Education, including the college search and application process, has changed dramatically in the midst of COVID-19. We recognize and commend all that counselors and other high school educators have done and continue to do to serve their students through this adversity. Despite the changes and challenges of the past two years, we want to support you and your students through the college application process just as in the past.

View 2021-2022 Regional Officer Assignments

Three students travel down the walkways together. The entire side of the building is glass and greenery can be seen outside.

Important Updates to Our Application Process

As we continue to navigate disruptions caused by COVID-19 and adjust to this new hybrid environment, Columbia remains committed to supporting applicants and counselors throughout the college application process:

  • Columbia has extended our test-optional for the 2022-2023 application cycle in response to continued disruptions to testing as a result of COVID-19. Students are at no disadvantage in our process if they do not submit scores from these tests.
  • Academic decisions about grading and transcripts are at the discretion of individual school systems and students. If and when students have the option to uncover grades, Columbia would prefer - but does not require - that students have them uncovered and submitted with their application. If there are extenuating circumstances or context around a student’s grades or performance, that information would be appreciated in the school profile or counselor recommendation.
  • Students can easily determine their fee waiver eligibility and receive an application fee waiver. If students are concerned about the cost of our application fee, please consult our fee waiver eligibility form.
  • We can extend deadline flexibility to students who are experiencing extenuating circumstances, such as community disruptions, wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters. We will also accept supporting documentation from counselors and teachers after the application deadline without the need for school staff to request an extension.

Connect with Columbia, Virtually and In-Person

While our admissions officers hope to return to the road in the future, Columbia is continuing to focus on providing robust virtual programming for students to learn more about our community from wherever they may be.

  • We encourage students to participate in our live virtual programming, including student Q&A sessions, featured classes, student-led virtual tours and more, to get an introduction to Columbia and determine if our community could be a good fit for them.
  • Interested students can dive deeper into Columbia with the Blue View, a ten-part video series that features admissions officers and students discussing campus life, the Core Curriculum, affordability and more.
  • Our student tour guides are thrilled to welcome visitors back to campus for outdoors-only tours. Please note that all visitors are required to comply with University public health measures and capacity is limited. We ask that interested visitors only register for one tour section so that as many students may be accommodated as possible.
  • Each fall, Columbia Engineering offers a free selective program, the Columbia Engineering Experience, designed for high school seniors who are interested in learning about our unique engineering education. Applications are available in mid-August.

Columbia Community Updates​

  • We are thrilled to welcome our student body back to campus to participate in our intimate residential community and in-person classes while continuing to protect the health of our campus and our surrounding New York City community. Columbia has a COVID-19 vaccination mandate in place for all students, faculty and staff; uptake, including limited religious and medical exemptions, is over 99%. Random surveillance testing of our community continues to return very low positive rates. In addition, all affiliates accessing campus facilities must complete a daily symptom attestation and adhere to our Columbia Community Health Compact. With these public health measures in place, our community continues to enjoy residential life, on-campus student activities and cherished Columbia traditions, including New Student Orientation Program and Homecoming.
  • Columbia is home to one of the most diverse student bodies in the country, and we are committed to providing an inclusive and affirming environment for all students. Our colleagues at Multicultural Affairs provide programs, resources and support for personal identity development, mentorship, intercultural learning, social justice education and institutional advocacy. The @Columbia series, encompassing Disability Justice, First-Generation and Low Income, International, LGBTQ and Students of Color programs, promotes connection for historically and socially underserved communities and campus-wide education initiatives through student-led advisory boards. The Columbia Mentoring Initiative emphasizes identity development, emotional health, academic success and belonging within a peer-led “family” structure.
  • The Center for Career Education has long supported our students and alumni in the job search process, providing expert advising, access to valuable employer and networking events and resources such as funding grants for low-paid and unpaid internships. In the past year, CCE has further strengthened those efforts with over 1200 professional development events, including new and innovative programming like Career Exploration Summits with partners such as Pfizer and Citi, dozens of Micro Career Fairs focused on specific industries, leadership development programs and diversity recruitment and a Networking at Home series, featuring professionals at Google, HBO, Merck and other industry leaders.
  • Columbia University continues to operate on the cutting edge of interdisciplinary education. This fall marks the first class of students at the new Climate School, created to tackle the most pressing environmental and public health challenges that face humanity today. Columbia College students may now pursue a special concentration in Public Health to foster critical understanding of the ways in which population health both shapes and is shaped by civil society, drawing on numerous disciplines, including but not limited to biology, economics, history, political science, psychology, sociology and statistics. In addition, a new dual-degree program allows students to complete in five years both a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College and a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

Reminders from Undergraduate Admissions​

Standardized Testing

  • Columbia is test-optional for 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 and students are at no disadvantage in our process if they do not submit scores from these tests.
  • If applicants desire, they may self-report ACT and SAT test scores on their application. Our office will verify scores for all enrolling students.
  • Columbia does not require the optional writing portion of the ACT or SAT.

Commitment to Affordability

  • Beginning in 2022-2023, Columbia will be tuition-free for students coming from families with incomes under $150,000. Families whose annual income is less than $66,000 will have a parent contribution of $0. And incoming first-year students from low-income families will receive a start-up grant of $2,000 to ease their transition to college.
  • Columbia expects to award $200 million in scholarships and grants in 2022-2023. We are committed to covering 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted students.
  • The average grant awarded at Columbia is $61,680.
  •  It only takes 3 minutes to estimate financial aid eligibility with our college cost estimator.

Explore and Connect


Matching a student with Columbia

If you are a counselor, teacher, or school administrator supporting a student’s candidacy for admission to Columbia, you may be interested in reviewing a few of the following pages to help orient you in our application process:

These pages can give you an idea of what we’re looking for in our applicants, how our process works, and important dates and deadlines.


Professional Resources