How to Get into Columbia
Columbia University is an elite college that is located in New York City. If you have a goal of getting into Columbia, you will have to obtain As in nearly all of your high school classes, receive top scores on your standardized admission test, write compelling essays, and participate in extracurricular activities that showcase your abilities and qualities. When the admissions officers at Columbia College review your application, they will want to see that you are extraordinarily capable and are the right fit for the school’s community.
Columbia was created in 1754 by a royal charter from King George II. It is one of the eight colleges that make up the Ivy League and is one of the most elite institutions in the U.S. It is a renowned research university, and its location in New York allows students to have access to one of the best cities in the world and all that it has to offer. Some famous alumni who attended Columbia include former President Barack Obama, Warren Buffett, and Isaac Asimov, among many others.
Motto: In lumine Tuo videbimus lumen (In Thy light shall we see light)
School Type: Private
Location: New York City, New York
Athletics: NCAA Division I – Ivy League
What to know how to get into Columbia? To assist you in figuring out how to get into Columbia, our admissions advisors have gathered some of the questions that they are most frequently asked about getting into Columbia.
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 GPA do I need to get into Columbia?
Columbia does not report the GPAs of their entering freshman class members. However, the school reports that for the entering class of 2023, more than 95% of the enrolled students were ranked in the top 10% of their graduating classes in high school. If you want to gain admission to Columbia, you should strive to obtain the highest GPA possible in high school.
Some schools weight their GPAs while others do not. Schools that weight GPAs give added weight for AP or IB courses, meaning that it is possible to get a GPA of more than 4.0. If your school weights GPAs, take courses to allow your GPA to be higher than 4.1. If your school does not weight GPAs, aim to achieve a 4.0 GPA. You will also need to obtain your GPA from difficult classes. If you have a 4.0 unweighted GPA in easy classes, that will not be good enough. You will need to take the most rigorous curriculum at your high school and achieve a high GPA from taking those courses to improve your chances of admission to Columbia.
If you begin taking a class and are having trouble, you should not wait to ask for help. When you get help from a tutor early, it will be much easier for you to understand the material and get a good grade than it will be if you wait until later. A tutor might help you to learn the material so that you can protect your GPA.
What SAT or ACT scores do I need to get into Columbia?
Columbia accepts either the ACT or SAT and does not have a preference for one over the other. The last testing dates that can be considered are November for early decision or February for regular decision. You can self-report your scores on the Common or Coalition application or update your scores on the Columbia application status page after you have applied. You can also have your scores sent directly from your school to Columbia or have the testing company send them directly by entering the registration code for Columbia.
To get into Columbia, you will need to have a top SAT or ACT score. Columbia states that the 25th and 75th percentiles for the SAT and ACT scores of its most recent entering class of freshmen were as follows:
However, you will need to obtain a very competitive SAT or ACT score if you want to get into Columbia. For its most recent class, Columbia reports that the entering students achieved the following scores at the 25th and 75th percentiles:
- SAT EBRW – 710 at the 25th percentile
- SAT EBRW – 760 at the 75th percentile
- SAT Math – 740 at the 25th percentile
- SAT Math – 800 at the 75th percentile
- SAT Composite – 1450 at the 25th percentile
- SAT Composite – 1560 at the 75th percentile
- ACT composite – 33 at the 25th percentile
- ACT composite – 35 at the 75th percentile
Among the entering freshmen who took the SAT, 81% earned scores ranging from 700 to 800 on the EBRW, and 89% earned scores ranging from 700 to 800 on the SAT Math subsection. For those students who took the ACT, 97% scored 30 or higher. When you view the percentile ranges, your goal should be to achieve an ACT or SAT score at the upper end of the range.
The sooner that you can begin to prepare for the ACT or SAT, the better. Some people perform equally well on either test, but others find that they do better on one of the two tests. Taking the PSAT/MSQT and the PreACT can give you a feel for what these tests are like and which test might be a better option for you. Take these tests during your freshman or sophomore year to get an idea. You can then start practicing on the test that you have chosen by taking practice tests online or from an official practice test book.
You will want to retake the PSAT/NMSQT at the beginning of your junior year. This test is used to select students as national merit scholars. Being named as a national merit scholar looks great on your application and makes you eligible for the national merit scholarship.
