at Colgate or Hamilton, the world, etc. This empowers students to create their own social options and to even seek funding for them! Past projects include "Bring Back the Date," which received funding to provide dating options for Colgate students, and "Ba" which provided students with the opportunity to engage in more authentic conversations on campus. I think this is a unique feature of Colgate that exemplifies how things will work out because the faculty and students are so passionate about their Colgate experience.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Snowy Students: Rich, Apathetic, Fratty, White, SparkNote-using, preppy

Patrick
What is your overall opinion of this school?

If you want to go to a school that offers you a great opportunity for success after college than Colgate is the place to go. ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

If you want to go to a school that offers you a great opportunity for success after college than Colgate is the place to go. The alumni network is unbelievable and the alumni are very accessible.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

A lot of the students do have money but I would say that it is a normal campus with social life just like many of the other colleges.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics at Colgate are tough and unlike many other colleges you have to work very hard to get a good grade. This is good in the long run as it prepares you for the future.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There are over 400 registered activities on campus a semester and 96% of all of the students stay on campus during the weekends...there is always something to do.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Stereotypes about Colgate is that it is a preppy college with individuals who have a lot of money.

Nina
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Colgate really stands true to its small size. You get a lot of attention from faculty and are introduced to experiences you m...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Colgate really stands true to its small size. You get a lot of attention from faculty and are introduced to experiences you might not have at a large school. Colgate is also very tapped into national/international resources - which is so surprising for its small size. The education is amazing and I know that there is no better place I could have gone. Socially, Colgate is very Greek oriented. The majority of students are not Greek, but the majority of students who are more oriented to partying are Greek. Nonetheless, the Greek system at Colgate isn't as strict as most schools and certainly not like the south. It's just a way to have big parties and an established social group. The college 'village' is a traffic light. It's very small and there isn't a lot of shopping or things like that in Upstate New York. This also works to Colgate's advantage because they rule the village and basically no one ever gets into serious trouble. There isn't a ton of school pride at sporting events. We're division 1, but the school is small so fans are spread out across the different sports. School spirit picks up once you're an alum because you realize what an amazing time you had at Colgate.

Describe the students at your school.

Colgate is not the most diverse of places. There are a lot of initiatives right now to change this. In the next few year I predict it to be different. Colgate is a safe and accepting place, but it usually recruits individuals from opposite spheres - that is, rich kids with everything or underpriveledged who are promising. It just makes social mixing a little more stratified. I wouldn't say anyone is mean or prejudice, but there are cliches. Students are socially liberal but politically from all over the spectrum. Most students are from the Boston and New York City (both NJ and NY side) area. There are also a lot from Conneticut, Colorado and California. Some from Pennsylvania (like me), DC, Oregon and Chicago.

What are the academics like at your school?

Class participation is usually necessary. Except for science classes, usually the class participation, a final exam and lots of papers contribute to your grade. Colgate is geared toward learning for its own sake - it's liberal arts. Students are competitive with themselves, but not with classmates. Group work and study teams are common. Professors are always willing to have extra time to help out difficult matters. Tons of help!

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Students live in dorms for 2 years; Greek housing or apartments for last 2 years; and optional off campus last year. You meet your friends through your initial living arrangments and Greek/social life if you choose. Also other activities help you meet students. The school is small, so you may hear of people, then run into them and become good friends from there. Big going out nights are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Seniors choose to go out a lot on Mondays and Thursdays because there are less drunk freshmen. The Jug is the most famous bar because 19 year olds get it. It's ridiculous and also somewhat famous. Some people choose not to party, and that's ok too. Honestly, it's a really accepting place. Fun doesn't mean drunkenness if you don't want it too. Off campus there are movie theaters and Syracuse (mall and civilization) is 45 minutes away. There are also gorgeous places to go. Skiing and outdoor wintery stuff, etc. Lake Moraine has sailboats and stuff for students. Colgate is ultra traditional - go to the website because all they say is tradition this and that. But it's a lot of fun and really unifies the student body and university itself.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Party animals, jewish, typical north easterns, lots of money

