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Columbia University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn about Columbia University in New York City, NY. Read about its admission info, financial aid and degree programs to see if this is the right school for you.

About Columbia University

Founded in 1754 as King's College, Columbia University is the fifth-oldest higher learning institution in the nation. The university's main campus is located on Manhattan's Upper West Side and houses 3 undergraduate schools. Widely known for its research, Columbia University has more than 200 research centers and a current count of 600 patents.

There are a number of notable alumni among Columbia's graduates. An overview of these includes 5 U.S. Founding Fathers, 93 Pulitzer Prize winners, 34 presidents and prime ministers, and a number of Nobel Prize winners.

Academics

Columbia University offers more than 200 degree programs through its 16 schools and colleges. The majority of these schools and colleges are focused on graduate-level degree programs. Undergraduates can gain admittance one of three ways: through Columbia College, a very selective institution focused on undergraduate studies; through the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, which is the third-oldest engineering school in the nation; and through the School of General Studies, which is tailored toward nontraditional undergraduate students.

In addition, Columbia is partnered with 4 affiliate schools including Barnard College, Teachers College, The Jewish Theological Seminary, and Union Theological Seminary. This allows students to enroll in dual-degree programs with these schools and have access to resources available on these campuses.

Admissions

The application process for prospective undergraduate is extensive. Applicants are required to submit the Common Application, an $80 application fee, and a Columbia-specific application supplement that requires short answer responses regarding interest in Columbia University and the selection of either Columbia College or Columbia Engineering.

In addition, the application packet requires a high school transcript, a recommendation from a high school counselor, and either SAT or ACT test scores, plus 2 teacher recommendations. In 2010, Columbia University had more than 26,000 applicants.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition costs vary by degree level. For the 2012 - 2013 academic year, tuition costs for undergraduates were $22,514 per term. Additional costs to consider include those for books and supplies, housing, and transportation.

Financial aid options range from federal grants to student loans. Columbia offers a payment plan option that is administered through the Sallie Mae Foundation, allowing students to make payment installments on tuition and fees.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY QUICK FACTS
School Type Private, 4-year**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, doctorates**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semester***
School Setting Large city**
Student Body In Fall 2011: 8,127 undergraduate and 17,923 graduate students**
Student Housing More than 20 on campus residence halls
Incoming students are guaranteed 4 years of on campus housing based on eligibility criteria*
ACADEMICS
Schools and Programs 16 schools and colleges offering approximately 200 degree programs**
Student-Faculty Ratio 6-to-1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010 - 2011:
Bachelor's: Social Sciences (470)
Master's: Business, Management, and Marketing (1,278)
Doctorates: Legal Professions and Studies (462)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 85% in four years
93% in six years**
ADMISSIONS
Admission Rate 10% in Fall 2011**
Entering Class Size in Fall 2010 1,419***
First-Year Retention Rates 96%**
Average SAT Combined Critical Reading and Math Scores of Admitted Students Middle 50% SAT range between: 1390 - 1570 in Fall 2010**
Undergraduate Application Due Date January 1*
Decision Notification Date 4 - 6 weeks after application submission*
TUITION & FINANCIAL AID
Undergraduate Tuition (2012 - 2013) $22,514 per term*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010: federal grants (18%), Pell grants (18%), other federal grants (17%), state and local grants/scholarships (8%), institutional grants/scholarships (52%), federal loans (15%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 61%**

Sources: *Columbia University, **College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, ***IPEDS, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 212 Hamilton Hall, Mail Code 2807, New York, NY 10027
  • Phone: (212) 854-2522
  • Website: www.columbia.edu


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