2960 Broadway, New York NY 10027
Columbia University was founded in 1754 in New York City. Along with being the oldest institution of higher education in New York state, it is also the fifth oldest in the entire United States. In fact, it was initially founded as King’s College because of its royal charter from King George II of Great Britain. While the American Revolution shut down the school for eight years, starting in 1776, its spirit persisted thanks to its influential early students and trustees. This prestigious group includes the first U.S. secretary of state Alexander Hamilton, first U.S. chief justice John Jay, and one of the drafters of the Declaration of Independence, Robert R. Livingston.
Columbia College was renamed so after the revolution in 1784. Then, it became Columbia University in 1896, the same year the school moved to its present location in Morningside Heights. Thanks to its academic, athletic, and research strengths, Columbia is considered one of the eight prestigious Ivy League colleges in the U.S. alongside the likes of Princeton, Harvard, and Yale. Columbia has been described by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Columbia alumnus Herman Wouk as a place where “the best things of all human history and thought were inside the rectangle [of Columbia].” The school experienced much student activism during the 1960s, which marked significant changes, including establishing its university-wide government, the University Senate.
Apart from its rich history, Columbia University today also enjoys its ranking as #3 in National Universities and #6 in Best Global Universities according to U.S. News Best Colleges. It has an undergraduate enrollment of 6,245 and a graduate enrollment of 22,861, leading to a highly selective 6% acceptance rate. Like its Ivy League peers, Columbia highly prizes academics. However, the school also heavily encourages its intellectual diversity.
Since its beginning, Columbia has always stood apart from other top universities in many facets. Columbia offers “core classes” known for their small sizes (22 students per class). At the same time, its highly respected school of engineering encompasses an attractive 50/50 balance of humanities and technical courses. Noteworthy Columbia University alumni include composers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, U.S. President Barack Obama, and presidential daughter Chelsea Clinton, who currently teaches grad school there.
Columbia University Essay Requirements
Applicants can apply to Columbia University through the Coalition Application, the Common Application, or the QuestBridge Application (for those who qualify). Applicants will be required to write one personal statement based on a set of prompts within the application and will also be required to answer specific questions pertaining to the university.
Additional Essay Requirements
Deadlines For Submitting Applications
Early Decision Deadline
Regular Application Deadline
Average Acceptance Rate
Empowerly Acceptance Rate
Many of Columbia’s students live on campus and genuinely enjoy life on the school’s 36-acres in the urban Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City’s Upper West Side. The always-trendsetting area is home to Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History, and some of the best coffee shops for fuel when studying. There is a lot to do on the campus, too. The school has the nation’s top-ranking and oldest fencing programs founded in the 1800s and has taken Columbia University to the Olympics. Interested in another activity? Columbia students have over 500 clubs and organizations to choose from, like martial arts, broadcasting on its quarter-century-old radio station, and the innovative year-round Columbia Arts Initiative.
- 92% of students live on campus
- Freshmen are required to live on campus
- Guaranteed housing for Freshmen
First-year students at Columbia must live on campus. In fact, all students have the assurance of four consecutive years of student housing if they choose to take it. Since 92% of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing, the school ensures that the accommodations are comfortable and safe, with more than thirty undergraduate residence halls to choose from. While Greek life has a more prominent role on other campuses, Columbia only sees a quarter of its undergraduates currently participating in it. Most students prefer staying at the residence halls for their social atmosphere and the opportunity to participate in the school’s one-of-a-kind traditions. It includes the annual “Orgo Night” (Organic Chemistry final eve), the performance-based “The Varsity Show” that dates back to 1894, and the ever-popular Columbia tree lighting ceremony.
Life as a Columbia University Student
The school’s multifaceted campus and residential community make life as a Columbia Lion a fresh experience. Days can be jam-packed with the college’s highly lauded core curriculum classes designed to give all students a well-rounded education before they graduate. There are over 80 different fields to focus on as a major or minor, including Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Engineering, and Visual and Performing Arts. You will enjoy an unparalleled 6:1 student to faculty ratio. Don’t forget to make room for on-campus groups and other extracurriculars, including activism, performing arts, religion, and more. Exciting events are always happening on campus, from prominent guest speakers to specific interests exhibitions. Of course, with Manhattan only a 20-minute subway ride away, you’d never run out of things to explore as a Columbia student!
Political Science and Government
Research and Experimental Psychology
Warren Buffet (CEO - Berkshire Hathaway)
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysicist)
Timothee Chalamet (Actor)
Art Garfunkel (Singer)
Auli'i Cravalho (Actress)
Health & Safety
- 24 hour trained security on campus
- Late night ride/safe escort service available
- Health Center
- Psychological Counseling
- Women's Center
Swimming and Diving
Track and Field
Swimming and Diving
Track and Field
FINANCIAL AID INFORMATION
-There are no university-wide merit-based scholarships available. Aid is based entirely on need, not merit for students
– Columbia meets 100% of demonstrated need for all first-year and transfer students pursuing their first degree
– Columbia awards more than $150M annually in scholarships and grants from all sources
– Parents with calculated incomes below $60,000 a year and typical assets are expected to contribute $0 towards their children’s Columbia education
- Tuition and Fees - $63,530
- Room and Board - $15,450
- Books and Personal - $3,604
- Estimated Cost of Attendance - $82,584
CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP / AFFILIATES