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. Columbia has been a QuestBridge partner school for more than 15 years, and we are proud to have matched with more than 400 scholars. 

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.

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.

You should submit your application to Columbia under Regular Decision if you 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 you’re selected as a College Match with Columbia, the admission contract is binding and you will be expected to attend Columbia the following fall. (That means you must also 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, we’ll 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. 

Standardized Tests

Columbia is test-optional for applicants to Columbia College or Columbia Engineering. Please review our standardized testing policy for additional details.

Students who choose not to submit test scores will not be at a disadvantage in our process. Students who choose to submit testing may self-report their scores, and 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

QuestBridge applicants must submit the following to be considered for financial aid:

  • 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 ranked Columbia for the College Match but did not match to a binding college will automatically have their applications moved into the Regular Decision process. If you ranked Columbia during the Match, Columbia will reevaluate your QuestBridge Application during the Regular Decision process beginning in January; please do not submit a Common or Coalition Application if you have already submitted a QuestBridge Application through the National College Match. You are encouraged to send a one-page letter to let Columbia know of your continued interest in Columbia, as well as any notable accomplishments since your QuestBridge application was submitted. Columbia will review any supplementary materials submitted. Please upload this letter through your Columbia applicant status page. 

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