University Policies

Accuracy and Authenticity

Note that all materials, unless otherwise stated, must be official and sent directly to the University or the University’s designated application platform from an official source (e.g., high school), not through an agent or third-party vendor, with the following exceptions: submissions by the US Department of State’s Fulbright Program and its partner agencies IIE, LASPAU, EducationUSA and AMIDEAST; submissions by the Danish-American Fulbright Commission (DAF); submissions by Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD); and submissions by non-profit, community-based organizations when schools are unable to provide this information on behalf of the student. In addition, the applicant will be required to attest to the accuracy and authenticity of all information and documents submitted to Columbia. If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact Undergraduate Admissions at Failure to submit complete, accurate, and authentic application documents consistent with these instructions may result in denial or revocation of admission, cancellation of academic credit, suspension, expulsion, or eventual revocation of degree. Applicants may be required to assist admissions staff and faculty involved in admission reviews in the verification of all documents and statements made in documents submitted by students as part of the application review process.  

All applicants to Columbia University must confirm on their application that they understand and agree to adhere to the above expectations.

Notice of Non-Discrimination

Columbia University is committed to providing a learning, living, and working environment free from unlawful discrimination and harassment and to fostering a nurturing and vibrant community founded upon the fundamental dignity and worth of all of its members.

Consistent with this commitment, and with all applicable laws, it is the policy of the University not to tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment in any form and to provide those who feel that they are victims of discrimination with mechanisms for seeking redress.

Also consistent with this commitment, Columbia University prohibits any form of discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, pregnancy, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, status as a victim of domestic violence, citizenship or immigration status, creed, genetic predisposition or carrier status, unemployment status, partnership status, military status, or any other applicable legally protected status in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, employment, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other University-administered programs and functions.

Nothing in this policy shall abridge academic freedom or the University's educational mission. Prohibitions against discrimination and discriminatory harassment do not extend to actions, statements or written materials that are relevant and appropriately related to course subject matter or academic debate.

This policy governs the conduct of all Columbia University students, faculty, staff and visitors that occurs on the University’s campuses or in connection with University-sponsored programs.  This policy also governs conduct by Columbia University students, faculty, staff and visitors that creates, contributes to, or continues a hostile work, educational, or living environment for a member or members of the University community.

Inquiries or complaints regarding any form of discrimination or harassment may be directed to:

Marjory D. Fisher

Title IX Coordinator

Associate Vice President

202A Philosophy Hall

(212) 854-1276


Heather Parlier

Associate Provost, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

Section 504 Compliance Officer

103 Low Library

(212) 854-5918


Department of Education

Office for Civil Rights (New York Office)

(646) 428-3800 

Joint Statement for Candidates on Common Ivy League Admission Procedure

The Ivy League is an association of eight institutions of higher education, established in 1954 primarily for the purpose of fostering amateurism in athletics. Relations between the member institutions have grown over the years, and representatives of these institutions now meet regularly at a variety of levels to discuss topics which range from the purely academic to the purely athletic and from fundamental educational philosophy to procedures in admissions.

Each member institution has its own identity and character and protects its right to pursue its own educational objectives. Thus, although the Ivy League institutions are similar in many respects, each member institution will continue to make its own independent admission decisions according to its own particular admissions policy. In recent years, however, it has become clear that the transition between secondary school and institutions of higher education has become increasingly complex and that greater efforts should be made to simplify the process through more uniform admissions procedures. It is our hope that by outlining carefully the procedures under which we are operating and by clearly specifying the obligations of both the applicant and the institution, we can help students pursue their college interests free of unnecessary confusion and pressure.

General Procedures

  • All contacts with students by representatives of Ivy League institutions are intended to provide assistance and information and should be free of any activity that applies undue pressure on the candidate. No information referring to the admission or financial-aid status of an applicant to any Ivy institution may be considered official unless it is received directly from that institution’s admission or financial aid office.
  • Ivy League institutions mail admission decision letters twice annually, in mid-December and late March. Those who wish a decision in December must apply by mid-November and complete their applications with supporting materials shortly thereafter. A student may not file more than one Early Decision application within the Ivy League.

