FAQs

If you have come to this page, it's because you have questions that haven't been answered on other parts of our website. Find the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions, whether you want to know more about how Columbia students take advantage of the arts in New York City, what campus dining is like or which application type is right for you.

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Displaying 101 - 150 of 179 questions

As an undocumented student, am I eligible for financial aid? What if I hold DACA status?

Yes, Columbia is committed to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need of all students admitted as first-years or transfer students pursuing their first degree, regardless of citizenship status. Undocumented students, regardless of DACA status, are not eligible to receive federal and state financial aid, so we cover their need entirely from Columbia funding. For admissions purposes, undocumented students are evaluated in a need-blind manner, which means we evaluate admissions applications without regard to financial need.

Does Columbia grant academic credit for international exams such as the British Advanced Examinations or other internationally standardized examinations?

Yes. Some placement, advanced standing or credit may be granted for nationally or internationally standardized examinations, including but not limited to International Baccalaureate and British Advanced Level and Pre-U Examinations. Credit is determined and approved by a student’s academic adviser from the Berick Center for Student Advising after a student is enrolled at Columbia. 

More information on international student admission can be found here. Specific questions about advanced standing should be directed to a student’s academic adviser once a student has matriculated.

Does Columbia work with third-party agents?

Columbia University does not work with any admissions agent who expects compensation from a college or university. 

Columbia’s Undergraduate Admissions is pleased to work directly with applicants and their families, with their school officials, and with a variety of government and non-profit community-based organizations in the United States and abroad.  While we respect the work of independent educational consultants, we of course expect them to adhere to the highest standards of professional ethics

What steps do I need to take after being admitted to Columbia in order to receive the appropriate immigration documentation?

There are steps that both Columbia and the student are responsible for in order to receive an F-1 entry visa to the United States.

Columbia University will:

  • Upon acceptance provide you with an Application for Visa Certificate (AVC), otherwise known as Form I-20
  • Issue an authentic I-20 after AVC has been approved.

The student must:

  • Hold a current passport valid at least six months into the future at all times
  • Officially register with Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Pay the $100.00 USD fee and print the receipt
  • Make a visa appointment at a United States Consulate. Bring your official letter of acceptance, any financial aid award letter and funds validation letter from your bank, Columbia issued I-20, SEVIS receipt and a passport sized photo.
  • Review the visa once issued to check for correctness. Make sure you have the original copy of the I-20 for entry to the U.S.

Please visit the International Students and Scholars Office immigration website for more information.

How does the QuestBridge College Match work with Columbia?

The QuestBridge website lists all of Columbia's admissions requirements. Please do not submit a Common or Coalition Application. In addition to the materials submitted as part of your QuestBridge application, we require our Columbia QuestBridge Questionnaire. The Columbia QuestBridge Questionnaire can be accessed via your application status page and is due on November 1, 2020.

Columbia will accept the SAT and ACT scores included as part of your QuestBridge application. Self-reported scores are accepted, though 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. Any new or updated scores may be uploaded through the application status page.

Financial Aid Requirements: All students that rank Columbia through the National College Match must submit the following financial aid information by November 1, 2020:

  • 2021-2022 FAFSA. Columbia's FAFSA code is 002707.
  • 2021-2022 CSS PROFILE online (including Noncustodial PROFILE, if applicable). Columbia's CSS code is 2116.
  • 2019 Tax Returns & W2s
  • Parent or Guardian's most recent 2019 pay stubs

These documents should be faxed to (212) 854-5353 ATTN: QUESTBRIDGE as soon as possible and no later than November 1, 2020.

Is the QuestBridge Match Process binding?

Yes, the National College Match at Columbia University is binding.

If I become a QuestBridge Finalist and I am not matched, will Columbia consider my QuestBridge application for admission to Columbia during Regular Decision?

If you have submitted a complete application to Columbia as a QuestBridge Finalist through the National College Match, you will automatically be considered for Regular Decision admission unless you contact Columbia and withdraw your application or are matched with a binding college or university.

May I use the same essay I submitted to QuestBridge for the Common Application or Coalition Application?

QuestBridge Finalists should not submit any additional applications besides their QuestBridge Application. If you are applying through Regular Decision and would prefer to have your Common or Coalition Application be evaluated, please contact us at questbridge@columbia.edu.

