How to Get into Columbia

If you want to gain admission to Columbia, you will need to receive exceptional ACT or SAT scores and a nearly perfect GPA. You will also need to write an exceptional personal statement that shows excellent writing abilities and maturity. Your maturity and preparedness will also be tested in the required interview. You should also have extracurricular activities during high school through which you can demonstrate your passions and your leadership skills. Located in New York, New York, Columbia University is renowned as one of the best colleges in the world. Founded in 1751, the school is an Ivy League school and is recognized for its exceptional faculty, leading research and talented students.

Columbia Facts

Motto: In lumine Tuo videbimus lumen (In Thy light shall we see light)
Established: 1754
School Type: Private
Location: New York City, New York
Athletics: NCAA Division I – Ivy League
Nickname: Lions

What Grades Will You Need to Get into Columbia?

Your grades are highly important if you want to get into Columbia. The school reports that more than 90 percent of the class of 2021 were in the top 10 percent of their schools. This means that you should have all As or only a few A-minuses. The classes that you choose are also important. The admissions officers at Columbia are not impressed by students who have taken easy courses during high school even if they received As in all of them. Instead, you should take the most difficult courses that are available to you, including advanced placement or international baccalaureate courses instead of the regular class options. If you can show that you can handle these more difficult courses and that you scored As in them, you will greatly strengthen your application. In general, aim to attain an overall minimum GPA of at least 4.16 weighted.

What SAT or ACT Scores Will You Need to Get into Columbia?

Like grades, achieving top scores on your SAT or ACT is highly important for getting into Columbia. The school does not have a preference for one test over the other, so take both pretests early and focus on preparing for the one on which you do better. You may also feel free to take the tests several times if you don’t score your goal on the first sitting, because Columbia accepts Score Choice. Just submit your best composite score. Generally, people who are better at math and science may prefer the ACT while those who are more linguistically focused may prefer the SAT. Make sure to prepare thoroughly and give yourself enough time for retakes if they are needed. Columbia reports that the middle 50 percent of its class of 2021 had scores ranging from the 25th to 75th percentiles as follows:

  • Between 1490 and 1580 on the SAT
  • ACT scores ranging from 33 to 35

What SAT Subject Tests Should You Take to Get into Columbia?

Columbia states that it does not require students to submit SAT subject tests. If you do choose to take them, the school indicates that it will accept their results. Columbia indicates that students who do not submit SAT Subject Tests will not be penalized. However, when you choose to take and submit them, it gives the school more reasons to consider you if you do very well on them. Try to take two tests in subjects in which you are interested and in which you excel.

What Process Does Columbia Have for Its Interview?

A local interview is required for admission to Columbia, and the school does not offer on-campus interviews at the admissions department. When you apply, your application will also go to any alumni volunteer in your area and if they are able to meet with you, they will contact you between October and March. If there are no local alumni in your area and therefore can’t schedule an interview, Columbia states that you will not be disadvantaged as an applicant.

What Should You Write About in Your Personal Statement to Get into Columbia?

When you are trying to figure out what you should write about in your personal statement, it is important for you to understand that there is not a formula. In general, Columbia does not want you to simply talk about all of your accomplishments or try to list all of your activities to sound well-rounded. The admissions officers want you to tell about something that is important to you or that has shaped who you are. Write authentically and well. The school says that it looks for what motivates each student when it reads personal statements, so make sure to reveal yourself in your essay.

Getting accepted into Columbia University is incredibly difficult and is trending even more so in recent years. For the class of 2021, the school accepted 2,183 students out of a total of 37,389 applicants for an admission rate of 5.8 percent. However, it is still possible for you to be able to become one of the lucky few who get accepted into Columbia if you have the right help and have the drive to succeed. The team at Going Ivy is here to help you every step of the way on your path to achieving your goal of gaining admission to Columbia.

Going Ivy is a leading college admissions consulting company that has helped numerous students to achieve their goals of gaining admission to Columbia as well as to other schools in the Ivy League. To find out if Going Ivy can help you to achieve your college dreams, call today for a free consultation.



Our Team

Meet our team of former admissions officers, Ivy League and top school graduates, and tutors.

Videos & Testimonials

Free Consult