Everything You Need to Know About Applying to Macaulay Honors

Eric Dayts, a college senior at Macaulay Hunter, gives insight on the selection process at Macaulay Honors and how he interviews applicants.


Eric Dayts

Here is the Class of 2022 at Macaulay Honors College at Hunter. “When applying to Macaulay, I ultimately decided on Hunter College as my school of choice, partly because I could see the diversity among the students in the class photos,” said Eric Dayts.

The prospect of a debt free college experience seems like a myth to most Americans, yet at Macaulay Honors, it has become a reality. New York City is one of the largest cities in the world and home to some of America’s top colleges and universities. Macaulay Honors gives students a chance to receive a high quality education with free tuition, while also receiving specialized care and attention from faculty. 

Because of Macaulay’s prestige and the limited number of seats available, it has a record low acceptance rate of 5% as of 2021. Macaulay Honors has consistently received the highest ratings for a public university honors college, and their students have received over 250 prestigious awards. There are 8 CUNY schools to choose from when applying to the Macaulay Honors program, all offering different majors. Hunter College is one of the most popular colleges to study at among Macaulay students, as it has a wide variety of majors and a beautiful campus located right outside of Gramercy Park in Manhattan. Hunter College is also known for its excellent dormitories and its status as a liberal arts school. 

Eric Dayts is now a senior at Macaulay Hunter College on the Pre-med track, and he is also both a freshman mentor and a student interviewer. Dayts came into Macaulay Hunter undecided for his major, but eventually chose to major in Biochemistry. He said that Macaulay Honors in general is very flexible in terms of a student being able to change majors, so he was able to explore his interests and change majors with ease. Applicants who are undecided do not have to worry about choosing a major right away, as Macaulay Honors will give you the opportunity to explore your interests once you get there. 

Dayts has received numerous opportunities through Macaulay’s mentorship program, including lab work, early acceptance to the University of Rochester’s Medical school, and having the MCAT requirement waived. His mentor from his freshman year helped him tremendously in navigating through Macaulay Hunter College and connecting him with labs and internships, as well as giving advice about going to med school. Dayts is a freshman mentor himself now, as well as a student interviewer. 

“The advisors at Macaulay are very adamant about your success, and the peer mentor systems help make the school a strong and supportive environment,” Dayts said.

As a student interviewer, Dayts has talked to many talented applicants, and he is responsible for giving admissions officers information about the students whom he thinks are “the future leaders of New York.” Macaulay Honors, and Hunter College specifically, takes interviews very seriously as part of their holistic review process. Macaulay wants applicants to show their interests, extracurriculars, and genuine self when interviewing, so the admissions officers know how you would fit into their community. Interviewer’s opinions on applicants are considered heavily, so making a good impression in the interview increases your chances of getting accepted. CUNY schools also do not review SAT/ACT scores at all anymore, so everyone has a chance to apply and to get a spot at the school without worrying about standardized test scores. 

“I would say that each part of your application is reviewed equally. One third of the weight is on your academic transcript, your essays are one third, and your interview is one third. Each aspect of your application is reviewed in a way that places an emphasis on who you are as a person, which is why we place so much emphasis on what you say in your interview and supplemental essays,” explained Dayts.

Dayts has seen the diversity of Macaulay Honors in Hunter College increase with each passing year, mainly because the interviews themselves have diversified. Part of what makes the admissions process so fair at Macaulay is the fact that current students get to play a pivotal role in choosing who they want to be admitted into the next class. 

Macaulay Honors also has a unique curriculum that places emphasis on learning the history of New York City. A part of this curriculum includes mandatory seminars that give students the opportunity to participate in group discussions about everything that makes New York City unique. There are four seminars that students must participate in as a part of their curriculum: The arts of NYC, immigration of NYC, science of NYC, and the development of NYC. 

“These classes are great because they give students the opportunity to connect more with the professors who teach these classes, and encourage students to participate in group discussions rather than just listening to lectures,” Dayts said.

Many high school students across the country are currently stressed about college applications, especially during the  COVID-19 pandemic where many people have suffered both financially and mentally. Now more than ever, it is important for students to look into applying for colleges that will support them both financially and academically. Anyone who is a New York City resident has the opportunity to receive a full merit scholarship, making Macaulay Honors a perfect opportunity for talented students to achieve their goals with the support they need.

“The advisors at Macaulay are very adamant about your success, and the peer mentor systems help make the school a strong and supportive environment,” Eric Dayts said, a college senior at Macaulay Hunter.