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How to Get Into Columbia University: Tips

Columbia University is a prestigious school, not just because of its low acceptance rate or high starting salary for graduates. It’s one of the oldest colleges in the US, and has had huge numbers of well-known graduates, including Founding Fathers, famous directors, and politicians.

Like any Ivy League, Columbia is a place for both education and networking, creating a solid foundation and social circle for your future career. But first, you have to know how to get into Columbia. And with a school and selective as Columbia, that’s going to be difficult—but not impossible.

Follow this guide to get your college application in shape for a Columbia acceptance!

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that people want to go to Columbia because it’s a prestigious college with a long and important history. It’s an Ivy League school, granting it a reputation of academic excellence; with a degree for Columbia on your resume and the connections you make there, you’ll have an edge in the job market.

Columbia is also one of the most selective colleges in the United States. In fact, Columbia was the 5th most selective university in the United States in 2020!

Columbia students tend to major in STEM programs like Engineering or Computer Sciences, with around 54% of incoming students declaring a STEM program as their first choice major. But that doesn’t mean that Columbia isn’t a great humanities school! Columbia is also the alma mater of many prominent artistic figures—Kerouac, Ginsberg, Katherine Bigelow, Langston Hughes, and Art Garfunkel, to name a few.

Given all this, it’s no surprise that enrollment will be competitive no matter what. So if you want to go to Columbia, you need to make sure you’re a stand-out applicant!

What Should You Know About Applying for Financial Aid?

Columbia takes a need-blind approach to processing applications from US citizens, undocumented students, and eligible non-US citizens. International students are processed as need-aware, meaning there may be some consideration of financial need while processing the application.

Columbia has a helpful tool for students to determine what documentation and forms they’ll need based on when they’re applying, their citizenship status, and what year they’re applying for. Use this early to be sure that you can get all your paperwork done ahead of time!

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