What's Unique about Our Process?
You can apply anytime. We accept applications for all of our programs on a rolling basis. If you're accepted, we'll work to find a place for you as quickly as possible.
- Test-optional—Your ACT or SAT scores aren't required for admission.
- Free application—We waive the application fee for you.
- Affordable—Over 90% of our students receive financial aid. Plus, applying early can help you save.
1. SUBMIT YOUR FREE APPLICATION
What Kind of Student are You?
Our application is free and available online. Keep in mind, you'll have to self-identify throughout the application. Here are a few instructions to help you:
- First-Year (Freshman) Student: I'm about to graduate high school or I haven't attended any college after high school graduation. (This includes students who completed AP and Dual Enrollment courses).
- Transfer Student: I've completed classes of any kind at a college or university AFTER completion of high school. (Please note: transfer students are unable to apply for the Nursing program). Review our transfer process.
- Readmission Student: I've attended Columbia College within the last five years. If so, submit the readmissions form.
Start Your Application
You can use our online application below or the Common Application. 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.
Continue 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.
2. REQUEST YOUR UNOFFICIAL* OR OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT
Due to some high schools being closed or operating within limited hours, we are accepting unofficial high school transcripts/documents to process your acceptance decision. *Official transcripts are required before you attend your classes.
Already have college credits? Check out our application steps for transfer students.
3. SUBMIT RECOMMENDATIONS (OPTIONAL)
Ask your high school guidance counselor to submit a letter of recommendation. We also ask that you submit a recommendation from a teacher who taught you in English, math, history, science, or a foreign language course during 11th or 12th grade.
Letters of recommendation can be sent through the Common Application or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. 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:
When to Apply
We operate on a rolling admission basis. That means applying early increases your likelihood of being accepted because we make admission decisions as applications are completed.
You’re also eligible for more scholarship opportunities if you apply early. We invite qualified students to come to campus to interview for scholarships. Explore scholarship opportunities.
Be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible to start the financial aid process—submissions are accepted beginning on October 1. A significant 90% of our undergraduates don't pay full tuition because they receive a number of financial aid benefits, scholarships, and grants to help cover the cost. We recommend that you explore all your financing options. Learn more about your financial aid options.
When Can I Expect a Decision?
In most cases, we respond with an admission decision within one week of receiving all the required documents. Admitted students are notified by mail and will receive follow up information about next steps, like financial aid, housing, orientation, and registration.
How Do I Know I'm Eligible to Apply?
To be eligible for admission as a freshman, you should be a graduate of an accredited high school or its equivalent. We recommend 16 or more college preparatory academic courses should be earned in the following:
- English (2 courses)
- Laboratory Science (2 courses)
- Foreign Language (2 courses)
- Algebra I and II
- and U.S. History, World History, Social Sciences, Advanced Mathematics, or Natural Sciences.
NON-DEGREE SEEKING STUDENT
When applying as a non-degree seeking student, please note the course you are applying for in your application. You must submit an application for each semester you are a student and you'll be required to pay your course fees before you register.
SECOND DEGREE STUDENT
If you are applying for a second degree you'll be required to submit official transcripts from every institution you have attended since graduating high school. Once your application and documentation has been received you'll be asked to pay a $50.00 application fee.