What You Need to Know About Applying to Macaulay Honors College

Applying to Macaulay

When you apply to Macaulay, you can only select one campus. If you don't get into Macaulay, you're most likely still going to get into that particular campus. However, if you apply to Macaulay at, say, Hunter College, you can't apply for a regular spot at Queens College (forgive me if I've mistaken). The application usually begins in November and is due early December.

The students applying to Macaulay usually have a strong academic record (high grades, challenging classes), and high standardized test scores. Here are the statistics from Macaulay:

Statistic
2005
2014
Applicants
1,398
4,069
Accepted
495
869
Acceptance Rate
35.0%
21.3%
HS Average
92.6
93.5
SAT Total
1288
1402
SAT Verbal
630
640
SAT Math
658
700

However, Macaulay's admissions process tends to be unpredictable. Because many New York City students apply to CUNYs as "safeties," and thus apply to Macaulay since it's actually "up there," it's hard to predict whether or not Macaulay is a safety, target or reach. There are some campuses that are a lot easier to get into than others, though. Hunter College is usually the most competitive to get into because it has the largest pool of applicants (even though it accepts the most students into the Honors College). Hunter is especially attractive because it provides free dorming for the first 3 years.

Popular Majors at Macaulay

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • English
  • Finance
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology

Applying to Macaulay

When you apply to Macaulay, you can only select one campus. If you don't get into Macaulay, you're most likely still going to get into that particular campus. However, if you apply to Macaulay at, say, Hunter College, you can't apply for a regular spot at Queens College (forgive me if I've mistaken). The application usually begins in November and is due early December.

Statistics

The students applying to Macaulay usually have a strong academic record (high grades, challenging classes), and high standardized test scores. For instance, students applying in 2010 had an average GPA of 93.3 and SATs of 1384 out of 1600. Here are the statistics published by Macaulay:

Statistic
2005
2014
Applicants
1,398
4,069
Accepted
495
869
% Accepted
35.0%
21.3%
HS Average
92.6%
93.5
SAT Total
1288
1402
SAT Verbal
630
640
SAT Math
658
700

However, Macaulay's admissions process tends to be unpredictable. Because many New York City students apply to CUNYs as "safeties," and thus apply to Macaulay since it's actually "up there," it's hard to predict whether or not Macaulay is a safety, target or reach.

There are some campuses that are a lot easier to get into than others, though. Hunter College is usually the most competitive to get into because it has the largest pool of applicants (even though it accepts the most students into the Honors College). Hunter is especially attractive because it provides free dorming for the first 3 years.

Order of Selectivity By Campus

This list is ranked from most selective to least selective. However, this is based on word of mouth and personal experience so use at your own risk.

  • Hunter College
  • Baruch College
  • Queens College / Brooklyn College
  • Lehman College

Books I've Personally Bought and Recommend for College Applications and College Research

U.S. News Ultimate College Guide 2011
U.S. News Ultimate College Guide 2011

Mine is from years ago, and it was a great investment. I used US News to look up information on stats (financial aid applicants; % accepted; endowments, etc.) Great for doing research on which colleges to apply to, how affordable a school is, types of financial aid, rankings, acceptance rates!

 
Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011
Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011

I used Fiske for my college applications and college research. I found that I consulted this every time I visited a college, had an interview, did my applications. Great for those "why I want to attend this school" essays! A must-read for college applicants.

 
Making It into a Top College, 2nd Edition: 10 Steps to Gaining Admission to Selective Colleges and Universities (Greene's Guides)
Making It into a Top College, 2nd Edition: 10 Steps to Gaining Admission to Selective Colleges and Universities (Greene's Guides)

Great insight into the college application process. I bought this when applying to colleges to get the gist of what college admissions officers look for, and how applicants can make themselves more desirable to colleges.

 

Choosing Which Macaulay Campus is Right For You

Before deciding which campus you should apply to, take a look at their websites to see which fields they're strongest in. In addition, consider the acceptance rate of each campus, and your living situation (would you be dorming, renting an apartment, living at home?)

Over the years, I've heard interesting things about each campus so here's just my two cents (I know more about Queens, Hunter, City, and Baruch so feel free to ask me questions about them; not that much about Lehman or Brooklyn) about a few of the campuses:

Queens College

  • If you want to become a teacher or do anything related to education, this is the place for you
  • Relatively easy to get into for Macaulay
  • Peaceful neighborhood

Brooklyn College

  • My friends who wanted to be doctors applied to Brooklyn for Macaulay so check it out if that's your dream as well
  • Not as competitive as Hunter for Macaulay
  • Not as many applicants

Hunter College

  • The largest of the campuses
  • Unpredictable when it comes to admissions because they receive so many applicants
  • Great for liberal arts and students who are "undecided" because they have a variety of fields, programs, majors, and opportunities
  • Right near the train station so it's pretty convenient
  • Dorms are not as beautiful as those of other schools. The dorms are all singles so it might be harder to meet people. There's a lounge downstairs in the building that's usually crowded at nights, and a tennis court right outside. Not everyone in the dorms are Macaulay students, by the way.

Baruch College

  • Great for business, accounting, and related fields
  • Students can also study journalism
  • Easier to get into than Hunter College

Lehman College

  • Pretty easy to get into for Macaulay
  • Food court is good but I didn't like it
  • Near train station so very convenient
  • Near a few other high schools and colleges

City College

  • Great for engineering, architecture, sciences, mathematics
  • Harder to get into than Baruch College for Macaulay
  • Neighborhood is very urban

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Comments 4 comments

June Davis 5 years ago

I'm having trouble choosing between City and Hunter. If I don't get into City, can I get into Hunter?


anna 5 years ago

You have great advice on applying to college. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


won 4 years ago

trying macaulay at baruch with 2190 on SAT and 3.6 unweighted GPA.. if I get in, im going there


Christina 3 years ago

This is a great article on the Macaulay Honors College. I liked that you added how unpredictable the admissions process can be. Grades and SAT scores are not everything, I cannot stress this enough. I know a lot of friends that got into this program with grades far below the average grades. Just because you have good grades, does not guarantee you a spot in the program. If any of you got in, I congratulate you. I'm currently a student at the Macaulay Honors College at Queens College and deciding to go to this school was probably the best decision I made. I also have to add that just because some schools are more difficult to get into, does not mean that the Macaulay honors program will be different or better in some way. All Macaulay honors programs are the same. You all receive the same benefits within the honors college. The differences lie within each campus, so do your research to decide which campus fits you best. Good luck to all of you!

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