Initially established in 1883 by Minister William J. Houghton as Houghton Seminary, Houghton College is a premier baccalaureate-level private Christian liberal arts institution. As a member of the Christian College Consortium, Houghton is affiliated with the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Houghton has a close-knit community of around 1,100 students representing diverse faiths and denominations. The main 1,300-acre rural campus is located in the hamlet of Houghton in western New York State’s Alleghany County within just 65 miles southeast of Buffalo. Houghton College also offers adult education at satellite centers nearby in Niagara Falls and Lockport. The school has achieved a high freshman retention rate of 87 percent, which signifies student satisfaction.
With a reputation for excellent Christ-centered education, Houghton College is ranked as the 136th best national liberal arts institute in America by the U.S. News and World Report. High school counselors rated Houghton 176th nationwide. According to Forbes magazine, Houghton is the 133th top school in the Northeast and 252nd best private college in the country with a B financial grade. The Wall Street Journal placed Houghton as the sixth top educational value in the Mid-Atlantic region. Houghton College is consistently esteemed in Princeton Review’s “Best in the Northeast” schools. In addition, Houghton was distinguished within the top 50 Christian colleges in the U.S.
Houghton College Accreditation Details
Following a peer view, Houghton College was granted formal accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). This is one of six regional accrediting bodies recognized through the U.S. Department of Education. Houghton meets the standards of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Certain academic departments have gone the extra step to receive discipline-specific, programmatic accreditation. The lauded Greatbatch School is given the stamp of approval from the National Association of Schools of Museum (NASM). Education degrees are accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).
Houghton College Application Requirements
Even though Houghton is less admits 93 percent of its applicants, new students must fulfill criteria prior to enrollment. Freshmen must possess a high school diploma or GED equivalent from an approved program. Following a strong college prep program with four units English, three units math, three units social science, two units natural science, and two units foreign language is mandated. Admitted students have an average high school GPA of 3.53. Freshmen must have taken the ACT or SAT, but the writing section is optional. Houghton students have earned an average composite score of 1638 on the SAT and 24 on the ACT.
Transfer students will be accepted after completing at least one semester full-time at another regionally accredited college. Anywhere from 12 to 67 credits can be transferred, but at least 50 percent of major coursework must be completed at Houghton. Preference will be given to undergraduate transfers who present a minimum cumulative college GPA of 3.0. SAT or ACT scores generally aren’t required for transfers. Houghton offers a 2+2 degree partnership program specifically with Monroe Community College in Rochester. International students from non-English speaking nations must score 550 or higher on the paper-based TOEFL.
Before the December 1st deadline, interested students wishing to attend Houghton College must provide the following documents online for review by the Admission Committee:
• Completed admission application form
• Official high school and/or college transcripts
• Standardized testing (SAT or ACT) scores
• Two teacher recommendation forms
• Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency
• Current professional resume (adult education only)
• Free Application for Federal Student Aid
• Payment of the $40 non-refundable fee
Tuition and Financial Aid
Houghton College charges a flat rate tuition rate of $14,629 per semester for students taking 12 to 18 credits regardless of state residence. Part-time learners will pay $1,230 per credit hour. It’s estimated that the annual tuition cost will be $29,258. With health service fees, room, and board included, the total will be $37,956 each academic year. Summer online tuition is given at a discount of just $155 per credit for Houghton students. Full access meal plans will add an additional $1,970 every semester. Freshmen will pay an orientation fee of $100.
To afford the costs, over 95 percent of degree-seeking students enrolled at Houghton College are granted some form of merit or need-based aid. Borrowing funds via the government is possible with the Direct Stafford, Perkins, and PLUS loans, but money must be repaid with interest. Tuition support is available for some via the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, and New York State TAP Grant. In-state students could qualify for $2,000 through the New York Scholarships for Academic Excellence. Veteran’s benefits are offered with the Yellow Ribbon Program. Federal Work Study (FWS) can provide extra financing for up to eight hours of part-time employment weekly. Scholarships are also abundant, including the Founder’s Scholarship, President’s Scholarship, Honors Scholarship, and Transfer Scholarship.
For a liberal arts school, Houghton College has a high level of academic flexibility with 85 majors and 17 minors. Unique undergraduate programs include Applied Art and Design, Data Science, Environmental Stewardship, Equestrian Studies, Forestry, International Development, Rhetorical Communication, and Youth Ministry. Houghton offers 10 pre-professional prep degrees and an adult degree in management. The Greatbatch School of Music grants five master’s degrees, but Houghton has special agreements with several New York colleges to provide a 4+1 MBA and 3+4 PharmD too. With a student-faculty ratio of 11:1, over 70 percent of classes have less than 20 students for personalized attention from professors.
Houghton College hosts a distinctive First Year Honors Program, which includes one semester studying in London. More than half of graduating seniors have spent at least one term in abroad destinations like Australia, China, France, India, Japan, Thailand, and Uganda. Motivated science students can challenge themselves with the Summer Research Institute. The Office of Urban Connections provides a plethora of service opportunities in nearby Buffalo. Houghton also recently unveiled a new second-year honors experience called Scholastica, which pairs Bible and theology disciplines. Mass is held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the chapel.
The majority of Houghton students reside on-campus in the college’s four residence halls and four townhouses. There are over 25 official clubs, including the Gadfly Society, Imitators of Christ, SHRM Student Chapter, and Salvation Army Student Fellowship. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking at the nearby Letchworth State Park and journeying along the Attica Railroad. The Houghton Highlanders compete in the NCAA Division III Empire 8 Conference in 16 men’s and women’s varsity teams. Each February, Houghton College hosts Purple & Gold Week filled with intense intramural struggles in sports like ultimate Frisbee, water polo, handball, and flag football.