I have sent recommendation letters and a secondary school report through the QuestBridge application; do I need to re-submit these forms if I am applying to Columbia?

No. We will accept the materials sent through your QuestBridge Application for our process. However, all school materials must be uploaded by a school official. If you submitted your own transcript to QuestBridge, we cannot accept that submission and request that you have a school official send a copy of your transcript to ugrad-confirm@columbia.edu with your name, high school and date of birth.

If I am not named a finalist in the QuestBridge College Match Program, may I apply to Columbia?

Yes. Students who are not selected as Finalists must submit the Common Application or Coalition Application. Columbia does not accept the QuestBridge application in lieu of these applications. Please note that you may submit the essay you composed for the QuestBridge application for your Common Application or Coalition Application if the content is appropriate for the essay prompts.

Can I track my QuestBridge application online?

Please use your application status page to make sure your admissions application is complete. In order to access your status page, you will first need to select "Reset Password" and follow the instructions from there. Instructions for tracking your financial aid information will be emailed to you after you have submitted your financial aid documentation.

Applicants should maintain a valid email address during the entire application process, as most of our information is communicated electronically. Please ensure that your email account preferences and security settings permit Columbia University-sent email to be delivered without filtering or junk mail routing. If your email address changes, please notify us immediately on the application status page.

If you have any additional credentials you wish to include in your application, you may submit them directly via the application status page

 

Are QuestBridge students eligible for interviews?

Interviews are not part of the QuestBridge College Match Process. If you are pursuing admission under the Regular Decision program at Columbia, you can review the full interview policy here.

If I am not admitted to Columbia through the QuestBridge Match Process, what kind of financial aid will be offered?

All of Columbia’s financial aid is need-based. All financial aid packages, including those of QuestBridge Finalists participating in the Match process, are based on demonstrated need. Our financial aid packages for those in Regular Decision will be determined in the same way as for those students who were selected through the College Match. Columbia meets 100% of the demonstrated financial need for all students admitted as first-years, regardless of citizenship. Loans are not a component of Columbia financial aid packages and we will continue to cover 100% of your demonstrated financial need for all four years of study. For more information please refer to the Columbia/QuestBridge scholarship package description. For more information, please visit the Financial Aid and Educational Financing website.

 

I am not a US Citizen or Permanent Resident. Can I apply for the QuestBridge National College Match with Columbia?

Yes, Columbia will consider students who are not US Citizens or Permanent Residents for the QuestBridge National College Match. 

Non-citizens and international students are an integral part of the university and Columbia is deeply committed to enrolling a student body that includes students from around the world. We do not have a separate application or process for international students. Please refer to our website for more information.

 

Do you offer a fly-in program or travel funding for prospective QuestBridge participants or scholars?

We do not have fly-in programs for prospective applicants or QuestBridge scholars. You are always welcome to visit our campus for a campus tour or information session as well as any open houses or events we host on or off campus throughout the year. You can find more information on the Visit section of our website.

Do Columbia-Juilliard Program participants receive a degree from Juilliard?

No, the Program is a cross-registration program that does not lead to an additional degree. The lessons are for credit at Columbia College. However, Program participants may choose to continue with the Joint Program, which offers the opportunity to earn both a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College and Master's of Music from Juilliard.

May I apply Early Decision if I am interested in the Columbia-Juilliard Program?

Yes, first-year candidates admitted to Columbia College under Early Decision may keep their candidacy open for the Program. However, successful Early Decision candidates must withdraw their Bachelor of Music candidacy to Juilliard along with candidacy to all other institutions as part of the Early Decision binding agreement.

May I apply to both the Columbia-Juilliard Program and Juilliard's Bachelor of Music program?

Yes, candidates will need to check the appropriate boxes when applying to Juilliard. However, successful Early Decision candidates must withdraw their Bachelor of Music candidacy to Juilliard, although they may keep their candidacy open for the Program.

May I be admitted to both Columbia College and Juilliard for the Bachelor of Music program but not be admitted to Juilliard specifically for the Program?

Yes, due to highly selective admissions for the Program, it is possible that applicants may only be admitted to Juilliard's Bachelor of Music degree and not admitted to the Program, regardless of admission status at Columbia.

May I reapply to the Program as a Columbia College student if I was not initially admitted to as an incoming student?