Lindsay
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Colgate is one of the happiest, friendliest places I've ever been. Students are just so happy to be there. Though people of...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Colgate is one of the happiest, friendliest places I've ever been. Students are just so happy to be there. Though people often stick with their friends, it is not cliquey; students branch out and have friends from different activities or classes they are involved in or just people they met and hit it off with. Yes, we know how to party, and love to do so, but we also love to do well in school, and we are a driven, successful bunch. We work hard, pack the library, form study groups, get highly esteemed internships, etc. People not from Colgate are skeptical about how people can enjoy life in a small town like Hamilton, NY. Truth is, we love it! The closeness brings everyone together. And speaking of closeness and small, no, we are not too small a school. I meet people I didn't previously know all the time! Literally, every weekend I meet someone new.

Describe the students at your school.

Unfortunately, there isn't a ton of diversity at Colgate. Most students are white, straight, and upper-middle class. However, there is a significant minority presence on campus.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

For the most part, this is true. People love to go out and party - hard - but you see those same kids the next morning in the library, getting their work done.

What are the academics like at your school?

Even in Into to Psych, the largest lecture at Colgate, the professors knew my name. Professors truly care about their students and want us to do well. Students want to see each other do well, too. Colgate is definitely a school of overachievers, but students aren't competitive. We all want to see each other do well. Study groups are very common, and the library offers many rooms for study groups to meet (and all of these rooms are PACKED around finals time!)

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

People stereotype Colgate students as embracing the work hard, party hard mentality.

Michelle
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Colgate is the community aspect it stresses. Since Colgate is located in central New York with a lack o...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Colgate is the community aspect it stresses. Since Colgate is located in central New York with a lack of travel opportunities, most students remain on campus throughout the year. This allows deep relationships to form among the students. Even though from the outside others believe that Colgate and the town of Hamilton is too small to have a social life, I do not feel restricted at all. Fraternity parties are great as well as the townhouses and the off campus houses and apartments. The bars are usually the party scene for seniors while the Jug is a dance club/bar for all to enjoy. Hamilton is truly a college town which is awesome because it basically expands the campus even further. Colgate pride is apparent and is seen when students return to their home friends and try to explain the amazingness that is Colgate but just have to settle with the fact that no one will understand outside the students.

Describe the students at your school.

I haven't really experienced any type of discrimination on the Colgate campus but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The majority of students on campus are caucasian however. Most students will dress up for class wearing their Ralph Lauren Polos with their designer shoes, but you can also find the students dressed as if they were going to the gym later. Most Colgate students are from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the DC area, Connecticut and Florida. With this, the majority of the students come from well-off backgrounds.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Colgate is a fairly liberal school, but is by no means comparable to some of the other liberal schools such as Wesleyan or Skidmore. Politics aren't a main issue at Colgate. The majority of the student population is categorized under "prep" and many do wear expensive brand names to classes. Colgate students are also very work orientated but are not your typical "nerds" that are anti-social and spend all of their time in the library. There exists a great balance between a student's academics and his or her social life.

What are the academics like at your school?

