A Message for Prospective Students - Fall 2020

We know your college search and application process right now looks very different than you imagined and that you may have some questions. We hope the information gathered here provides you with some reassurance and guidance.

College Exploration
In a typical year, we encourage prospective applicants to visit our campus to get a feel for our community. However, 2020 is not a typical year, and so we have created an assortment of live virtual programming to introduce you to the hallmarks of the Columbia undergraduate experience and to help you determine if Columbia would be a good fit for you.

Academic Experience
Please be assured that Columbia Undergraduate Admissions fully supports the pedagogical and administrative decisions your school may make in order to assist your community through this ongoing crisis. For example, pass/fail marks or alternative grading methods in lieu of letter or numerical grades from Spring 2020 will be accommodated with no disadvantage when we review applicants' transcripts.

Extracurricular Activities and Summer Pursuits
We understand that disruptions due to this crisis may have altered the trajectory of your extracurricular, athletic, artistic and other pursuits. Just as your high school experience and college search process is different, we know that college applications this year and beyond will likely look different than they have in the past, and we will review your application within this context.

Testing
Testing options around the world have been affected. We remain committed to our holistic and contextual review process that considers the individual circumstances that shape each applicant's journey. Due to widespread disruptions in access to standardized testing, Columbia will be test-optional for the 2020-2021 application cycle, and students are at no disadvantage in our process if they do not submit scores from these tests. 

Financial Aid
Columbia remains committed to our need-based financial aid program, which seeks to ensure that students from all backgrounds can attend Columbia. We cover the full demonstrated need of all admitted first-year applicants for all four years of study and do so without loans. Anticipate your college costs with Columbia's MyinTuition Quick College Cost Estimator, which can also help you estimate your eligibility for need-based scholarships. 

Deadline Flexibility
We want to assure students who are encountering extenuating circumstances -- such as community disruptions, wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters -- that we can provide flexibility with the application deadline.

Lastly, and most importantly, the Columbia community urges you to stay healthy and safe. We are thinking of you all and look forward to getting to know you over the coming months or years.