Colgate Announces Changes to Application Process

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Colgate has changed its admissions policy to help mitigate financial pressures. Changes include making fee waivers easier to attain and self-reporting standardized test scores. 

Lucy Feidelson, Maroon-News Staff

For students seeking admission to Colgate, the application process just got a lot less stressful. On Tuesday, October 31, Colgate administrators announced two new major changes to help mitigate financial pressures for prospective students.

Colgate now offers fee waivers for applicants who are unable to pay the $60 application fee. Oftentimes, the fee waiver process is not simple. Not all colleges and universities accept fee waivers, and eligibility for such waivers is sometimes difficult to obtain. For students that are considering applying to Colgate, they will now be able to attain a fee waiver more easily.

Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Gary Ross ’77, commented on the changes.

“I’m really proud that Colgate is on the ground floor of this. I really think it can be something that sends a very loud signal from Colgate to families around the country and around the world that we do care about the costs of applying to colleges and universities, and we’re doing our part to make that a little less burdensome,” Ross said. 

The second change consists of the self-reporting of standardized testing results. Currently, it costs $45 to register for the SAT, and $55 to register for the SAT with the writing portion. It costs an additional $12 per school to report scores. To register for the ACT, students have to pay $46, or $62.50 with the writing test, and an additional $13 per school to report scores. Unfortunately, students may be paying to report their scores to schools where they may not end up attending.

With self-reporting comes a responsibility to be truthful. Students are expected to be candid in all aspects of their application, including standardized test scores. Ross addressed possible skepticism towards this process. 

“A student is already being held accountable for being honest with what it is they tell us, so the ACT or SAT self-reporting is just one other area in which they’re expected to tell the truth, ” Ross said. “There’s something to be gained by telling a student that here at Colgate, a lot of what they’re going to do is based on trust.”

Ultimately, Colgate will verify the scores that a student reports. If a student chooses to enroll at Colgate, at the point of his or her decision, that student will be required to send an official score report to Colgate from one of the testing agencies. 

“We have to have integrity associated with the quality of academic records for the students that we admit,” Ross said.  

Other colleges and universities that have made the self-reporting of scores an option include Washington University in St. Louis, Stanford University, Williams College, Colby College, University of Chicago, Georgia Institute of Technology and Colorado College. Through this change, students will only pay the score report fee once, and to a school that they will actually attend.

Ross has received positive feedback to these announced changes. 

“I have gotten so many emails from college counselors, from alums, and from parents, saying, ‘Thank goodness that Colgate is doing this, it makes all the sense in the world,’” Ross said.

When asked if he has any doubts or apprehensions, Ross replied with optimism. 

“I’m trying to think what the drawback would be, and I honestly can’t imagine one.”

Senior Megan Goss felt that this was an important step for admissions. 

“Considering that a majority of Colgate students come from high-income families, this change is a great step in the right direction to achieving a better distribution of students from all socioeconomic backgrounds,” she said. 

Goss also felt hopeful that these changes may encourage more high school students to apply to Colgate. 

“Colgate was generous to me with financial aid and I am so grateful for that. However, prospective students do not know how much financial assistance Colgate may offer unless they apply. I hope that this change will encourage students in my similar position to apply to Colgate so that they may get their foot in the door and realize the academic and professional opportunities at Colgate that are possible due to financial aid,” Goss said.  

Senior Admission Fellow Florence Shen believes that this process should expand past the scope of Colgate. 

“Self-reporting SAT grades helps students and their families save time and money when they apply to Colgate, and it also simplifies the workflow of our Admission staff. We hope that other colleges will follow Colgate in this action so that [applying to college] becomes an easier and more cost-effective process for everyone,” Shen said. 

Contact Lucy Feidelson at [email protected]