How to Get Into Hamilton College: Admissions Stats + Tips
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- How Hard Is It to Get Into Hamilton College?
- Average Academic Profile of Accepted Hamilton College Students
- What is Hamilton College Looking for?
- How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Hamilton College
Hamilton students share many of the characteristics embodied by the college’s namesake, Alexander Hamilton (founding father, first treasurer of the U.S., and subject of an award-winning Broadway musical)—they’re independent thinkers, persuasive writers, and powerful speakers. At the heart of a Hamilton education is the college’s open curriculum that allows students to pursue courses that interest them and requires just a few required classes for graduation.
How Hard Is It to Get Into Hamilton College?
Hamilton accepted just 1,370 students to its Class of 2025 out of a pool of 7,443 applications—an overall acceptance rate of roughly 18%. Hamilton received 552 early decision applications to its Class of 2025, of which they accepted 253 students—an early decision acceptance rate of almost 46%.
Hamilton College’s acceptance rate is incredibly low, but your chances are centered around the strength of your profile. CollegeVine can help you better understand your odds of admission at Hamilton. Our free admissions calculator uses factors like your grades, test scores, and extracurriculars to estimate your odds of acceptance and offer tips to improve your profile!
Average Academic Profile of Accepted Hamilton College Students
Hamilton didn’t report the average high school GPA of their Class of 2025, however, it’s important to know that you’ll need excellent academics to earn admission to the college.
The middle 50% SAT score of Hamilton’s Class of 2025 is 1410-1500. The middle 50% ACT score is 32-34.
Hamilton attracts high-performing applicants—86% of their Class of 2025 graduated in the top tenth of their high school class and 99% graduated in the top quarter.
What is Hamilton College Looking for?
The school makes three promises to its students: at Hamilton, you can study what interests you, be accepted for who you are and what you believe, and prepare to be the person you were meant to become. Hamilton places a great deal of responsibility on its students and allows them to take an active role in the direction of their education; consequently, many of their students are driven, academically curious, and self-motivated.
Hamilton values a student body made up of people from different backgrounds, who’ve had different experiences, and who view the world from different perspectives. Hamilton’s Class of 2025 comes from 37 states and 30 countries, 32.6% of the Class of 2025 are students of color, and 18.4% are first-generation college students.
Hamilton values the interview more than many of its peer colleges. Many of Hamilton’s interviews are conducted by admission officials and students are expected to talk about themselves and why they’re interested in Hamilton during their interview.
How Hamilton College Evaluates Applications
According to their 2020-2021 Common Data Set, Hamilton College considers the following factors “very important”:
- Course rigor
- Class rank
These factors are “important”:
- Recommendation letters
These are “considered”:
- Extracurricular activities
- Test scores
- Geographical location
- State residence
- First generation
- Racial/ethnic status
- Volunteer work
- Work experience
- Applicant interest
And these are “not considered”:
- Religious affiliation
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Hamilton College
1. Achieve the highest GPA possible while taking the most challenging classes available
Academics are at the forefront of Hamilton admissions—the only three factors the college considers “very important” are GPA, class rank, and course rigor. Applicants admitted to Hamilton have excellent academic profiles, with 86% of the college’s Class of 2025 having graduated in the top tenth of their high school class.
To receive strong consideration at Hamilton, you’ll need to have earned all, or mostly all, As while taking the most challenging coursework available. It’s common for applicants admitted to Hamilton to have taken upward of 12 AP classes in high school.
Selective schools like Hamilton use a tool known as the Academic Index to streamline admissions. The Academic Index is your entire academic record distilled into a single number. If your Academic Index fails to meet Hamilton’s standard, you risk being viewed as academically unqualified and your application may not receive a thorough review.
If your GPA is low but you’re early in your high school career, there is time to raise it—check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, raising your GPA is harder. The easiest way to improve your Academic Index is to get high test scores.
2. Write an engaging essay
After clearing Hamilton’s academic thresholds, essays are the best method for setting yourself apart from other applicants. Hamilton views the essay as “important” to admissions decisions. Hamilton accepts the Common Application, Coalition Application, and the QuestBridge Application, and you are required to submit the essay corresponding to your application.
Hamilton is “trying to figure out who would take advantage of the opportunities Hamilton offers and contribute to our community in meaningful ways” when making admissions decisions and the essay is an awesome opportunity to show them how you fit at the college. Remember to show them who you really are, highlight your character (which Hamiltons also views as “important”), and write in your own unique voice.
3. Have an Excellent Interview
Hamilton places more weight on interviews than its peer colleges. Hamilton considers the interview “important” to its admissions process and although an interview is optional at Hamilton, they’re encouraged. The value Hamilton places on the interview provides you with a unique opportunity—it gives you the chance, person-to-person, to explain why you belong at Hamilton and how the college will benefit from you being on campus.
Hamilton interviews are with either admissions officials or specially trained Hamilton seniors and are taken via video or in person. No matter what type of Hamilton interview you sit for, make sure you’re prepared. Study up on everything you need to know about college interviews and make sure you’re ready to answer common college interview questions.
Remember, interviews give you the chance to make a face-to-face case for your admission—prepare to highlight your strengths, interests, and other characteristics not readily apparent on your application and show why you fit at Hamilton.
4. Submit a Compelling Recommendation
Recommendations are “important” to Hamilton admissions and a persuasive letter from a teacher can hold an enormous amount of sway with admissions officials. A letter of recommendation from a teacher can provide insight into your intellectual qualities, academic talent, and potential as a college student. They’re also personal and advocate for your admission.
Because of the weight Hamilton places on recommendation letters, receiving an attention-grabbing letter is crucial. Teachers are busy, commonly asked to write numerous letters of recommendation, and not compensated for doing so. The nine rules for requesting letters of recommendation from teachers provide a playbook for ensuring you give teachers enough time and support to compose a powerful recommendation.
5. Apply Early Decision
Hamilton has three admissions tracks: early decision I (ED I), early decision II (ED II), and regular decision. Applying early decision at Hamilton provides an enormous admissions advantage—the college accepted 46% of early decision applicants to its Class of 2025 compared to just 18% of all applicants. Early decision acceptance represents roughly 15% to 20% of Hamilton’s total acceptances each year.
Early decision is a great strategy for giving your admissions odds a boost, but it’s not for everyone. ED I and ED II are both binding, which means that by applying through the process you commit to attending Hamilton if accepted. Consequently, early decision at Hamilton is best for applicants who have carefully weighed their college options—academically, financially, and socially—and are positive that Hamilton is where they want to attend.
How to Apply to Hamilton College
Early Decision I
Early Decision II
Hamilton College accepts the Common Application, Coalition Application, and QuestBridge Application. Other application requirements include:
- Mid-year report
- Teacher recommendation
Optional requirements include:
- Performing/Studio Art supplement
- Personal interview
Learn more about Hamilton College
Interested in learning more about Hamilton? Check out these other informative articles:
- What Does It Cost to Attend Hamilton College?
- The 10 Best Colleges in New York
- The 15 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the U.S.
- What Are the Little Ivies and NESCAC?
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