Purchase College Acceptance Rate

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The State University of New York at Purchase, commonly known as SUNY at Purchase or Purchase College, is a public institution for higher learning located in Harrison, New York. Found in the hamlet of Purchase, the school belongs to the 13 comprehensive colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. It was founded by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1967 and dubbed as the SUNY system’s  “cultural gem.”

Built on a 500-acre campus, Purchase College has been offering a one-of-a-kind educational experience by combining a traditional style of learning with the aspects of a liberal arts and sciences program since 1971. The college offers bachelor’s degrees, professional and post-graduate certificates, adult education and pre-college programs to a diverse student population.

Purchase College Acceptance Rate

According to data in 2016, the undergraduate acceptance rate of Purchase College was 43.5%. This means out of 6,762 applications that year, 2,942 admissions were made. This is higher than the acceptance rate of 40.8% in 2015.

Before an application packet is considered complete, applicants need to submit either the SUNY Application or the Common Application online plus the required fee. Regardless of the application type, prospective students still need to submit official high school transcripts, SAT and ACT scores, a personal essay and a letter of recommendation from a high school counselor or teacher.

The selection process is based on the relevance and strength of the high school program completed, standardized test scores, grades, the contents of the letter of recommendation, and the quality of the essay submitted.

Admitted Students Profile

The total enrollment at Purchase College is 4,156 students. The school has 3,770 full-time students and 386 part-time students. This means 90.7% of the school’s enrolled students are full-timers.

Both undergraduate and graduate students at Purchase College are 52.5% White, 18.4% Hispanic or Latino, 10.7% Black or African American, 4.79% Two or More Races, 3.78% Asian, 0.289% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.168% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders.

Tuition Figures

The cost of tuition at Purchase College in 2016 amounted to $6,470. This is far below the overall national average for Baccalaureate Colleges which is $24,415.

SUNY at Purchase provides students with many financial aid scholarships, grants, federally-subsidized loans, and work-study programs. To be considered for any of these aids, students are required to complete the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) that can be accessed online starting January. This application should be accomplished early in order to be considered for as many forms of aid as possible.


Purchase College spans approximately 500 acres and is located in Westchester County, New York. It is situated on the former Strathglass farm. Before being turned into a school, the property was under the ownership of Thomas Thomas, an American Revolutionary war soldier. The college is adjacent to the Westchester County Airport and is across the street from the corporate headquarters of PepsiCo.


SUNY at Purchase is a modern liberal arts college offering bachelor’s degrees, professional certificates and post-baccalaureate certificates in many programs. The school is known for having an extensive fine arts program that includes dance, theater arts, and music conservatories. It also has a school of art design and an arts management program.

The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences is divided into six different colleges, which include the School of Natural and Social Sciences, the School of Film and Media Studies, the School of Humanities, and other interdisciplinary programs and undeclared studies.

The degrees conferred by the school are Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Fine Arts (MFA), and the Master of Music (MM).

For the BS and BA degree, students are required to take a senior project in which they dedicate two semesters to comprehensive, original, and creative study. This should be done under the close supervision of a faculty mentor. Meanwhile, the BFA and MusB studies culminate in a recital, film, or senior exhibition. To finish a master’s degree program, students need to do a thesis.

Those who wish to continue their educations with professional certificates or postgraduate certificates can proceed to the school’s Continuing Education department. Aside from handling certificate programs, this department is in charge of online courses and personal enrichment courses.

Student Life

Purchase College takes pride in having an active, student-centered campus life. The school hosts a variety of clubs, organizations, and services that encourages students to engage in their hobbies and interests with one another. The school has more than 50 of these organizations, which reflects its on-campus diversity. Some of the groups include Complexuality, Gamers United, Cheese Club, and F.O.R.T.H., or Feminists Organizing Real Transformation Here.

The school also has its own student government association. The Purchase Student Government Association (PSGA) is a nonprofit corporation responsible for managing the money collected from Purchase College students’ Mandatory Student Activity Fee. There are three branches of PSGA: executive, legislative, and judicial.

These branches are subcategorized into six bodies: the Executive Board, the Senate, the Judicial Board, the Council of Clubs & Organizations, the Student Activities Board, and Services Board.

Aside from advocating on the student body’s behalf, the PSGA is in charge of facilitating the college’s Student Center, and most non-academic activities on campus. They also run various student-run services, and all clubs and organizations.


SUNY at Purchase calls its teams the Purchase Panthers. They are a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division III and the Skyline Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, and volleyball. Meanwhile, women’s sports include basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, and volleyball.

In addition, the Purchase College Athletic Department houses non-varsity and intramural teams/clubs. Intramural teams include basketball, flag football, floor hockey, indoor soccer, racquet sports, co-ed softball, Water Polo, Quidditch, and volleyball.

Intramural clubs include Men’s Lacrosse, fencing club, stage combat, Tae Kwan Do, Ultimate Frisbee club, Nerf club, Outdoors Adventure, field hockey, Chung Do Kwan, equestrian, Zumba, and PiYo.

Notable Alums

Purchase College takes pride in producing hundreds of alumni who have later on pursued successful careers in different fields. The school’s alumni are well-represented throughout the arts. Some of the most well-known Purchase Panthers who became actors include:

  • Rochelle Aytes
  • Susie Essman
  • Edie Falco
  • Zoë Kravitz
  • Amanda Seales
  • Melissa Leo
  • James McDaniel
  • Janel Moloney
  • Parker Posey
  • Ving Rhames
  • Jay O. Sanders
  • Wesley Snipes
  • Sherry Stringfield
  • Stanley Tucci
  • Shea Whigham
  • Constance Wu

Other alumni from the School of Liberal Arts are the following:

  • NY Assembly Woman, Latrice Walker
  • Curator, Luis Croquer
  • Director of Amnesty International, Adotei Akwei
  • Authors Nora Raleigh Baskin, Garth Greenwell, David Graeber, and Jeanne Darst
  • Scientists Jill Bargonetti and Carl Safina
  • Journalists Manohla Dargis and Adam Nagourney
  • Film Director, Danny Leiner

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