Union College

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#138, overall score 43.67/100

Fun Fact:

Union holds an annual Lobsterfest every spring. Each student is offered a full lobster (vegetarian options are provided as well).

Why should Jewish students attend Union College? At Union there is a strong, proud, and diverse Chabad community with over 75 students, from all backgrounds, attending events weekly. Chabad’s student leadership hosts many activities including holiday programming, Israel events, social events, community service projects, numerous study opportunities, including Sinai Scholars, and Shabbat 150 every fall, where 150 Jewish students come together to celebrate Shabbat and their Jewish pride. There is a vibrant Jewish life at Union College, beautiful campus grounds and a wonderful supportive community. What more could you ask for? - Rabbi Shmuly & Laiky Rubin, co-directors, Chabad at Union


  • Location: Schenectady, N.Y.
  • Region: Mid-Atlantic
  • Campus type: Small city
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Liberal Arts: Yes
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,203
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 300
  • Jewish population share: 14%
  • Student origin: 38% in-state / 62% out-of-state
  • Student newspaper: Concordiensis
  • NCAA Division: III
  • NCAA team: Dutchmen

COST & AID Score: 2.5/15

  • Score: 2.5/15
  • Tuition: $53,490
  • Room & board costs: $53,490
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $27,200
  • Average loan debt: $34,221
  • Starting median salary: $58,500

ACADEMICS Score: 10/20

  • Score: 10/20
  • Acceptance rate: 37%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Median SAT range: 1270-1430
  • Jewish Studies program: Yes
  • Jewish Studies major: Minor
  • Hebrew major: No

ISRAEL Score: 10.33/20

  • Score: 10.33/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 18
  • Israel Studies center: No
  • Israel-related clubs: None
  • BDS vote in last four years: Never introduced

SAFETY Score: 9.33/11

  • Score: 9.33/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 0
  • Campus crime rate: 5.90/1,000 students (medium high)
  • City crime rate: 41.37/1,000 people (medium high)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 11.5/34

  • Score: 11.5/34
  • Hillel: Union Hillel
  • Chabad: Chabad at Union
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi
  • Jewish sororities: SDT
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 45
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 3 (1 Orthodox, 1 Conservative, 1 Reform)
  • Eruv: No
  • Most famous Jewish alum: Ben Schwartz
  • Kosher food details: Chabad has events several times a week with kosher food, offers kosher dinner every Friday night, as well as a kosher meat dinner every Tuesday. Chabad also has holiday meals and a kosher for Passover meal plan. Additionally, there is a supermarket with a large kosher section (including takeout, deli counter, cheese, fish, and more) just 15 minutes away from campus.

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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