December Notification

  • Under December Notification, an applicant may be notified that he or she has been granted or denied admission or that a final decision has been deferred until the early April notification date. Two plans are offered according to individual institutional policy:
    • The College Board-approved Early Decision Plan, which is offered by Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, and the University of Pennsylvania, requires a prior commitment to matriculate. Financial aid awards for those qualifying for financial assistance will normally be announced in full detail at the same time as the admission decisions. An applicant receiving admission and an adequate financial award under the Early Decision Plan will be required to accept that offer of admission and withdraw all applications to other colleges or universities. All Ivy League institutions will honor any required commitment to matriculate that has been made to another college under this plan.
    • A Single Choice Early Action Plan is offered by Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. This plan does not require a commitment to matriculate, and students may apply to other colleges under those colleges’ regular admission programs (spring notification of final admission decision) but not to another institution’s Early Action or Early Decision program.
    • Students are urged to consult the admission literature available at each Ivy League institution for details concerning its particular December Notification Plan.

Early Evaluation Procedure

  • As determined by each institution, admissions offices may choose to advise applicants in writing of the probability of admission (e.g., likely, possible, unlikely). Such letters will have the effect of letters of admission, in that as long as the applicant sustains the academic and personal record reflected in the completed application, the institution will send a formal admission offer on the appropriate notification date.
  • Within each institution’s overall admissions process, from October 1 through March 15 an admissions office may issue probabilistic communications, in writing, to applicants who are recruited student-athletes. (Such communications given by coaches, whether orally or in writing, do not constitute binding institutional commitments.) An applicant who receives one or more such written communications and who has made a decision to matriculate at one institution is encouraged (but not required) to notify all other institutions, and to withdraw all other applications, as promptly as possible.
  • A coach may both inquire about a candidate's level of commitment to an Ivy institution, or interest in attending that Ivy institution, and encourage that interest. However, a candidate may not be required to withdraw other applications, or to refrain from applying to or visiting another institution, as a condition for receiving a "likely" letter, or an estimate of financial aid eligibility, or a coach’s support in the admissions process. In addition, coaches may not request that candidates not share estimates of financial aid eligibility with other schools.
  • An institution may send a “likely” probabilistic communication letter to a candidate (whether or not the applicant is a recruited athlete) only if the applicant has submitted all of the materials which the institution requires in order to make an admissions decision.
  • An Ivy League school may respond at any time beginning October 1 should a non-Ivy school offer admission to a recruited student-athlete with a reply date prior to the common Ivy notification date. 

Common Notification Date

On a common date, usually in late March, applicants to the Ivy institutions will be notified of admission decisions and financial aid awards, unless they have been notified earlier under Early Decision Plan or Early Action Plan procedures. (Letters are mailed beginning in February for the Schools of Hotel Administration and Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell, and beginning in February for the School of Nursing at Penn.) Please note that scores for standardized tests taken after an admit letter has been sent should not be submitted.

Financial Aid

  • All the Ivy League institutions follow the common policy that any financial aid for student-athletes will be awarded and renewed on the sole basis of economic need with no differentiation in amount or in kind (e.g. packaging) based on athletic ability or participation, provided that each school shall apply its own standard of economic need. The official award of aid may only be made at or subsequent to the time of admission.
  • Only the Office of Financial Aid has the authority to award financial aid on behalf of the institution, and applicants should rely only on formal communications from these offices. No suggestion that financial aid may be available that comes from anyone else associated with the institution is binding on the institution. No applicant should consider or accept an offer of financial help from an alumnus, and any such offer should be reported immediately to the Office of Financial Aid.

Common Reply Date

  • Except for those applicants admitted under the College Board-approved Early Decision Plan, which requires a prior commitment to matriculate, no candidate admitted to any of the Ivy League institutions will be required to announce his or her decision to accept or decline an offer of admission until the Common Reply Date of May 1. All such candidates may delay their commitment to attend until May 1 without prejudice. By that date all admitted candidates must affirm in writing their single choice.
  • The preceding paragraph does not preclude students from remaining on active waiting lists and withdrawing promptly from their original college choice upon receiving subsequent waiting list acceptance to another institution. However, the Ivy League institutions reserve their right to rescind acceptance decisions from candidates who make commitments to and who hold confirmed places at more than one institution concurrently. Students who choose to remain on an active waiting list after May 1 will receive a final response no later than July 1.

Participating Institutions

Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Yale University


Columbia University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 267-284-5000.