How Do I Apply?

1. Submit Your Free Application

Start Your Application

Start the process today. As a first-time applicant, you'll be prompted to set up an account. You can always take a break and come back to your application. You can use the Common Application—we treat all applicants the same.


Access Your Application

Already started your application? Please use the following button to view your application, submit documents, check the status of your application, and see a checklist of any missing documents you might have.

Application Status

2. Submit a Personal Statement

You must submit a personal statement unless you meet one of the following two categories:

  • You have transferable college credit with a minimum GPA of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, or
  • You have an approved training academy certification (degree-specific).

If you opt to submit a personal statement, it should be a minimum of 500 words and address all of the following:

  • Explain why you should be accepted for admissions.
  • Explain why the program is important to you.
  • Explain why would Columbia College is a good fit for your educational goals.

3. Provide Additional Documentation

Program-specific Requirements 

Criminal Justice, Disaster and Emergency Management, and RN to BSN applicants may also need to submit additional documentation detailed on each individual degree page.

Transfer Students 

You can transfer a total of 90 credit hours from any regionally accredited college or university. Only classes in which you have received a 2.0 or higher will be accepted and we reserve the right to determine which courses meet the requirements and standards of the College. We only accept transfer credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities.

Once your admission file is complete, it will be sent to the registrar for an official transfer evaluation that determines the number of transfer hours to which you are entitled. 


*Official transcripts are required before you attend your classes. 

Request an official copy of your transcripts. This includes official transcripts from all colleges previously attended as well as your high school transcript if you have not earned an associates or bachelors degree, or upon request by the Admissions Committee. This includes dual enrollment. Official transcripts should be sent directly from each school. 

5. Submit Recommendations (optional)

Ask your high school guidance counselor to fill out our guidance counselor form and submit it. We also ask that you submit a recommendation from a teacher who taught you English, math, history, science, or a foreign language in 11th or 12th grade. 

6. Share Your SAT or ACT Scores (optional) 

Your SAT or ACT score is required if you are applying for a scholarship, but it is not required to apply to Columbia College. Use our school code 5117 to share your SAT scores, and use school code 3850 to share your ACT scores. 

Please use the following address for transcripts and recommendations: 

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Columbia College
1301 Columbia College
Columbia, SC 29203

What Happens Next? 

Admission Decision 

In most cases, we evaluate an application and respond with an admission decision within four weeks of receiving all the required documentsAdmitted students are notified by mail and will receive follow up information about next steps, like financial aid, housing, orientation, and registration.  

Financial Aid 

We recommend that you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible to begin the financial aid process. Submissions are accepted beginning on October 1. Learn more about our low tuition rates and your financial aid options.