Studying at Hamilton College
Hamilton College appears in our ranking of the 50 Most Affordable Colleges that Meet Significant Financial Need.
Hamilton College is one of the most unique colleges in the world because it doesn’t offer set degree programs in the way that other schools do. This college instead asks students to pick the emphasis areas they want to focus on and then work with their advisors to design their programs. Students can choose from more than 40 majors, including Africana Studies, Cinema and Media Studies, Physics, Math, Public Policy and Women and Gender Studies. The college refers to these as concentrations rather than majors.
Many of the students enrolling in Hamilton College choose to design their own programs. The college calls them interdisciplinary majors. Those students can take classes from any of the departments or areas that interest them and see what connections exist between those fields. Hamilton College asks that all students take some general education courses, including English, science, math and humanities classes. It believes that those courses will give students the strong foundations that they need in their advanced classes. The college also requires that all students do a senior thesis project or that they write a senior thesis paper. That work serves as a culmination of everything they learned in college.
Hamilton College offers help to students in the form of advisors and a career planning center. That center helps students find summer jobs and other opportunities that they can put on their resumes. They can also get help preparing their resumes and applying for full-time jobs in their senior years. Each student works with an advisor while in college to make sure they take all the courses needed for graduation. More than 65% of Hamilton College do off-campus programs too. Those programs include both internships near the campus and study abroad programs overseas.
About Hamilton College
Hamilton College is a uniquely independent and private university in New York that focuses on interdisciplinary learning. Founded in 1873, it opened as the Hamilton – Oneida Academy and functioned as a seminary. Samuel Kirkland, one of the school’s founders, previously worked with Oneida tribe members and wanted to provide those students with more opportunities. Boys who were white or belonged to that tribe could enroll in the academy. The success of the academy led to it becoming a college in 1812, which makes it one of the state’s oldest colleges. Though the college only admitted men for more than a century, that changed in 1978 after the college merged with Kirkland College, which was a nearby women’s college. It wasn’t until the end of the decade that the merger finally went through.
The college takes pride in its history and heritage. Its main campus in Clinton is still home to some of the buildings used by its original students. That campus is also home to other historic structures such as the Elihu Root House, which is now home to its Dean of Students and other administrative offices. Alex Haley, the author of Roots and other novels, attended the college as did other famous writers. Forbes ranks Hamilton as the 60th best college in America. Both Washington Monthly and U.S. News and World Report rank the college as one of the best liberal arts schools in the United States. Hamilton College now has an enrollment of nearly 1,900 students.
Hamilton College Accreditation Details
As Hamilton College is a nontraditional college, it didn’t seek out all the program accreditation that other schools have. The college is happy with just regional accreditation, which comes from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). MSCHE only granted accreditation to Hamilton after an extensive review of its admissions and graduation policies and after looking at its programs and professors. To ensure that it never loses this accreditation, the college established a review committee. That committee is responsible for making sure that the college maintains the standards needed for regional accreditation.
Hamilton College Application Requirements
Though Hamilton receives thousands of applications from new students every year, it only accepts 20% of those students. It looks for those who would do well in an open curriculum format and those who can think independently. The college also wants to find students who took courses from a wide range of disciplines because this shows that those students can succeed in the college. If Hamilton is a student’s first choice and that student does not plan to apply anywhere else, he or she can submit an application by the early decision deadline of November 1. A second early decision deadline is January 1. The college will also accept applications submitted later in the year.
Students applying to Hamilton can use the Coalition Application or the Common Application. Each application allows students to report their ACT or SAT scores. They do not need to provide official scores unless the college requests them. Students can submit official scores though, which many do if they feel those scores are an important part of the application process. Those who meet certain eligibility requirements can request a waiver, which covers the application fee. Students who do not receive a waiver will need to pay a small application fee.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The total cost of attending Hamilton College is nearly $65,000 a year. Students pay more than $54,000 a year for tuition and another $500, which is the college’s activity fee. This fee covers the cost of any special programs that students attend on the campus. The rest of their costs will come from their room and board packages, though students can pick from different plans that will add to their totals. Hamilton believes that its students will pay $800 a year for books and their other supplies.
Hamilton does not base its application decisions on whether students can afford to attend. It will only look at the needs of each student once it sends out decision letters. To make college more affordable, the school offers financial aid packages. The average package covers more than 88% of the costs that students face. Hamilton students graduate with an average amount of debt of between $16,000 and $21,000 for four years of college. The final deadline for any student who needs financial aid is January 15, which means that the college must receive the FAFSA by this date. Students attending Hamilton College can get more than $45,000 in financial aid every year.