Yes, a small number of current Columbia College students apply (or reapply) to the Columbia-Juilliard Program each academic year and occasionally students are admitted to participate for the following academic year. Once admitted into the Program, Columbia College students may continue each eligible academic year pending performance during annual juries.

Is there an additional fee for Columbia College students participating in the Columbia-Juilliard Program?

The Columbia-Juilliard Program tuition for the academic year 2021-2022 is $8,250. Financial aid is available to cover the additional tuition expenses for Program participants based on demonstrated need and consistent with Columbia policies.

 

How do I obtain an application for Juilliard?

Please obtain an application and audition information from Juilliard's Office of Admission and submit the Juilliard application directly to Juilliard.

When will I hear from Juilliard?

Columbia notifies all candidates by mid-December for Early Decision or mid-April for Regular Decision. Juilliard notifies all Program candidates regarding admission specifically to the Program by mid-April. Candidates may hear sooner from Juilliard regarding pre-screening results and live audition dates.

Who may I contact with additional questions about applying to the Columbia-Juilliard Program?

Prospective students with questions beyond those addressed on this webpage may reach out to Maria Gracia Asayag in Undergraduate Admissions, mga2138@columbia.edu. For questions about The Juilliard School, please contact their office directly at admissions@juilliard.edu.

May I transfer from Columbia College to the Engineering School (or vice-versa) once accepted and enrolled?

If you are enrolled at either Columbia College or Engineering and you genuinely feel that you should attend the other, you may apply as an internal transfer student. Internal transfers must submit the Internal Transfer Application by March 1. There is no guarantee that you will be able to transfer to a different school. Undergraduate Admissions consults with the Berick Center for Student Advising to review your academic performance and curriculum and determine if a change is appropriate.

If I previously applied to Columbia, will my application roll over?

If you have applied to Columbia previously, the documents you provided at that time will not roll over, so you must resubmit any information requested by this transfer application. (Note: Standardized testing previously sent by the College Board or ACT does not need to be resubmitted.)

May I transfer for the spring semester?

No. We do not accept applications for January/spring enrollment from transfer candidates.

Does Columbia accept international transfer students?

To apply as a transfer, you must be enrolled in a "U.S.-style" college or university. A college or university is considered U.S.-style if:

  • courses are offered term by term (quarters, semesters, etc.);
  • a grade is given for each course in each term;
  • your college/university can provide an English-language transcript showing those courses and those grades.

If your school is not U.S.-style as defined above, you must apply as a first-year student, by the appropriate Early Decision or Regular Decision deadline, and only in your first year of study; if you have begun your second year of study or beyond, you are no longer eligible to apply to Columbia as an undergraduate at all. Should you be admitted to Columbia and accept our offer, your post-secondary work cannot be considered for credit and you acknowledge that credit may not be received for any or all coursework taken at the previous college/university

I attend a college/university outside of the United States and Canada. How do I know if it is “U.S.-style?”

A college is considered to be "U.S.-style" if courses are offered in similar terms to U.S. colleges (i.e. quarters, semesters, etc.), you will receive a grade for each course in each term, and you will also receive an English-language transcript. If your school is not U.S.-style, as defined above, you must apply as a first-year student, by the appropriate Early Decision or Regular Decision deadline.

I am unsure of my application status. How do I know if I should apply as freshman or as a transfer?

If you have received your high (secondary) school diploma and will have completed one or more full year of college courses, you must apply as a transfer student. If you are applying to Columbia College and have taken a break of more than one full year from college, you should submit an application to the School of General Studies. Applicants to The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science should proceed with this transfer application regardless of any break in schooling.

I have already earned a Bachelors degree (or its equivalent). Am I eligible to apply to Columbia if I would like to earn a second degree?

You are not eligible to apply to Columbia College. Instead, you must apply to the School of General Studies. Applicants to The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science should proceed with your application.

I have taken some time off from school. May I still apply as a transfer?

Potential applicants to Columbia College who have taken a break of more than one full academic year in their education (with the exception of those who must complete national military service) should consider instead Columbia’s School of General Studies; the same is true for students who wish to attend a part-time program. Applicants to The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science should proceed with this transfer application regardless of any break in schooling.

I am interested in your HEOP program. As a transfer, am I eligible for the program?

In order to be eligible for the Higher Education Opportunity Program as a transfer, you must currently be enrolled at a similar program in New York State.

