Originally known as Hamilton-Oneida Academy, Hamilton College opened in 1793. Samuel Kirkland, a missionary to the Oneida Indians, drew up plans for a school for the children of the Oneidas and for the white settlers in the area who were streaming into New York from New England in search of opportunities and available land after the American Revolution. The college was chartered in 1812 and was the third college established in the state of New York. It is the oldest in the country today.
Prior to the Civil War, the college flourished, putting the struggles it went through during the foundation years behind it. The college required strict adherence to traditional classic curriculum. Students were all male and required to enter the college well-prepared in Greek and Latin. In addition to those languages, students were taught philosophy, religion, history and mathematics, which was typical of universities of that time. However, unlike other colleges, Hamilton placed great emphasis on rhetoric and elocution. Today, public speaking remains a Hamilton tradition.
The chapel remains as one of the most beautiful on campus, dominating the central quadrangle, despite the fact that chapel requirements have long since been discontinued. Social activity included the creation of several literary societies who sponsored declamation and debate. Fraternities first appeared on campus in the 1830s while athletic activities were informal until the end of the 19th century.
After World War II, enrollment expanded rapidly with veterans taking advantage of the GI Bill. In 1968, a sister institution, Kirkland College, was established, offering a liberal arts education to women. The curriculum was specifically designed with women in mind, fostering independence, creativity and self-reliance. Students were able to select courses from both institutions and they shared facilities like the Burke Library. In 1978, the two institutions merged, but Kirkland’s legacy remains through faculty and facilities that focus on performing and studio arts as well as a commitment to experimental education.
Although the curriculum has been expanded to include interdisciplinary concentrations as well as more contemporary subjects, there is still an emphasis on writing and speaking at Hamilton. The college remains small compared to other colleges, it has a student body of over 1,900 and provides an education that is comparable or surpasses many other colleges and universities in the country.
Hamilton College Accreditation Details
Hamilton College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been accredited by the organization since 1921. Accreditation ensures that an institute of higher learning has met or exceeded criteria established by an independent organization. A college or university that is accredited has demonstrated that they provide high-quality education to students who are enrolled.
Hamilton College Admission Requirements
Freshman who wish to attend Hamilton College must complete the Common Application and pay the applicable fee. Students must provide a counselor and teacher evaluation as well as a personal essay. Official high school transcripts must also be provided along with standardized test scores. It is strongly recommended that the student submit to an interview with faculty, as well.
Students who are currently enrolled at a community college or in an associate degree program may enter Hamilton College as a transfer student. Transfer students must complete the Common Application and pay the applicable fee. Students must submit official copies of their college transcript, transfer mid-term report, transfer college report and transfer instructor evaluation along with their official high school transcript. Students must provide official standardized test scores as well. An interview is optional, but encouraged.
Hamilton College Tuition & Financial Aid
Full-time tuition at Hamilton College is $49,010. Financial aid is available to students who demonstrate financial need. Students must apply for financial aid each year so that changes in circumstances can be considered. In 2008, Hamilton decided that the financial aid program would focus on need-based aid. At that time, they eliminated merit scholarships in order to meet the financial need of all students admitted. Hamilton provides aid in the form of loans and financing options as well as scholarships and grants. Students may also be eligible for work-study options.
Hamilton College Student Experience
At Hamilton College, students are able to participate in many student organizations including:
- Clubs and Assocations
- Cultural Organizations
- Greek Organizations
- Performance Groups
- Public Affairs Organizations
- Religious Organizations
- Sports Organizations
- Student Assembly
- Student Media
- Volunteer Organziations
Hamilton is located in the village of Clinton, New York, about 10 to 15 minutes from shopping, dining and recreation. The Adirondack Park is nearby, providing ample opportunities for hiking, skiing, camping and other outdoor activities. The college is located within minutes of chocolate magic bars, chocolate chip pancakes made famous in the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” 14 movie screens, four nationally renowned golf courses, seven Alpine and three Nordic ski resorts along with much more to keep students occupied when they are not in class.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, the National Distance Running Hall of Fame, the Carrier Dome and Gore Mountain are all close to the beautiful campus.
Hamilton College, the oldest in the country, brings old world charm with it’s lovely, quaint campus together with an outstanding, modern curriculum regardless of the program selected. Students have the flexibility to zero in on their academic interests while exploring the breadth of liberal arts through the freedom offered by the college’s open curriculum. True to the original vision, students will learn in a way that will expand each student’s creative and critical thinking skills.