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Applying To Purchase



The Office of Admissions at Purchase College seeks to enroll highly motivated, hard-working and academically strong students with a consistent record of achievement in a challenging high school curriculum. Generally, successful freshman applicants have earned a high school GPA of at least 3.0/85 and a combined Critical Reading and Math SAT score of at least 1100 or better (24 ACT composite score). Please review our fact sheet 2012 for more information about the students who have been admitted to the college.

Students that do not meet these exact requirements but demonstrate a compelling academic history or, in the case of our professional training programs in the visual and performing arts, exceptional artistic talent may still be considered for admission. For the additional admission requirements for students applying to programs in the visual and performing arts, see the Application Instructions section of this website.

All candidates are encouraged to pursue a rigorous college prep curriculum throughout their entire high school career, enhancing their college preparation through honors courses and Advanced Placement courses.

Minimum coursework requirements are:

  • Four years of English
  • Three years of Math (including Algebra, Geometry/Trigonometry, and another higher level math course)
  • Three years of lab science
  • Three years of social studies
  • Two years of the same foreign language

Affirmative Action

Purchase College is committed to admitting and enrolling a highly qualified and diverse student body whose members are well-poised to succeed in our programs. In order to achieve our recruitment and selection goals we undertake a holistic review of all applicants and consider the various personal experiences and circumstances that have shaped each individual. Admissions decisions are based on the quality of the applicants and the intended program of study

Score Choice:

Purchase College does not participate in the Score Choice option available through the College Board or the similar program through Educational Testing Service (ETS). We encourage you to submit scores from all test sittings of the SAT, ACT or SAT Subject Tests. However, SAT subject tests are not required for admission. Purchase College evaluates thousands of qualified applicants each year for admission; access to your full testing profile enables the admissions counselors to fully and fairly assess each applicant.

The Office of Admissions maintains a holistic review process with a focus on the quality of your academic program, your cumulative academic average, your test scores and your supplemental application. We regard standardized testing as a measurement of aptitude and it will continue to be part of our admissions process. We recommend testing for the SAT or ACT in the spring of junior year and fall of the senior year.


The decision on your application will be based on the quality of your academic program and your cumulative GPA from all colleges attended. Generally, successful transfer applicants have earned at least a 2.5 GPA. A cumulative GPA between a 2.0 and 2.5 will be considered based on evaluation of prior course selection and performance.

We recommend that all candidates successfully complete 24 college credits prior to applying and pursue a challenging curriculum at their prior institution(s). Transfer students who have completed fewer than 24 college credits will be evaluated on their high school coursework and test scores in addition to their college coursework (see the Freshman Admission Criteria above). All admission decisions are conditional, contingent upon the successful completion of all college coursework.

For admissions requirements for students applying to programs in the visual and performing arts, see the Application Instructions section of this website.

Requests for Additional Information:

When deemed necessary, the Office of Admissions may request additional information, such as, but not limited to, senior SAT or ACT exam scores; first quarter or midyear senior grades; etc., Such requests are made directly to the candidate. It is the responsibility of the applicant to submit all requested information to the Office of Admissions promptly upon request.


General Admission decisions are made and sent out on a rolling basis (no application deadline). Fall Admission decisions are mailed starting in January, and this process will continue until we reach our enrollment goals. The College reserves the right to close admission at any time.

The majority of our freshman applicants will receive their decisions before the first week in April, depending on when they applied, when their audition and or portfolio review took place, and of course whether the application is complete.

Accepted students have until May 1 or 30 days from their acceptance, whichever is later, to accept their appointment to Purchase College as per the terms of the acceptance letter. A deposit of $150 is required to reserve your place in our freshman class. After acceptance, you can pay your deposit online in your mypurchase account.


The Office of Admissions automatically considers applicants for scholarships to programs in the Liberal Arts and Sciences based on academic merit. Academic Merit is a combination of both high school grade point average and SAT/ACT scores for freshmen or college grade point average for transfer applicants.

