Office of Admission
315-859-4457 (fax)

Frequently Asked Questions about Hamilton's Application Process

To apply for admission, Hamilton's candidates must submit The Common Application. Though answers to most questions can be found on the Common Application site, we have created this page to answer some of the most frequently asked questions specific to applying to Hamilton.

I have submitted my application but have not yet heard from Hamilton. Did you receive it?

Hamilton's Admission Office will begin processing applications in early November. Once your application is imported into our database, you will receive an email and letter acknowledging receipt of your application and providing you with a login name and password for our secure My Hamilton portal, where you can manage and monitor your personalized checklist of Hamilton application materials.

Please note that during the peak processing times and surrounding application deadlines (particularly the first half of January), we may have a backlog for application processing and it could take us up to two weeks to acknowledge your application or for materials to show up as received on your checklist. Thank you in advance for your patience.

I have submitted my application but some of my materials won't be received by the deadline.  Will this affect my application status at Hamilton?

We understand that many of your materials may not be received until after the application deadline.  This is particularly true for teacher recommendations, tests scores, and certainly your mid-year grade report.  As long as your application is submitted by our deadline, and the remainder of your materials follow as promptly as possible, your application status will not be negatively impacted.

I have submitted my Regular Decision application, but have decided I'd like to change my application plan to Early Decision.  Is that possible?

First of all, we're pleased to hear that Hamilton is your top choice as expressed by your interest in making an Early Decision commitment.  Provided that the Early Decision deadline (or conversion date in the case of Early Decision Round II) has not passed, we would be happy to convert your application to Early Decision.  Please fill out our Early Decision Agreement Form, collect the required signatures by the appropriate deadline, and submit directly to Hamilton College's Admission Office.

Does Hamilton require a Writing Supplement in addition to The Common Application Essay?

When you list Hamilton as one of the Colleges to which you intend to apply, our Hamilton specific questions, including a short-answer essay, will appear in your personalized Common Application portal. For those who would like a preview of our question, we have listed it here as well:

While the primary criteria for admission are academic achievement, intellectual promise, and community engagement, Hamilton also seeks to admit candidates who are a good fit with the programs and experiences offered by the College. Please take this opportunity (in 100 - 250 words) to tell us about your interest in Hamilton and, in particular, why you believe it is a place where you can thrive. Be open. Be honest. Be brief.

How do I submit supplemental application materials for fine and performing arts?

Candidates wishing to submit supplemental materials for the fine and performing arts will be directed to Hamilton's SlideRoom web portal when completing the Hamilton specific supplemental questions on The Common Application. Hamilton will absorb the fee for all Slide Room submissions. For more information, including instructions for submitting a creative writing supplement, please visit our Supplemental Applications Materials page.

Does Hamilton offer application fee waivers?

Yes.  As a school with generous financial aid that promises to meet 100% demonstrated financial need for all admitted students, Hamilton wants to ensure that application fees do not pose a barrier for any students who wish to apply for admission. Please refer to our application fee waiver page for more information.

How and when will I be notified of my decision?

Hamilton's policy is to release all admission decisions online. Follow up packages will be mailed to accepted students only.

In the letter and/or email acknowledging your application, you will be sent a login name and password for our secure My Hamilton portal where you will manage your personalized application checklist and receive your admission decision. Our decision notification dates, also communicated in the letter and in your My Hamilton account, are based on your specific application plan (Early Decision Round I, Early Decision Round II or Regular Decision). Any changes to decision notification dates will be communicated via email to the address you provided in your application, so please check it regularly throughout the application process.

Will Hamilton accept any other application besides The Common Application?

Starting in the Summer of 2016, Hamilton will also begin receiving applications through The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success.  Please check this site for more information coming this summer.

If I'm having problems saving my essay or submitting my application through The Common Application, what should I do?

Please visit The Common Application Support Center to search for known issues and fixes, daily updates and/or to submit a ticket for support. The Common Application team works hard to be as communicative and responsive as possible in such instances and they (and we) thank you in advance for your patience.

If I have requested assistance from The Common Application and still have an issue in process that is prohibiting me from submitting my application on time, what can I do?

Of course we are sympathetic to your situation and apologize for your troubles. If this is your situation, please contact the Hamilton Admission Office so we can consider granting you an extension to our application deadline.

I am a school official and I'm having difficulty submitting my school forms through Naviance or the Common Application system. Can you help?

Please work with The Common Application or Naviance directly to resolve your issues. But if all else fails, you can email or mail your supporting materials to Hamilton's Admission Office at admission@hamilton.edu or Hamilton College, Office of Admission, 198 College Hill Road, Clinton, NY 13323.

I’ve been admitted and intend to enroll at Hamilton, but am interested in requesting permission to take a gap year.  What are the deadlines and conditions for requesting a deferral of my enrollment?

We are generally supportive of gap-year requests and feel strongly that students should be encouraged to explore opportunities that are important to them before pursuing their Hamilton career.   However, this option is not intended for students to further their admission options one year later.  We are willing to hold a spot for a student in a subsequent year/class, but reserve this opportunity only for those who truly intend to enroll at Hamilton. 

To apply for a deferral, you first need to be enrolled at Hamilton by having submitted your enrollment deposit by May 1.  Once enrolled (or concurrent with submitting your deposit), you need to contact Director of Admission Lora Schilder with your reasons for requesting a gap-year and your proposed plans for the year.

The deadline for deferral requests is June 1st

Once approved, the conditions of your deferral are that you:

  • may not enroll in a degree program at another institution during the interim. (It’s okay to take college classes on a part-time basis, but the Admission Committee will, of course, review your grades in any college courses and revisit your candidacy based on your performance.)
  • will send us (by January 1st  of your gap year) a personal essay describing your gap-year experiences to date.
  • will submit (by January 1st  of your gap year) an additional $500 deposit to hold your place in the following year’s class.

If you are applying for financial aid, you must also file the College Scholarship Service (CSS) PROFILE application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before February 1st of your gap year.