Frequently Asked Questions by Transfer Applicants

We know this is a busy time of year as you complete your application, and we appreciate your interest in Columbia University. We receive many emails from students as they work to submit their application to Columbia, so we’ve gathered the following information to help answer questions and reduce some of the stress that applicants may be feeling. Please refer to our Transfer Applicants page for more information about the transfer application requirements.

Update as of March 1, 2023: The deadline to apply as a transfer applicant has been extended to Friday, March 3, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (applicant's local time).

Have you received my application materials?

Transfer applicants may log into their application status portal to confirm that their application has been received. Additionally, applicants can track individual application documents and submit the curriculum report or updates through the application status portal, which allows our office to process and review documents thoroughly and carefully. Applicants will not be penalized if some of their materials arrive shortly after the deadline. We are unable to confirm receipt of specific items outside of this tracking system.

How do I log into my application status portal?

Applicants can create a login to access their application status portal according to these instructions. If you have previously created an account with Columbia Undergraduate Admissions, please use the same credentials you created at that time. If you have any difficulty logging in, reset your password. There is no need for you to create a new account. 

When will I receive my Columbia ID?

Applicants will receive their Columbia ID numbers through their application status portal within one week (5 business days) after submitting their applications. This ID number can be used as an additional identifier if needed for submitting supporting documents. 

Are standardized tests required for transfer applicants?

Columbia is test-optional for transfer applicants to Columbia College or Columbia Engineering. Please review our standardized testing policy for additional details, as well as our English language proficiency requirement if applicable. Transfer applicants may submit scores up through March testing dates. Students who choose to submit test scores can self-report their ACT or SAT test scores directly on the Coalition Application.

What supplementary essays do I need to submit?

Transfer applicants will need to submit the Columbia supplement in addition to the Coalition Application, which includes the Transfer Essay as well as Columbia-specific questions. Please do not proceed past the Coalition Profile in Scoir until you have completed the section to your satisfaction. You will not be able to edit your answers or revise the PDF after proceeding to the Columbia Supplement to the Coalition Application. You may preview the Columbia-specific questions on our website.

The Transfer Essay will only be available after you begin your Columbia Supplement to the Coalition Application. The essay in the Scoir platform of the Coalition Application is not required and will not be sent to Columbia for evaluation. 

The Transfer Essay in the Columbia Supplement to the Coalition Application is an opportunity for you to submit a full-length, personal essay of approximately 400-600 words that details why you are seeking transfer admission. The essay does not need to be specific to Columbia, but it should inform the committee why you wish to leave your current institution. This personal statement is not a short answer question and should be approached with care.

Please note that Coalition applications with an incomplete Columbia Supplement will not be considered submitted. 

Who should write my recommendations?

Recommendation letters should only be submitted by college professors who have taught you in a college course. An optional third recommendation may be accepted from an advising dean or academic adviser. Recommendation letters should not come from high school teachers, employers, research supervisors or family members.

How should I submit the required school forms?

The Coalition Application Transfer Report, which collects information about your standing at your current institution, should be completed by a school official such as an advisor, dean or registrar at your current institution. This form may accompany your official college transcript. Transfer Reports should be sent electronically to if they cannot accompany your official transcript.

The Coalition Application Curriculum Report should not be submitted until mid-term grades are available in Spring 2023. A curriculum report with grades listed as "in progress" or with no grades listed will not meet this requirement. The curriculum report is not required for students who are not currently enrolled in a college or attending a school that operates on the quarter system. Curriculum reports can be uploaded to your application portal after you submit your application or be emailed to

How should I report my extracurricular activities? May I submit a resume as part of my application?

The "Activities/Experiences" tab on your Coalition Profile should be a comprehensive overview of the extracurricular activities you were active in during both high school and college. Be sure to include all clubs, organizations, research positions, jobs, internships and/or volunteer activities that you were involved with in high school and college. All activities and experiences that you participated in during college should be marked as "PG" year.

You are welcome to upload a resume detailing your high school and college extracurricular activities in the “Uploads" section of the application.

I'm having an issue with the Coalition Application, how can I get help?

Applicants submitting the Coalition Application can review technical FAQs  on the Scoir Help Desk page.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Please refer to Columbia Financial Aid and Educational Financing for financial aid application requirements. Transfer financial aid applications are due on March 1st, 2023.

If you still have a question that remains unanswered, we encourage you to review the FAQ section of our website before emailing us; we may take a few days to respond to email inquiries, given the high volume of messages we receive at this time.