Hamilton College was initially founded in 1793 as Hamilton-Oneida Academy, a boy’s school, by Reverend Samuel Kirkland. Named in honor of the Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, the academy was officially chartered in 1812 as New York’s third college. In 1978, Hamilton College merged with the women’s Kirkland College to begin offering co-educational education. Today, Hamilton stands as a preeminent private, non-profit “Little Ivy” liberal arts institution. Hamilton College is located on a vast 1,300-acre rural campus in Clinton along Root Glen just 48 miles east of Syracuse. Noted for its rigorous academics, Hamilton educates around 1,850 students from 45 states and 47 countries.
According to the U.S. News, Hamilton College is the 14th best national liberal arts college, 18th top value school, and 11th best school for military veterans. Given a financial grade of A+, Hamilton is ranked the 68th top private college nationally by Forbes. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance lauded Hamilton as America’s 14th best liberal arts value. The Princeton Review honored Hamilton College for offering the 11th “Most Accessible Professors” and 17th “Best Classroom Experience.” Newsweek magazine crowned Hamilton the 22nd most desirable small school in the United States. Hamilton was also named the 60th best liberal arts college for civic engagement by Washington Monthly.
Hamilton College Accreditation Details
Reaffirmed in 2011 for the maximum 10 years, Hamilton College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) to award bachelor’s degrees. This regional accrediting agency is approved by the U.S. Department of Education for Title IV funding. Hamilton is a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU). The college is also licensed New York State Department of Education (NYSDOE).
Hamilton College Application Requirements
Getting into Hamilton College is tough with its “most selective” acceptance rate of 26 percent. Admissions counselors conduct a holistic review that values academic achievement, leadership, extra-curricular activities, and diversity. First-year applicants must have graduated from a licensed secondary school with a Regents diploma. Homeschooled students can be accepted with at least four years of English, four years of math, three years of science, three years of history, and two years of foreign language. The majority of freshmen rank in the top 20 percent of their class. On average, admitted students will have a GPA of 3.95, SAT score of 2071, and ACT score of 31.
High school graduates who have previously enrolled in degree-granting programs at accredited colleges or universities can transfer to Hamilton. Transfers must complete at least one full-time semester for the equivalent of 15 semester hours. Only 20 to 30 transfers are accepted each year, so being in good standing is required. Successful applicants typically earn a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or better. Credit isn’t awarded for online courses or collegiate coursework graded less than “C.” International students are also welcomed and comprise five percent of Hamilton College’s community. Non-U.S. citizens must have studied English for three full years or score above 700 on the SAT verbal/critical reading.
Whether applying for Early Decision by November 15th or Regular Decision on January 1st, students should submit the following to Hamilton College:
• Common Application form
• $50 non-fundable fee or waiver
• Hamilton’s member-specific questions
• Official high school and college transcripts
• At least one major subject teacher evaluation
• Guidance counselor recommendation
• Standardized test scores (SAT or ACT)
• Common Application personal essay
Tuition and Financial Aid
All full-time undergraduates at Hamilton College are billed $50,730 each year for tuition. There’s an additional $510 student activity fee charged. On-campus housing is estimated to cost $7,110 yearly for double-occupancy dorm rooms. Standard meal plans add $5,900 each year. Students should budget at least $1,000 for textbooks, $1,000 for personal supplies, and $1,500 for travel expenses. Annual cost of attendance for Hamilton students is $64,250. Four-year Bachelor of Arts programs come with a price tag of approximately $257,000. However, the average yearly net price is $20,755.
Around 60 percent of beginning, full-time students at Hamilton receive assistance. The average financial aid package is $41,300. To minimize debt, Hamilton College caps borrowing Federal Perkins, Federal Direct Subsidized, and Federal Direct Subsidized loans at $3,500 per year. Some students qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state students should apply for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), New York State Educational Opportunity Program, or NYS Regents Awards. Federal Work-Study (FWS) is available for 20 hours per week and bi-weekly paychecks. Hamilton provides matching contributions of $5,000 to veterans with GI Bill benefits. Scholarships are also numerous, including the Bement Scholarship, John G. Green Scholarship, Frances E. Ludlow Scholarship, and Alan P. Savory Memorial Scholarship.
Degrees Available at Hamilton College
Hamilton College strives to nourish students’ intellectual development and creative spirit with an “open” liberal arts curriculum. Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in 51 majors. There’s also a self-designed Interdisciplinary Concentration for flexibility. Pre-professional advising is offered in business, education, engineering, law, and medicine. Students must pledge to Hamilton’s Honor Code, which includes unproctored exams. Beyond the Clinton campus, the college has programs in New York City, Washington DC, China, France, and Spain. Two example degrees granted are:
Bachelor of Arts in Economics
As the most popular major at Hamilton, the Bachelor of Arts in Economics program trains students to analyze the effectiveness of policies in improving today’s globalized economy. The 120-credit curriculum will include coursework on microeconomics, financial decision theory, accounting, poverty, statistics, public economics, globalization, international trade, public policy, and banking. Housed in the Kirner-Johnson Building, the program takes place in four-tiered “case study” classrooms to encourage student interaction. In the senior year, students conduct thesis research pertaining to important economic issues.
Bachelor of Arts in Geoarchaeology
Hamilton’s Bachelor of Arts in Geoarchaeology program is lesser-known but highly regarded for giving undergraduates the specialized training to interpret the archaeological record of past societies. Consisting of 120 total credits, the science-based program includes coursework in archaeology, geology, paleontology, diagenesis, geochronology, landscape evolution, stratigraphic succession, and thermoluminescence. Within the state-of-the-art Taylor Science Center, students have access to a sedimentology lab with organic carbon analyzers, rock cutting equipment, transmissivity recorders, and more. There’s also a paid Summer Undergraduate Research opportunity.
With an ideal student-faculty ratio of 9:1, Hamilton College also awards unique degrees like the B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies, B.A. in Hispanic Studies, B.A. in Neuroscience, B.A. in Russian Studies, and B.A. in World Politics.
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