I’m not sure if transferring is the right option for me. Can I attend Columbia as a Visiting Student and then transfer?

Visiting Students may not subsequently apply for transfer admission. Also, you may not apply simultaneously as a transfer and as a visitor. However, Visiting Students may subsequently apply for admission to the Combined Plan Program.

Must I have a minimum number of credits in order to transfer?

To be eligible to enroll at Columbia, you must have completed, or be in the process of completing, the equivalent of one full academic year, typically a minimum of 24 credits. Please review the Academic Credit for Transfer Students guide for more information.

How do you determine which of my credits will transfer?

Courses may be eligible for transfer credit if they are analogous to undergraduate courses offered in Columbia College and Columbia Engineering, and you have received a grade of C- or better for Columbia College or a B or better for Columbia Engineering.

Will I know how many of my credits have transferred before I have to deposit?

If admitted, you will receive a Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE), informing you of how many credits you have (tentatively) been awarded. Final credit approval will not be granted until all final official transcripts from previous institutions have been received and been reviewed by your advising dean and/or academic department.

Are there specific classes that I must take prior to transfer?

There aren't any courses that are strictly required for admission as a transfer. We require a minimum of 24 credits, or the equivalent of one academic year, to transfer.

If you are applying to The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (Columbia Engineering), we would certainly hope to see strong math and science preparation (Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, etc.). Columbia Engineering recommends that prospective transfers follow a course of study similar to our First Year-Sophomore program.

If you are applying to Columbia College, we recommend only that you take courses that are similar in content to courses offered in Columbia College. You should familiarize yourself with the appropriate course bulletin to get a sense of which courses might be appropriate.

 

I currently attend a community college. Should I wait until I receive my Associates degree to transfer, or can I transfer without it?

You may certainly apply to transfer without having received an Associates degree.

I have attended more than one college. Can I just submit a transcript from the school I am currently attending?

No. You must submit transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended.

Are SAT/ACT scores required for transfer applicants?

Columbia has extended its test-optional policy for both first-year and transfer applicants to Columbia College or Columbia Engineering for fall of 2022.

How heavily do my high school record and standardized test scores weigh in the decision-making process?

Due to the timing of the transfer process, we are generally unable to consider grades earned in the second semester of the year of application; thus, high school grades, rigor of program and standardized test scores are all important in the evaluation of transfer credentials, especially for students applying for sophomore standing. If you have applied to Columbia previously, the documents you provided at that time will not roll over; you must resubmit any information requested by this transfer application.

Are interviews available for transfers?

It is not our policy to interview prospective transfer applicants. Therefore, you should use the application as the appropriate platform to discuss and/or explain anything that you feel is of particular importance.

How can I get a paper application for transfer admissions?

Paper applications are not available. Transfers must apply online using The Coalition Application. We do not accept the Common Application for transfer candidates.

 

Do you cover 100% of demonstrated financial need for transfers?

All transfer applicants who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States or students granted refugee visas by the United States are read in a need-blind manner. Foreign students applying for aid must understand that such aid is awarded on an extremely limited basis. Columbia meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for admitted transfer students, and Columbia does not give any scholarships for academic, athletic or artistic merit.

Please visit the Financial Aid website for more information on financial aid for transfer students, including all required forms.

Are there any scholarships available for transfers?

There are no academic, athletic or talent-based institutional scholarships at Columbia, as all of our institutional financial aid is need-based. However, our students are often the recipients of merit-based scholarships from outside organizations (state grants/scholarships, local/national merit-based awards, etc.).

Do I have to take the Core Curriculum, even if I’ve already taken similar courses at my current college/university?

The Core is the cornerstone of undergraduate academic life at Columbia. Even those transferring in with advanced credit should expect to take elements of the Core, if not all of it. Students are very rarely exempt from Core classes like Literature Humanities, Contemporary Civilization, Art Humanities and Music Humanities.

Where do transfer students live? Is housing guaranteed for transfer students?

As a transfer, you will be guaranteed housing during your time at Columbia, unless you choose to move off-campus at any time, at which point the housing guarantee is forfeited. All transfer students are housed with their class in upperclass residence halls. Assignment is based on seniority and building preference with applications processed on a rolling basis. Students are notified by email when rooms are assigned.

Are transfers required to live on campus?

No, transfers are not required to live on campus.