You should plan regular times to take practice tests for the ACT or SAT. Time your tests and take them in similar situations to what you might expect on the test date. As the date of your first attempt at the SAT or ACT draws closer, practice more frequently. When you complete practice tests, pay attention to what you missed. Identifying the types of questions that you have more difficulty with can help you to work on your weaker areas to improve your scores. A test prep tutor can also help you to identify your weaker areas and help you to understand how to address them. When you start practicing early, you will have much more time to work on securing the best score possible on your test.
When you reach your junior year of high school, you should start taking the ACT or SAT. By your junior year, you should have learned most of what is contained on these tests. Starting to take the SAT or ACT during your junior year will provide you with the opportunity to retake the test more times to improve your score.
What classes do I need to take in high school to get into Columbia?
Columbia does not have specific requirements for the number of units of each subject that you take in high school. However, the school strongly recommends that you complete the following to provide evidence that you are prepared for college at Columbia:
- Four years of English composition and literature
- Three to four years of mathematics
- Three to four years of social studies and history
- Three to four years of laboratory sciences
- Three to four years of a single foreign language
If you plan to become a physician or dentist or to major in mathematics, engineering, or one of the sciences, Columbia recommends that you take as many mathematics and science courses as possible at your school. At a minimum, Columbia recommends that you take mathematics through at least pre-calculus. If you plan to apply to the engineering school at Columbia, the school recommends that you take mathematics courses through Calculus.
The admissions officers who evaluate your application will look at your transcripts and will want to see that you have completed a rigorous load of courses in each year of high school. You should not let up during your senior year. If you do, it can hurt your chances of admission to Columbia.
If your high school offers AP or IB classes, take those instead of their regular class counterparts. Taking rigorous classes like AP or IB classes and performing well in them can help you to show that you are prepared to tackle your courses at Columbia. If your school does not offer these types of classes, talk to your guidance counselor for help with planning to take courses that might meet Columbia’s recommendations.
Do I need to take AP courses to get into Columbia?
Some high schools in the U.S. do not offer AP classes, and Columbia recognizes this. If your school does not offer AP or IB courses, it will not be held against you. However, if your school does offer AP classes, you should take them. It looks much better on your application to Columbia to have chosen the more difficult version of a course. For example, AP Calculus in high school will look better than taking the regular calculus class that your school might offer. You do not need to take every AP class that might be available, however. Try to take four or five AP courses in the subjects that you perform the best in or that correspond to the major you think that you want to pursue at Columbia. If your school does not offer AP classes, follow your school’s honors curriculum.
Some high schools also offer dual enrollment courses through agreements with local colleges or universities. If your school offers these classes, you can take them to demonstrate that you can handle college-level coursework. However, Columbia will not grant you transfer credit for any college courses that you took while you were still in high school.
Does Columbia accept AP credit?
Columbia does not accept credit for college courses that students take while they are still in high school. However, the school does grant advanced standing or credit for AP exams and IB exams in some cases. If credit is granted, it will be handled by a student’s academic advisor after he or she has enrolled.
Beyond the potential ability to earn credit for your AP or IB exams, taking AP courses and exams and scoring well on them can help to strengthen your application. To be granted credit, you will likely need to score a minimum of a four on your AP exams. A five will be much likelier to result in credit being granted by Columbia for your exams.
Do I need to take SAT subject tests to get into Columbia?
SAT subject tests are optional for applicants to Columbia. If you take SAT subject tests, you can still report them to Columbia on your application. Applicants who choose not to take the SAT subject tests will not be penalized. If you take SAT subject tests, the tests can help you to showcase your academic abilities in your areas of interest, however. When subject test scores are submitted, they will be reviewed together with all of the other application materials that you submit.
Does Columbia super score SAT or ACT scores?
If you take the ACT or SAT multiple times, the admissions officers will consider the highest score that you obtained on each subtest of the SAT or ACT. For example, if you scored a 740 on the SAT EBRW on one testing date and a 720 on the SAT EBRW on a different testing date, the officer will use the score of 740 to evaluate your application. If you scored a 34 on the science reasoning section of the ACT on one testing date and a 30 on a different testing date, Columbia will review your application using the 34 that you scored.
What should I write about in my personal statement to get into Columbia?
As a first-year applicant, you will need to respond to Columbia-specific questions when you fill out your application. You will need to read each question carefully before you write your answer. Five list-type questions must be answered in 150 words or less. You will also be asked to write two short essay answers of 300 words or less. You will need to respond to the provided prompts. The second short essay question’s prompt will be different, depending on if you are applying to Columbia College or The Fu Foundation of Engineering and Applied Science.
