QuestBridge Logo

Columbia is proud to be entering our fifteenth year as a QuestBridge Partner school, and we have matched over 350 scholars. QuestBridge is a non-profit organization which identifies high-achieving, low-income students, assists them with the college search and application process and works to connect them to educational opportunities at a range of partner colleges and universities. All QuestBridge Finalists, regardless of participating in the National College Match, can use their QuestBridge Application in the Early and Regular Decision programs at Columbia University. For more information about QuestBridge, please explore their website.

National College Match Requirements

QuestBridge Application

If you are participating in the National College Match, Columbia will review all materials associated with your QuestBridge Application.

Students should submit their application to Columbia under Regular Decision if they wish to be considered for the National College Match. Please select "Regular Decision" under Entry Term when filling out your application. If you are matched with Columbia through QuestBridge, your application status will automatically switch and be considered in the Early Decision process. Please note that if a student is selected as a College Match with Columbia, the admission contract is binding and they will be expected to attend Columbia the following fall. In addition, students must withdraw all other admissions applications.

Please do not submit a Common Application or Coalition Application. 

Columbia QuestBridge Questionnaire

After Columbia has received your QuestBridge Application, Columbia will send you information about completing the Columbia QuestBridge Questionnaire. The Questionnaire will ask you about your academic interests, as well as some Columbia-Specific Questions.

Official Transcripts

Columbia requires an official high school transcript from all high schools attended. All transcripts submitted by a school official will be considered official transcripts. If the transcript submitted as part of your QuestBridge Application was not submitted by a school official, please have a school official submit a transcript. Transcripts submitted by a student are not considered official. 

Two Academic Letters of Recommendation

Columbia requires two recommendation letters from teachers who taught you in academic disciplines. For engineering applicants, one must come from a math or science teacher. If you submitted only one academic recommendation letter as part of your National College Match application, you must have a second academic recommendation letter submitted directly to Columbia. Additional recommendation letters may be sent by a school official to

Standardized tests

  • Testing is not a required component for the 2021-2022 application cycle
  • Applicants may self-report their scores
  • English proficiency examination score (if necessary)

Students who are unable or choose not to submit test scores will not be disadvantaged in any way. If you have completed testing and would like to submit SAT or ACT results, we encourage you to do so as we believe this information can be a valuable addition in our review process. 

Scores sent as part of the QuestBridge Application will be considered. Students do not need to submit scores separately or in addition to the QuestBridge Application, unless you wish to submit new or updated test scores.

For Finalists participating in the National College Match, we can accept testing no later than the October test dates for the SAT or ACT in order to be considered for the College Match at Columbia.

​Please note that our office will verify scores for all enrolling students, and any discrepancies between official and self-reported scores may jeopardize a student's place in the class. If scores are submitted by a school official, there is no need for an official score report at any time.

Financial Aid Information

  • FAFSA (US Citizens, Permanent Residents and other Eligible Noncitizens only; not required for students living in the US without legal citizenship or residency)
  • CSS Profile
  • Federal Income Tax Returns

Please review the full financial aid instructions on our website. Detailed information about financial aid for the National College Match is also available on the QuestBridge website.

The financial aid deadline for students participating in the National College Match is November 1.

Options Outside of the Match

QuestBridge Finalists who choose not to participate in the National College Match or are not matched during the National College Match can still use their QuestBridge Applications in Columbia University's Early or Regular Decision processes.

Early Decision

Finalists who participated in and ranked Columbia University for the National College Match, submitted all required application materials, AND did not match at any partner schools may request to be considered as an Early Decision applicant to Columbia. Only Finalists with a completed application to Columbia will be eligible to make this request; eligible Finalists will receive additional information following match notification. 

Finalists who did not participate in the National College Match but would like to be evaluated for Early Decision should notify us of their intent to apply to Columbia's binding Early Decision plan by emailing us at

Interested applicants should carefully review Columbia's policy on Early Decision, as there is a binding agreement to attend if admitted. 

Regular Decision

All Finalists who rank Columbia for the College Match, but did not match to a binding college will automatically have their applications moved into the Regular Decision process. You will not be able to start or make changes to an application that has already been submitted. 

Finalists who did not participate in the College Match or did not list Columbia on their Match list but are interested in applying Regular Decision should follow the instructions listed on QuestBridge's website for Regular Decision.

If you do not wish to be considered as a Regular Decision applicant, please email the Admissions office at to request that your application be withdrawn. 


We have prepared a list of common questions from QuestBridge applicants. If your question is not answered in the Frequently Asked Questions, please email