The Admissions Committee is concerned with the candidate’s ability to profit from and contribute to the academic, intellectual, and extracurricular life of the College.
Three factors are considered in evaluating each application:
- The candidate’s record in secondary school, including grades, the challenge and quality of courses taken, and rank in class
- The recommendations of the secondary school
- The personal qualities and extracurricular record of the candidate
The Admissions Committee attempts to broaden geographic and socioeconomic distribution of the student body by giving preference to students who live or attend schools in regions not well represented in the College and to students who will broaden the range of backgrounds and lifestyles within the College community.
The candidate’s potential contribution to the Union community is also taken into consideration. Union is a close-knit community and, as such, depends heavily upon the constructive participation of each individual in the life of the College.
Application and Admission Procedures
Applications should be filed by January 15 of the final year in secondary school, with the exception of applications to the Leadership in Medicine program which are due by November 15. The Admissions Committee generally announces its decisions at the end of March and no later than April 15. There is no application fee.
Admitted candidates must reserve places by paying the $500 admissions and security deposit on or before May 1. The admitted applicant then becomes a degree candidate entitled to a place in the class with all the rights and privileges of a Union student. Reservations submitted without the deposit are considered incomplete. If the degree candidate withdraws for any reason or is removed from candidacy for the degree before successfully completing three terms at Union, the admissions and security deposit is retained by the College in consideration of the degree candidate’s placement in the class. After the student successfully completes three terms, if all obligations of the student to the College, financial and otherwise, are satisfied, the deposit may be refunded upon withdrawal (within the specified guidelines), removal, or graduation.
Requirements for Admissions: The Admissions Committee will carefully consider applications from candidates whose preparation is unusual and who, for good reason, do not meet the norms as stated below. Normally, a minimum of 16 units (courses) of secondary school preparation are required for admission. These should include certain fundamentals such as English, a foreign language, mathematics, social studies, and science. The following units are prescribed:
For Liberal Arts: Students should have four years of English, at least two years of a foreign language, and a minimum of two and one-half years of college preparatory mathematics. Students planning to major in chemistry, physics, and mathematics should have at least three and one-half years of mathematics.
For Engineering: Students planning to complete the engineering curriculum should have elementary and intermediate algebra, geometry, trigonometry, chemistry, physics, and four years of English. Although more advanced mathematics work is not required, it will prove helpful.
For the Leadership in Medicine Program: Students applying for the accelerated B.S./M.S. or M.B.A./M.D. program sponsored by Union College, Union Graduate College, and Albany Medical College must present at least four years of English, one year of biology and chemistry, and at least three years of college preparatory mathematics. A year of physics is recommended but not required.
Interviews and Group Information Sessions: Interviews are strongly recommended. Appointments may be made in advance of the proposed visit by calling (518) 388-6112 or using www.union.edu/visit. Personal interviews are offered weekdays from May 1 to January 15. Off campus interviews are offered by alumni. Register at www.union.edu/alumniinterview from August 15 to December 15.
Student-guided tours are available in conjunction with group information sessions weekdays and on many Saturdays throughout the year. Interviews are available for students who will be seniors from May 1 until January 31. Transfers may visit and interview at any time. Contact the Admissions Office for daily schedules or consult www.union.edu/visit.
School Reports and Recommendations: The secondary school report form, requesting a recommendation from the guidance counselor and a transcript of the academic record, is part of the Common or Coalition Application. The transcript should include a listing of the courses in progress as well as completed courses. A report of mid-year grades is required. The Admissions Committee requires that each candidate request a letter of recommendation from one of his or her secondary school teachers. The recommendation may be submitted online through the Common or Coalition Application or sent directly to the Admissions Office by the teacher. All materials must be on file with the Admissions Office by February 1.
College Entrance Examinations: Standardized testing is optional for most applicants. The SAT I with writing and two SAT II exams (in mathematics and a science) or the ACT with writing are required of those applicants considering the Leadership in Medicine program. For the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program, applicants must submit either the SAT I or the ACT. The November test date is the last test date available to applicants to Leadership in Medicine; December for the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program. Testing is strongly recommended for U.S. residents for whom English is not a first language; the TOEFL, ACT or SAT I fulfill that requirement. Applicants must arrange to have official score reports sent to the College by the College Board or by the American College Testing Program. Under terms of its membership in these organizations, the College cannot honor reports sent by the candidate or secondary school.