The short answer questions and essays give you an opportunity to stand out from other applicants. You should be careful when you write them. These essays are designed to allow you to tell the story of how you became who you are today and to provide more information about you to the admissions officials. Columbia receives many thousands of applications each year for relatively few spots for the upcoming entering class. You should write your answers in a manner that allows you to come alive on paper. You should not simply list your past achievements.
There isn’t a formula for how to write your essay. Think about what you value and write about it. You should never write the same essay to submit to many schools. Every essay should be written specifically for each school.
While most students do not want to write their essays for their applications to Columbia, the essays and short answer questions are critical. You should be willing to put in the work to write compelling essays and short answers. Make certain that you start early enough on your application so that you will have plenty of time to write your responses.
Once you have written the first draft of your short answers and essays, you should ask someone you trust to look them over. Do not solely rely on what your parents think. Ask your English teacher or a guidance counselor to review your essays critically. Be prepared to rewrite your responses several times until they are as good as they can get. Your essays should be compelling and well-written. Finally, never ask someone else to write your essays for you. If you do this, the admissions officials will likely be able to tell. Asking someone else to write your essays is dishonest and can risk your application. The admissions officers want to learn about you and your perspectives, and it will not help you if someone else’s voice comes through in your essays instead of your own.
How selective is Columbia?
Columbia is very selective. For the class of 2023, the school received 42,569 applications and accepted 2,247 for an acceptance rate of 5.2%. According to the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges rankings, Columbia is tied for third among the best institutions of higher learning in the nation. To put the admit rate for the class of 2023 in perspective, just five people out of every 100 who applied were accepted.
Gaining admission to Columbia will require a lot of preparation. You should begin to prepare as soon as possible. You should work to excel while you are in high school to improve your chances of getting accepted by Columbia. If you are not accepted, your strong preparation will surely help you to gain admission into one of your second-choice schools.
What extracurricular activities do I need to get into Columbia?
Many high school students have the idea that they have to participate in as many extracurricular activities as possible to stand out on their college applications. When you are applying to an elite institution like Columbia, however, this approach is not effective. Columbia is more interested in the quality of your participation in your extracurricular activities rather than in how many you have participated in.
Instead of overloading yourself with a large number of extracurricular activities, choose a select few that are in your interest area. Stay with your extracurricular activities throughout high school, and try to secure leadership positions in them. For example, if you love writing and dream of becoming a journalist, consider joining your school’s newspaper. If you are interested in pursuing a career in engineering, consider participating in the technology bowl and your school’s chapter of the Technology Students Association. Columbia will not expect you to have joined every club that your school offers and will be more interested in seeing what you have accomplished through your extracurricular activities.
High school sports are great because they can allow you to make friends as you form relationships with your teammates. Unless you are one of the top athletes in your sport in your state or the country, participating in sports will be unlikely to secure you a spot at Columbia. If you are a top athlete who is recruited, you will still need to have excellent grades and top test scores. Make sure that you work just as hard in the classroom as you do in your sport.
Activities that you participate in outside of high school are also important. If you regularly volunteer or have engaged in other similar activities, talk about your experiences. These types of things can help the admissions officials to understand the things that you value and the contributions that you have made to your community.
What enrichment opportunities will help me get into Columbia?
Columbia offers multiple enrichment opportunities for exceptional high school students. If you live close by, you might be able to participate in the Saturday immersion program. This program allows high school students to spend five Saturdays during the academic year at Columbia taking rigorous classes. Another option that students who live within commuting distance to Columbia is the college edge program. This program allows exceptional high school students to take the same college courses as other students at Columbia while they are still in high school, and they can earn full college credit for the classes that they take.
If you live further away but can travel to New York during the summer months, there are a few options available for enrichment at Columbia. You can apply to the college edge summer sessions, which allow you to take the same classes at Columbia and to earn credit that regular Columbia students do. The school also offers a one-week summer immersion program and a three-week summer immersion program. If you are a student journalist, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association offers an educational conference each year.
Participating in the enrichment opportunities at Columbia is not automatic. You must go through a competitive application process and be accepted into the program that you want. If you are accepted to one of these enrichment programs, it might help your chances of being admitted when you apply to Columbia.
Other enrichment opportunities might also help you. For example, if you are not able to attend one of the enrichment programs that Columbia offers, check your local universities to learn about any enrichment opportunities that they might offer. You can also participate in academic competitions in your interest area. If you place highly at the state or national level, it can help your chances of being admitted to Columbia.
