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Columbia Admissions

If you want to apply to Columbia, the regular decision application deadline is January 1 and the application fee costs $85. Application fees can add up, but some schools do have free applications and students with financial need may be eligible for fee waiver for their application.

Students who submit their applications for Fall should hear back from Columbia by April 1.

Considering Applying Early to Columbia?

Columbia University offers early decision but not early action Early decision is binding, meaning you must attend if you are admitted, while early action allows you to apply early without committing.

The early decision acceptance rate at Columbia is 17%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 6%. In 2021, Columbia admitted 726 of the 4318 students who applied early decison.

Some students apply to college early because they believe it will help their chances. Early deadlines may increase the chance of being admitted, since applying early shows your are very interested in a school, and your application is being considered before all the regular decision applicants apply.

See a list of some selective colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

Is Columbia Hard To Get Into?

Columbia is aextremely difficult school to get into. Columbia evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny or waitlist.

In 2021, Columbia **accepted 6% of students, around 2,544 of the 40,083 students who applied.

Schools that are extremely difficult to get into, like Columbia, accept fewer than 30% of all applicants. At least 75% of admitted students have GPAs in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1310 on the SAT or over 29 on the ACT.

Transfer student admissions is extremely difficult. Columbia has not reported data for waitlisted and admitted students.

What's Most Important to Get In to Columbia?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college determines which factors are are most important when choose which applicants to admit, and which to deny. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengthsand any possible weaknesses in your application, and apply to colleges that prioritize the areas where you shine.

Admissions Factors at Columbia

Admissions Factor Level
Academic GPA Very Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Character/Personal Qualities Very Important
Geographical Residence Considered
Class Rank Very Important
Work Experience Considered
Extracurricular Activities Very Important
Level of Applicant's Interest Not Considered
Application Essay Very Important
First Generation Considered
Interview Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Recommendation(s) Very Important
Religious Affiliation/Commitment Not Considered
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
State Residency Not Considered
Talent/Ability Important
Standardized Test Scores Very Important
Volunteer Work Considered

Columbia Application Requirements

To apply, all applicants to Columbia must submit the following items. Double check with Columbia's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for some Details (if any)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Letter(s) of Recommendation 3
Transcript of High School Record

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into Columbia?

Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0. Columbia does look at standardized tests scores during the admissions process.

Columbia is test optional. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

What's a Good SAT Score for Columbia?

To be competitive with other Columbia applicants, you should strive to earn between 1470 and 1560 (or higher!) on the SAT. At Columbia 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1560 and 25% of scored lower than 1470, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Columbia students scored 800 or higher and 75% of students scored 720 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Columbia students scored 770 or higher, and 75% scored a 720 or higher.

Want to increase your SAT Score?

Preparing for the SAT can help raise your score, but it doesn't have to take up a lot of time.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

What's a Good ACT Score for Columbia?

To be most competitive at Columbia, you should strive to earn between 33 and 35 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 35 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Columbia's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 35, and three out of four students scored lower than 35 on the ACT.

A 33 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Columbia students. Only one out of every four students scored below 33.

Want To Bring Up Your ACT Score? Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Transferring to Columbia University

For transfer students, it is extremely difficult to get admitted to Columbia.

For transfer students wishing to start in the Fall, the deadline to apply is March 1. Applicants should hear back by May 15.

Transfer students can enroll in Columbia during the following terms: Fall Term

Columbia Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Columbia?

Students who are admitted to Columbia must attend in the term they start. Deferring admissions is not encouraged. If you have a unusual circumstance, contact the admissions department..

Does Columbia accept transfer credits?

Columbia accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Does Columbia accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

Columbia accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) creditsand Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to Columbia?

No, Columbia is test optional, so it's up to you if you want to submit test scores or not. If you have higher than average scores, you should strongly consider submitting them. If your scores are average or below average, you may want not want to include them in your application..

Visit the College Confidential forums to join the conversation about Columbia

Explore other colleges in New York or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Columbia Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty

Selective

6%

How hard is it to get into Columbia? Columbia is a selective institution. The Columbia acceptance rate is 6%. This means that the institution accepts 6 out of every 100 applicants.

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Columbia Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 1

Transfer Applications are Due

Mar 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Columbia is Jan 1.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Columbia is Mar 1.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

Columbia ACT Scores

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ACT Range

33 - 35

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

35 and Above

Good

33 to 35

Avg

33 and Less

Low

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Columbia SAT Scores

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Composite SAT Range

1470 - 1560

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Math SAT Range

750 - 800

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Reading SAT Range

720 - 770

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Columbia GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)

Not available

© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment

Unknown

Campus Setting

Urban

Acceptance Rate

6%

Tuition and Fees

In State

$61,671

Out-of-State

$61,671

Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 1
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