Admissions Office

First-Year

We hope you apply to Union College. Union offer three rounds for applying – Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Decision.

Early Decision (ED) is binding and, if admitted, ED candidates must attend Union. We appreciate the commitment of students applying ED and favor these applicants in the process. ED has a higher rate of acceptance. ED I applications are due on November 15 and ED II applications are due on January 15, with decision notification occurring approximately one month after the deadline. Learn more about applying ED here.

Early Action (EA) allows students to apply and learn of their decision early without committing to enroll. EA applications are due on November 1 and applicants will be notified of a decision in late December, but have until May 1 to choose Union. The acceptance rate for EA is similar to the rate for Regular Decision.

Regular Decision (RD) is the third option for applying to Union and, like EA, is not binding. Applications are due on January 15 and decisions are released in late March. Applicants have until May 1 to enroll at Union.

We also offer the opportunity to apply for the eight-year Leadership in Medicine-Health Management program (deadline: Nov 15) and the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program (deadline: Jan 15).

Applying

We advise prospective students to visit our campus for a tour and personal interview. Your personal interview with one of our Admissions counselors or highly trained senior interns is a way for you to round out your profile and let us learn more about your college interests and goals. We'll also be able to discuss any questions you have about Union.

To be considered for admission, please submit the following:

  • Common Application or the Coalition Application. There is a $60 application fee for domestic students. Fee waivers are available to eligible students and can be requested as you fill out the application. Your school counselor will be asked to complete the fee waiver request.
  • Personal essay
  • Official high school transcript(s)
  • First quarter senior grades for early decision applicants, mid-year or first trimester senior grades for all other applicants
  • Counselor letter of recommendation
  • Teacher letter of recommendation
  • Financial aid forms (if applicable)
  • Standardized Testing (optional, except for homeschooled students and those applying for the Leadership in Medicine program or the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program). Our school code for the SAT is 2920 and for the ACT our code is 2970. Self reported scores are accepted for applicants. Official score reports are required for all enrolling students.
    Please note: For applicants who select to have their SAT or ACT scores considered during the review process, the writing section is not required unless you are applying for the Leadership in Medicine program.

What we look for

We seek students with excellent grades and look favorably on applicants who exceed the minimum number of high school courses required. Honors, advanced, and Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses are strongly encouraged. Your secondary school recommendations are also important. Beyond academic excellence, we look for personal responsibility and integrity and carefully review your talents and background. In particular, we look for students who can participate enthusiastically and constructively in the life of the College. The Admissions Committee will also carefully consider applications from students whose preparation is unusual and who, for good reasons, do not meet the norms above.

Union has a longstanding commitment to admitting an economically diverse student body. We meet the full demonstrated financial need of all admitted students. In order to meet this commitment we are need aware in the admissions process.

Common Application essay prompts

The choices are as follows:

  • Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  • Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  • Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  • Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  • Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  • Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Coalition Application essay prompts

  • Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
  • Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
  • Has there been a time when you’ve had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?
  • What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What’s the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?
  • Submit an essay on a topic of your choice.

Arts portfolio

We value students with special talents in music, visual arts, theater and dance. To have your skills considered in the admissions process, please submit your work online through the Common Application or on Union SlideRoom. We only evaluate work submitted through this website.

All students who apply Early Decision I to Union (deadline November 15) should have their SlideRoom Arts supplement submitted by November 15 for evaluation.

All Students who apply Early Decision II or Regular Decision to Union (deadline January 15) should have their SlideRoom Arts supplement submitted by January 15 for evaluation. 

Leadership in Medicine applicants (deadline November 15) should have their SlideRoom Arts supplement submitted by January 15 for evaluation.