One thing that some high school students do is to participate in expensive trips to other countries during the summer months to try to improve their chances of getting admitted to Columbia. These types of activities will not help your chances of admission.
Who should I ask to write my Columbia letters of recommendation?
Columbia asks for applicants to have two teachers write letters of recommendation for them. The teachers should be familiar with your academic strengths and should know you personally. Columbia also asks that both teachers teach academic subjects. If you are applying to the engineering school, one of the teachers that you choose should be one of your math or science teachers. Take care with who you ask to write your recommendation letters. You will want to ask teachers who know you well and who you trust to write great letters in support of your admission.
Columbia does not require any supplementary letters of recommendation. Asking someone else outside of your school to write a letter of recommendation for you is unlikely to help you. Resist the urge to ask someone who holds an important position and who does not know you well to write a letter of recommendation for you. This will not help your application or your prospects of gaining admission to Columbia. Simply sticking with the two required letters of recommendation from teachers who know you well is fine.
You should choose teachers who are familiar with your academic work throughout high school. Choosing teachers from your 11th- or 12th-grade year is a good idea. These teachers will be familiar with your academic abilities in more difficult classes.
Does Columbia require an interview?
Columbia does not require interviews. The school receives more than 40,000 applications each year and simply does not have enough volunteers available to interview everyone who applies. Interviews that are conducted are by invitation. If you do not receive an invitation to be interviewed, don’t worry. This is not a sign that your application will be denied.
You cannot call to request an interview, and Columbia asks that you do not do this. If you are chosen for an interview, you will be contacted. Interviews are conducted by members of the Alumni Representative Committee of Columbia and specific students at Columbia. The interviews are held in locations near the high schools that the interviewees attend. There are not volunteers available in all areas.
If you do receive an invitation for an interview, respond promptly to schedule a time and location. Interviews are conducted in public places such as coffee shops or libraries. Try to practice interviewing with someone who has previously participated in a Columbia admissions interview. You can also read other people’s interview experiences online to get an idea of the types of questions that you might be asked.
On the date of your interview, give yourself plenty of time to reach the location. You should aim to be a few minutes early. It is never a good idea to make an interviewer wait on you. Dress nicely, but do not overdress. Have a neat appearance, and wear clothing that reflects the place that you will be meeting.
Never go to an interview with your parents in tow. This makes you look like you lack confidence and will not be able to make decisions on your own in college. The interviewer will not be interested in what your parents have to say. Leave your parents at home.
During your interview, listen carefully to your interviewer’s questions and provide thoughtful responses. If you are interviewed, the person who interviews you will be evaluating you to provide additional information about you to the admissions office. Do not be overly nervous, and do not be overly confident. Simply be yourself and answer the questions that you are asked fully and honestly. After your interview, the alumni or student who conducted the interview will write a report to submit to the admissions office. If you make a great impression, the interviewer’s opinion can carry some weight.
What does Columbia look for in students?
Columbia’s admissions process is holistic, and the school considers more than just your grades and test scores. Columbia wants to make certain that the students that they choose will fit well with the community at the school. The school says that it evaluates the following factors when it evaluates applicants:
- Your high school courses and grades
- Your access to resources, family background, community, and high school
- The quality of your extracurricular activities
- Your character and how it will positively impact the community at Columbia
- Your fitness with Columbia
- Evidence of your intellectual promise and curiosity from your recommendation letters
Columbia wants to find students who show great intellectual promise. They also want students who have good characters and who are truly interested in having a positive impact on the world.
Will visiting Columbia help me get in?
If you can do so, it is a good idea to visit Columbia. Visiting the school can indirectly help your admissions prospects because a visit demonstrates your interest in attending Columbia. If you visit, you will also be able to get an idea of whether Columbia is the right school for you.
Columbia offers tours, information sessions, and class visits. You can register online to participate in these events. Reservations are required for campus tours and information sessions. The engineering school also offers tours. If you attend a class during your visit, you will get to see what it is like to be a student at Columbia.
If you are unable to visit Columbia in person, the school offers a virtual tour. The virtual tour can at least let you see what the campus looks like. Finally, during the fall and spring, admissions officers from Columbia visit locations across the U.S. You can attend one of these sessions at a location that is close to you by registering for one of the dates. The school lists upcoming sessions on its website when they are scheduled.
Does Columbia accept the Common Application?