Applicants to Conservatory programs will receive scholarship notification directly from the program to which they are applying. Conservatory faculty and Deans determine a student's eligibility for scholarships based upon the level of artistic ability demonstrated at the audition, interview and/or portfolio review. In accordance with NCAA Division III guidelines, athletic scholarships are not available.

All scholarships are based upon the availability of funds. Other variables may include residency, programs of interest, and time of admission.

Students must complete the FAFSA form and pay their enrollment deposit by May 1st to be awarded their scholarship. Deposits due by May 1st (Applicable to New students only).


Early Action

If Purchase College is your first choice college then you are invited to apply as an Early Action candidate. Early Action is a non-binding early application/notification program for fall Liberal Arts and Science freshmen. There is no early action option for transfer students, or for Visual Arts or Performing Arts students.

As an early action applicant, you may submit applications to other schools. If you are accepted through Early Action, you do not have to withdraw your applications at other institutions until May 1.

The Early Action application completion deadline is November 30. Read our complete set of application instructions. To be considered Early Action please make sure you check Early Action on the application.

The Admission Committee will admit, deny, or postpone early action applications by January 1st. Postponed applications will be reviewed again with the regular freshman applications in the spring. In such cases, the early action agreement is cancelled.

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Purchase College welcomes applications from students who completed a GED. An official GED diploma with a minimum score of 2800 is required for consideration. We will not evaluate an applicant's file with a photocopy of the GED. To obtain an official GED diploma visit the NYS Department of Education website at We also encourage all GED applicants to take the SAT or ACT and submit their official scores to the Office of Admissions.

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Homeschooled Applicants

Purchase College encourages applications from students with a wide variety of backgrounds. We attempt to be as fair and equitable as possible in evaluating these applicants to ensure they are given every consideration in the application process.

However, we acknowledge that the transcripts of homeschooled students may be different than those of traditional high school students. We also realize that homeschooled students may find that our application forms do not fit their individualized high school programs. Although individual students may not be able to submit everything that we ask for, homeschooled students should submit as much information as possible describing their curriculum, which may include course descriptions, texts read, and skill levels completed. This information can be very helpful as we examine a student’s ability in the five academic areas of math, science, social science, English, and foreign language.

In order to help us best assess the fit for Purchase College the application must include the following:

  • A transcript outlining the subjects studies and results of your high school program through the end of grade eleven.

  • Official SAT or ACT test scores (sent directly from the testing agency).

  • The Common Application homeschool supplement (if using the Common Application), or a detailed outline of the homeschool curriculum, including subject areas studied, texts used, and time spent on each discipline (if using the SUNY Application).

  • At least one letter of recommendation from a tutor, evaluator, or teacher who is not a family member. We prefer two academic references, but we realize that this may be difficult. A second letter of reference may come from an employer, supervisor, or any non-family member who can address important personal qualities such as responsibility, creativity, discipline, and initiative.

Applicants must also submit ONE of the following:

  1. A letter from the superintendent of the school district in which the student resides, attesting to the student’s completion of a program of home instruction that is the substantial equivalent of a four year high school course;

  2. The High School Equivalency Diploma; a passing score on the general comprehensive examination for the state high school equivalency diploma (GED) (and the diploma itself when available). A student may not take the GED test until July 1st of the year in which he or she turned 16.

  3. Successful completion as verified by the degree-granting institution of 24 semester hours as a recognized candidate for a college-level degree distributed in accordance with 8 NYCRR Section 3.47(a)(2)(ii)(d);

  4. A previous college-level degree from an accredited degree-granting institution; or

  5. Evidence of having passed five Regents examinations in the subjects listed in 8 NYCRR Section 3.47(a)(2)(ii)(f).

**A diploma issued by a correspondence school that is not accredited or registered in the state in which it is located is not acceptable as the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma.

It is important to note that we maintain the same academic standards for all applicants (see 'Applying to Purchase' under the Freshman Admission Criteria above).