Early Decision: A significant number of Union’s applicants request Early Decision. The College recommends this program to all candidates who have decided that Union is their first choice college. A candidate who wishes to be considered for Early Decision must check the appropriate space on the application for admission. An early decision application carries with it the commitment that the candidate will enroll if admitted. Regular applications to other colleges may be filed, with the understanding that these will be withdrawn if the candidate is accepted to Union.
Applications and requests for Early Decision must be received by the College by November 15 for Option I or January 15 for Option II. All other forms and credentials, including the Early Decision Agreement, must also be received by November 15 or January 15, respectively. Early Decision candidates will be notified of the decision by December 15 for Option I and by February 1 for Option II. Candidates not offered admission under the Early Decision Program may either be issued a denial of admission or may be deferred to the regular applicant group and reconsidered.
Early Admission: In recent years, a number of high school students have expressed an interest in accelerated completion of high school requirements and early admission to the College. The Admissions Committee will consider candidates for early admission providing that, on the basis of high school achievement, they have demonstrated the potential to do college-level work. Interviews are required of candidates requesting early admission.
In addition to the application requirements described above, applicants who are citizens of other countries must be proficient in reading, listening, writing, and speaking English as English is the language of instruction at Union. The Admissions Committee strongly recommends that all international students (for whom English is not their first language) submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS examination. The SAT I or ACT is also strongly recommended for international applicants.
Limited financial aid is available to non-U.S. citizens. Union expects international applicants to be able to contribute a minimum of $7,500 (US) each year toward the cost of attending. All aid is determined by the College’s evaluation of a family’s financial contribution. To apply for aid, non-U.S. citizens must include a complete copy of the International CSS Profile. Canadian citizens are required to file the CSS PROFILE form with the appropriate agency before February 1. Additional information is available at www.union.edu/financialaid.
Union welcomes the applications of students wishing to transfer from other two-year and four-year colleges. In making its decisions, the Admissions Committee considers college work completed and the recommendations of appropriate officials at the college presently attended. Students should arrange for transcripts of all college work, a secondary school transcript and recommendations to be sent to the Admissions Office. An interview is recommended, but not required.
Financial aid for transfer students is limited and depends on the economic need of the student, in addition to the academic and extracurricular promise demonstrated. Candidates for financial aid must submit the College Scholarship Service’s PROFILE Form and the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Form to their respective processing agencies by the application deadline.
The admissions process for transfer students follows a separate timetable. For admission to the fall term, transfer applicants must submit their completed applications by April 15. For entry into the winter term, the deadline is November 1; while into the spring term, the applicable date is February 1. All applicants are notified of admissions decision on a rolling basis. Admission for spring and winter terms is on a space available basis only.
Union has articulation agreements with Berkshire County Community College in Pittsfield, MA; and Schenectady County Community College in Schenectady, NY (for children of homeowners in the College Park neighborhood).
Occasionally, non-matriculated students, who have begun their college education elsewhere, may wish to attend the College on a full-time basis. These students are considered visiting students. They may take courses full-time at the College for a maximum of two trimesters, at which time they must apply for transfer admission and be admitted to the College before continuing their studies. High school students who wish to take a course or courses at Union should inquire about that possibility at the Registrar’s Office.
Application: Must be filed by January 15 of the candidate’s senior year. Applications for the 3+3 Accellerated Law Program must be filed by January 1. The deadline for the Leadership in Medicine program is November 15. Transfer applications should be filed by April 15 for Fall term, November 1 for Winter term, and February 1 for Spring term.
School Transcripts: Secondary School Report forms are included in the Common Application and should be completed and filed by school authorities by February 1. Updated transcripts should be requested from the schools at the mid-year and in June.
Entrance Examinations: Standardized testing is optional for most applicants. If the candidate submits testing, the SAT I and SAT II Tests or the ACT must be completed by January of the senior year (by November/December for accelerated programs).
Interviews: Individual interviews are strongly recommended and must be completed by the middle of January.
Financial Aid Applicants: Applicants must file the College Scholarship Service’s PROFILE Form and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the appropriate agencies no later than February 1. Citizens of other countries file the International CSS Profile.
Admissions and Financial Aid Decisions: Will be announced before April 15.
Candidate Reply Date: Accepted candidates will be expected to reserve places in the first-year class by May 1.
Early Decision: Two options are available. Applications and credentials received by November 15 will be considered under Option I; decisions will be announced by December 15. Option II provides for receipt of applications and credentials by January 15; decisions will be announced by February 1. By applying Early Decision, the student undertakes a commitment to attend Union College if admitted.
Admissions Office Hours: Weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Selected Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., April, July through November.
Guided Campus Tours: Weekdays from the Admissions Office, www.union.edu/visit. Selected Saturday tours, April, July through November.