Columbia accepts the Common, Coalition, and QuestBridge applications. It does not prefer one application over another, so you should choose the one that is best for your situation. The Common Application is used by hundreds of schools. The Coalition application is used by fewer schools, but all of the Ivy League schools and other selective institutions accept it. Finally, the QuestBridge application is meant for low-income students and allows them to apply to several selective universities at the same time. QuestBridge selects applicants as finalists to different schools. If you are chosen as a QuestBridge finalist for Columbia, your materials will be forwarded on to the school. All of the applications are free, but you might need to pay Columbia’s application fee unless you are approved for a fee waiver.
What are Columbia’s application deadlines?
Columbia has multiple dates and deadlines of which you should be aware. The deadlines that will apply to you will depend on whether you are applying through the early decision, QuestBridge National College Match, or regular decision programs. There are multiple important deadlines and dates that you need to be aware of, including the following:
- Nov. 1 – Deadline for early decision applicants
- Nov. 1 – Deadline for QuestBridge National College Match applicants
- Nov. 15 – Deadline for early decision financial aid applications
- Mid-December – Decisions released online for early decision applicants
- Jan. 1 – Deadline for regular decision applicants
- Early January – Deadline for deposits from early decision applicants
- Feb. 15 – Deadline for financial aid applications for regular decision
- Late March – Decisions released on regular decision applications
- May 1 – Deposit deadline for regular decision
- May 15 – Deadline for enrollment deferral requests
- Late June – Deadline for submission of final transcripts
The early decision program at Columbia is meant for applicants whose first choice school is Columbia and who are also willing to be bound to attend if they are accepted. You should not apply through the early decision program unless you are certain that you want to attend Columbia and you already have secured the GPA and scores that you need to be competitive.
If you are accepted through the early decision program, you will have to attend Columbia and will have to withdraw applications that you have submitted through the regular decision processes at other schools. The school states that you can apply to other schools’ non-binding application programs, but any applications that you file will have to be withdrawn upon acceptance to Columbia’s early decision program.
You might also learn that your application has been deferred to the regular decision program. If this happens, Columbia will defer its decision on your application until when it considers the applications it receives during the regular decision process. You will be notified of the decision on your application by April 1.
Finally, you might also be notified in December that your early decision application has been denied. If this happens, you are not allowed to apply to Columbia again during the year through its regular decision program. While you could reapply in a subsequent year, it is better for you to submit applications to the other schools that you are interested in attending through their regular decision programs. You should not take a denial from Columbia to heart. Remember that Columbia turns down tens of thousands of applicants every year who are highly qualified. Receiving a denial does not mean that you are unprepared for college or a poorly-qualified applicant.
The regular decision program at Columbia is a good choice for students who are unsure whether they want to attend Columbia or another school. It is also a good option for you if you need to retake the SAT or ACT another time to bolster your scores or to take some extra classes during the fall semester to boost your GPA. If you apply through the regular decision process, you will be notified by April 1 of the school’s decision on your application. If you are accepted, you will then need to decide whether to enroll by May 1.
If you come from a lower-income background, you can apply to Columbia through the QuestBridge National College Match program. This program allows you to apply to multiple selective colleges at the same time. QuestBridge will review the application materials that you submit and match you to different schools. If you are selected as a QuestBridge finalist for Columbia, your application materials will be sent to Columbia by the deadline of Nov. 1.
What can I do now to increase my chances of getting into Columbia?
If you are wondering what steps you can take now to improve the chances that you will be accepted by Columbia, you hopefully have already been working to secure the highest grades possible in your classes. If you are still in junior high school or are a freshman, you will have a lot more time to do things to boost your chances. At these ages, you can start by creating a plan with actionable steps that you can take during high school. You will also want to figure out which academic areas are your stronger and weaker areas. You can then include steps to take to improve in your weaker areas and to continue to build on your stronger areas.
It is not too early to determine which standardized test might be a better choice for you. You can take the PSAT and the pre-ACT so that you will have a general idea of how the ACT and SAT work. Some students tend to perform better on one test over the other while others score fairly equally on both. Since you are still young, these tests may not provide an accurate representation of the score that you will obtain. The ACT and SAT are standardized tests that evaluate what you have learned in high school. However, taking the pre-ACT and PSAT can still help you to decide which test you will ultimately take and to identify the subtests that give you more trouble. You can then work on the subtests that are harder for you and study the problems that you get wrong to figure out what you need to learn.
