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Whether you just graduated high school or you’ve taken a gap year (or more), if you have not yet attended college you should apply as a freshman. Even if you’ve taken college-level courses in high school, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, you’re still a freshman.
Who We’re Looking For
It takes a certain nature to thrive at Purchase. While we seek to enroll academically qualified students with a consistent record of achievement in a challenging high school curriculum, we also seek students with grit—the determination to strive and succeed.
Successful students at Purchase are highly motivated, intellectually curious, and deeply engaged in our community as well as the world at large. Our students are passionate about their goals and persevere to achieve them. They are daring—willing to take calculated risks to achieve more when they create works of art, engage in research and scholarship, or take on internships. They are driven to succeed and exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit in creating that success for themselves. In addition, Purchase students are often socially aware and will take an active stand for what they believe in. All candidates are encouraged to pursue a rigorous college prep curriculum throughout their entire high school career, enhancing their college preparation through honors and Advanced Placement coursework. The Office of Admissions maintains a holistic review process with a focus on the quality of your academic program, your cumulative academic average, your Think Wide Open Statement, and supplemental information.
Generally, successful freshman applicants have earned a GPA of 3.0 (or 85 on a 100 point scale).
Purchase does not require scores from the SAT or ACT exam (with exceptions), though applicants are given the option to submit them. It is recommended that test scores be submitted only if it is believed to benefit the application. For applicants who are considering submitting scores, we typically prefer the following:
- SAT: 1170 total score; minimum Reading score of 24
- ACT: 24 Composite
Students who are required to submit test scores include:
- Applicants who are homeschooled
- International students, who will need to provide a TOEFL score
- Applicants who attended secondary schools that provide only narrative evaluations rather than some form of grading scale
Think Wide Open Statement
Purchase College’s motto is “Think Wide Open.” It’s our way of learning, teaching and being and so much more. By choosing Purchase, students make a conscious decision to join an intense community with a deep respect for individuality and diversity and an unparalleled environment of creativity and innovation. As an applicant, we want to know what Think Wide Open means to you. All students submit either an essay, video or other creative work (poem, song, visual artwork, etc.). It should be original and should connect to Think Wide Open broadly or specifically. Videos and creative works should include a brief introduction or statement that helps contextualize your submission for the viewer/reader.