When to Apply

Rolling Admission 

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.

Please contact us at 803.786.3871 with any questions about the enrollment timeline.  

How Do I Apply as an International Student? 

1. Complete Your Application

We encourage all international students to use the Common Application. Creating an account is simple and straightforward. An application essay is required as part of the process but you can always take a break and come back later.

A photocopy of your passport or a current visa should be uploaded with your application or emailed to your admissions counselor to ensure proper spelling and order of your name. This information is to minimize errors for name mismatch on your I-20.

2. Request Your Official Transcript

Request an official copy of your transcript. Official transcripts should be sent directly from each school you've attended. Please note that we can only accept english translated transcripts, records, and certifications.

Document Evaluation

We highly encourage you to utilize World Education Services (WES), a third-party credential evaluation service to complete a comprehensive report of your previous academic record. For a first-time, first-year student, fees for document evaluation range from U.S. $100-$145. For students who have completed some college-level courses or wish to transfer in from a non-U.S. institution, document evaluation fees range from U.S. $160-$205.

Please use the following address for transcripts and recommendations: 

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

3. Share Your TOEFL, IELTS, or SAT

You must submit scores from either the TOEFL, IELTS, or SAT. When submitting TOEFL or SAT scores, Columbia College’s institutional ID number is 5117.

Test Sore Minimums

TOEFL scores are required for international students for whom English is a second language. The minimum score required for admission on the paper version is 550; the minimum score required for admission on the computer version is 213, the minimum required on the web version is 79, or 6.5 on IELTS..

4. Certification of Finances

In order for us to issue an I-20 for study in the United States, we are required to verify that your family can afford the cost of education. Please complete all of the fields in the Certification of Finances form, and indicate the maximum resources available to you for study in the US.

5. Financial Aid

We do offer some financial assistance to international students, but we do not offer full tuition scholarships. Please contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs for a financial aid application and indicate the maximum resources available to you for study in the US.

What kind of Visa do I need?

Once you have received your I-20 from Columbia College, you will need to apply for your F-1 visa for entry into and study in the US. We encourage you to visit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Homeland Security for steps, advice, and appropriate forms.

If you are a permanent residents, you are required to submit a copy of your permanent resident card. F-2 visas (F-1 dependents) are only allowed to take classes part-time and cannot obtain a degree.

We are only approved to accept non-immigrant students with F-1 visas (not J-1 or M-1 visas). To request a non-immigration student visa, follow these steps:

Check your I-20

Make sure the name and date of birth on your I-20 matches the information on your passport – if the I-20 information does not match your passport, please contact your designated school official so we can correct the information on your I-20.

SEVIS form I-901

Complete SEVIS form I-901 and pay the SEVIS fee – visit SEVIS to first watch the fee payment tutorial and then go to FMJFEE to complete the form and pay the fee.

Visit an American Embassy

After paying the I-901 fee and receiving a receipt of payment, you may apply for a visa at any American embassy or consulate before you make plans to leave for the United States.

Check your Visa Status

Visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs for useful information on academic studies in the U.S. and the visa process

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.

Make your Deposit

To save your spot, you'll need to make an enrollment deposit of $200. You can pay your deposit online, through our secure portal.