During high school, you need to try to get As in every class. If you begin taking a class that you are struggling with, get help as early in the semester as possible. An academic tutor might help you to get a good grasp of the material and help you to secure a great grade. Working with a tutor in a difficult class might also help you to learn to enjoy the material. However, you need to be willing to put in the necessary work. A tutor cannot guarantee that you will get an A in a class if you are not willing to study and work hard.
Make certain that you have a written schedule that you follow. You should carve out time in your schedule each week to relax and have fun. High school students are expected to have some fun and to build strong relationships with others. If you study all of the time and never take time for yourself, you will miss out on key developmental opportunities and appear to be one-dimensional.
The importance of working with a plan and schedule cannot be emphasized enough. These can help you to build your time management and organizational skills, which are both important for your performance in high school, your college applications, and your future as an adult. Using a plan and regular schedule can help you to build great habits that can benefit you throughout your life. A goal plan with small action steps can also allow you to check your progress and see how far you have come in your journey.
If you are already in your sophomore year of high school, you still have some time to work to build your chances of getting accepted to Columbia. Hopefully, you already have gotten great grades during your freshman year. Even if you didn’t get all As while you were a freshman, you can still strive to get the highest possible grades in all of your classes. The admissions officers will want to see an upward trajectory in your grades as you begin taking more difficult classes. This is a good year to take the Pre-ACT and PSAT if you haven’t already so that you can identify your weaknesses and strengths and get a good idea of which test you prefer. Look at the types of questions that you have trouble with and start practicing on them.
If you are having trouble in a class, get help early in the semester. This can help you to save your grade and might also allow you to develop a new academic interest that you didn’t previously have. Take the most rigorous courses that are available to you at your high school. Work with your guidance counselor to make certain that you are choosing the right courses, including your school’s honors curriculum and AP or IB classes if they are offered.
If you are already in your junior or senior year of high school, you will have little time remaining to increase your chances of being admitted to Columbia. Hopefully, you already have a great GPA. Choose the ACT or SAT, and take it as many times as possible to try to secure the best scores. Make certain to practice with practice tests, and schedule time to study for the ACT or SAT. Continue working to get the best grades possible in your classes. When you reach your senior year, avoid slacking off. Take rigorous classes, and do well in them. If you choose easier courses during your senior year or allow your grades to fall, your chances of being accepted to Columbia will drop.
Columbia wants to find students who have good characters. Make certain that you treat other people around you with kindness. Consider volunteering in your community to support a cause that is important to you. Be careful of what you post online because what you say can come back to haunt you later.
Give yourself plenty of time for your application. Starting your application early can give you more time to write your essays so that they will shine. Beginning the process early can also help you to avoid some of the stress that the college applications process can cause.
How do I apply to Columbia?
When you are preparing to apply to Columbia, your first step will be to decide which application process you will participate in, including the early decision, the QuestBridge National College Match, or the regular decision programs. You will then need to choose the application that you will complete. After you have decided on the program and application that you will use, you can begin filling out your application.
You will complete your application online, and the applications are free. However, unless you apply for and are approved for a fee waiver, you will need to pay the Columbia application fee. When you complete your application, do not rush through it. Take time to fill it out, and proofread it. You don’t want to submit an application that contains typos or spelling errors. You also don’t want to submit an application in which you missed questions and failed to answer everything.
Write and rewrite your essay questions and short answer questions until they are the best examples of your writing skills. Pick the teachers to write your recommendations, and give them plenty of time to write and submit their letters. Do not ask your teachers to submit recommendations to Columbia at the last minute. Make certain to follow the deadlines. If your application is submitted after the deadline, it will be rejected.
You can self-report your test scores, but you will need to do so accurately. Columbia will double-check the information that you report. Ask your school to send your transcripts directly to Columbia. Submit your standardized test scores to the school. Once you have completed and submitted everything, continue getting top grades during your senior year. Your senior-year grades will be checked by Columbia, and if you have allowed them to fall, your application could be denied.
Many students in the U.S. and from around the world dream of gaining admission to Columbia. The school is a world-renowned research institution, and its selectivity and prestige mean that it is very hard for most people to be accepted by this college. Getting admitted to Columbia will require you to start preparing as soon as possible. If you are willing to work hard, you may ultimately be admitted 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. This page was created to help you understand how to get into Columbia. To find out if Going Ivy can help you to achieve your college dreams, call today for a free consultation.
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