Most classes are on the smaller size of around twenty students. Professors will know your name and even in my 70 person lecture hall, my professor knew my name. My least favorite classes are those that are under the CORE curriculum that all students must take (Western Traditions and Challenges of Modernity). These courses completely depend upon what professor teaches them so that's frustrating. Class participation is counted in final grades for the majority of the classes offered. Economics is a very difficult major at Colgate as it probably is at all other schools. Professors work around with final grades for the class being averaged at a B-. Tests are made to be very difficult so that they are curved in the end. The nice thing about going to a small school is that it is normal for professors to take their students out to the clubhouse or the Colgate Inn or Merrill house or even their own house for dinner.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Rugby is a very populat Club sport team on the Colgate campus. I am involved with Club Volleyball which is great because it is not too serious and is not a great time commitment since we have two scheduled practices per week. Intramural sports are great to keep you active and to give you time to enjoy yourself with your friends. Most students feel comfortable to leave their dorm rooms open which provides a friendly atmosphere. Each year Colgate has Spring Party Weekend which is basically the last weekend that all students go out before finals in the spring semester. A band is hired to play on Whitnall Field and all students completely disregard their school work for this one week. It's a great way to enjoy the weather [if it's nice out] and just have a great, stress free time with your friends. My brother graduated from Colgate right as I entered in as a freshmen and this is the one weekend he keeps coming back for. Greek life is very prevalent among the Colgate students. For males I believe it is a much bigger deal since fraternity pledge classes are small forcing the students to truly bond with one another. Also most fraternity members live in their respective houses further isolating themselves from non greek males. Sororities on the other hand are not a big deal at all. Sororities only enable girls to attend mixers with fraternities as well as formals. Half of my friends are in one and half are not and to be honest, all the guys don't even realize who is in one and who is not in one.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Colgate is perceived to be a liberal school and also prep central. Students are seen to come from wealthy well-off backgrounds and waste their parents money. They are also stereotyped as being very intelligent and concerned with academics.

Joe
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Colgate is college. Work hard play hard.

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Colgate is college. Work hard play hard.

Describe the students at your school.

You get a lot of kids from the tri-state area. Students tend to be clean cut, athletic, and intelligent.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Colgate is not Oberlin, but it's not Notre Dame. There are plenty of preppy students, but it's not a Jcrew catalog.

What are the academics like at your school?

Professors are great. Most seem to be genuinely interested in teaching as well as research. Your experience with Colgate's Core Curriculum will depend on the professors you have, but if you get some of the great ones it will be unforgettable. Some departments are much stronger than others. Philosophy, Economics, Political Science, Mathematics and Geology are some that come to mind as the strongest.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday are probably the most popular nights to go out.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Probably the most dominant stereotype is that Colgate is a very conservative institution and the students are very preppy.

Emily
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Colgate is the community. Colgate students and alumni LOVE the school and just knowing someone else is f...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Colgate is the community. Colgate students and alumni LOVE the school and just knowing someone else is from Colgate immediately makes you like them, simply because of that fact. The campus is extremely friendly and close-knit and everyone is very well rounded. Most students excel in academics, sports, extracurriculars and still manage to find time to go out and have fun.

Describe the students at your school.

Although Colgate does not have a large openly LGBTQ population, the atmosphere is generally very accepting of these individuals. One of my friends who is openly gay has been his classes president for their entire time at Colgate.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

The wealthiness of the campus is impressive, I know people whose parents are CEO's of major companies, but in most cases people don't flaunt their wealth and it's extremely difficult to know who is on financial aid and who isn't. I was happily surprised by the variety of political viewpoints on the campus. I don't feel overwhelmed by a conservative contingent at all, and most of my friends are actually liberal. The school is definitely predominated by East Coasters, but every state is represented and many countries, which is impressive considering Colgate's small size. I have come to feel proud about the fact I am from someplace that isn't Connecticut or New Jersey because it sets me apart.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academically, Colgate is very intimate. All the professors know your name, except in the few big lecture classes. Most genuinely want to help you learn and make themselves available for office hours. Many of my professors have hosted their classes to their house for a meal or dessert. We take academics fairly seriously and most days you can find half the campus in the library, studying and socializing with friends.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I am the President of my class and love it. I plan activities for my class and combine with other classes as well, promoting interactions amongst the many different groups on campus. The dating scene is virtually non-existent; random, and occasionally, long-term hook-ups are extremely prevalent. Drunken make-out sessions are essentially equal to shaking someone's hand. The days for going out are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Social life essentially revolves around the Greek scene, but if you aren't involved or interested in being Greek, or don't like to drink, you can always find other parties at the townhouses, dorms or apartments or attend many of the sober offerings, such as free movies, game nights, formals or one of the many lectures, guest speakers or performances constantly happening on campus.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

I was worried about going to Colgate because I heard that Colgate is politically conservative, very East Coast and everyone at the school is extremely wealthy. I am from Seattle, liberal and poor and was concerned I wasn't going to fit in.

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