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Educational Opportunity Program Candidates

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) is the New York State program designed to assist applicants who do not possess the general admission requirements, yet who show promise and potential for academic success as evidenced through a variety of scholastic indicators. This program is open to New York residents only. Applicants must also demonstrate historical financial need as specified by the policies governing the program. Applicants accepted through EOP are provided with academic and financial support to aid in their success. To be considered for the program, be sure to check “yes” for the EOP option on the SUNY Application or the Common Application.


All application materials (high school transcript, SAT or ACT scores and the supplemental application, and one letter of recommendation) must be submitted before an application will be reviewed for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). If a student is eligible for consideration, an invitation for an interview will be extended.

EOP applications are considered complete and will be reviewed if they include the following items:

  • Official High School Transcript (a high school average of 76 - 84) or Official GED

  • Official SAT scores from the College Board with a minimum score of 850 - 1000 (Critical Reading and Math only, with a minimum Critical Reading score of 450) or official ACT scores with a minimum Composite score of 19 - 23.*

  • One letter of Recommendation

  • Completed Supplemental Form

Once a student is conditionally admitted to the college they will need to provide the following documents to the EOP office:

*NOTE: Students found ineligible for EOP based on the academic criteria stated above may still be considered for general, non-EOP admission to the college.

Transfer Students:

Transfer students must be an EOP/HEOP/Seek/College Discovery student at their current institution in order to be eligible for EOP at Purchase College. All application materials, including the Transfer Verification Form must be submitted before your application will be reviewed for the Education Opportunity program. If you are eligible for consideration, an invitation for an EOP Transfer Information Session will be extended.

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Deferred Admission

Applicants who have been offered admission to Purchase College may delay their enrollment for up to one year. Students requesting deferred entrance must submit the following:

  • A written request asking for permission to defer sent to Requests must be submitted by the following dates:

    Fall Semester: August 24
    Spring Semester: January 11

  • Signed Deferral Contract which will be sent to students once the original request is received by the Office of Admissions.

  • An enrollment deposit for the original term of entry, which will be credited to the new term of entry.

A student granted deferred admission must agree not to enroll at another college or university as a full-time student, nor may the student apply to other colleges or universities during the deferral year. If the deferral request is not granted, Purchase College will return the deposit and send information about reactivating the application at a later date. Students applying for financial aid should note that a deferral does not guarantee a financial aid award for the semester the student enrolls at Purchase College. The financial aid application process must be completed annually to determine eligibility for financial aid.

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Second Bachelors Degree

If you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree, you can apply to Purchase College as a freshman to pursue a second one. To be admitted, you must meet all of the admissions requirements (see APPLYING TO PURCHASE). Students who plan to receive two bachelor’s degrees from Purchase College must satisfy the academic requirements for each degree and for two major fields. A second degree presumes that the student meets all the requirements for the first degree.

  • A minimum of 30 credits of additional work is required when a student with a B.A. or B.S. degree in one discipline at Purchase College matriculates for a B.A., B.S., B.F.A., or Mus.B. degree in another discipline.

  • B.F.A. and Mus.B. students must meet the 90-credit liberal arts requirement for a B.A. or B.S. degree; liberal arts credits earned toward the B.F.A. or Mus.B. may count toward this requirement.

You may be eligible for some types of loan funding but not for institutional financial aid or federal or state grants.

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Students who were enrolled in Purchase College at one time and subsequently withdrew from the college are encouraged to re-enroll. The readmission process takes place through the Registrar’s Office, not the Office of Admissions. An application to the Office of Admissions is NOT required. The process is not automatic, but requires an evaluation by the Registrar and the faculty of the students program of interest. For more information visit /departments/Registrar/Readmission.aspx

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Purchase College does not offer evaluative interviews for admissions except for select programs in the Visual and Performing Arts. These interviews occur during the application process by invitation only.

However, if you are interested in speaking with an admissions counselor you can arrange an informative interview. These interviews must be made in advance on weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. by calling the Office of Admissions at 914-251-6300.

The lack of an interview will not have an adverse impact on your admissions decision.

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