Columbia University, originally called King’s College, was founded by a royal charter of King George II of England in 1754. It’s the oldest college in the state of New York and the 5th oldest in the country.
During the Revolutionary War, instruction was halted in a suspension that would last for eight years. However, the college survived and reopened in 1784 with its new name, Columbia University.
Columbia University Admissions
The Columbia acceptance rate was about 6.7% in 2020, making it one of the most difficult universities in the country to get into. In 2021, following a massive spike in first-year applications, the Columbia admissions staff reported an acceptance rate of just 3.9%. This earned the school the title of the most difficult school to get into in 2021.
However, we have some tips and suggestions for you to consider if you’re hoping to be one of the select few who makes it into the school.
Columbia Admissions: GPA, SAT, and ACT Scores
Like many institutions of higher learning, Columbia University does not report the GPAs of incoming freshman class members. However, the University has stated that more than 95% of the members of the entering class of 2023 were in the top 10% of their graduating high school classes.
GPA and Current Courses
It’s estimated that students interested in Columbia should aim for a weighted GPA of 4.19. If your current school offers AP or IB courses, you should be taking them (and doing well in them) to improve your Columbia admission chances.
You should complete the following courses (at minimum) to be prepared for Columbia University:
- Four years of math
- Three to four years of history
- Three to four years of laboratory sciences
- Three or four years of a single foreign language
- Four years of English composition and literature
Like other Ivy League schools, Columbia pays significant attention to the kinds of classes applicants have taken.
SAT and ACT Scores for Columbia Acceptance
Columbia accepts both ACT and SAT scores; it does not have a preference for one over the other. You can report your scores yourself on your Common or Coalition Application, or you can update your scores on the application status page if you’ve already applied.
Although there is no solid cut-off SAT or ACT score for entry into the university, you should aim for between 33 and 35 on the ACT and between 1490 and 1580 on the SAT.
Columbia’s Short-Answer Questions, Essay Questions, and Your Personal Statement
Columbia requires applicants to answer Columbia-specific questions to submit along with their applications. There are five list-type questions that you will need to answer in 150 words or fewer.
In addition, you will need to answer two short essay questions in 300 words each or fewer. The specific school or program to which you are applying will determine some of the questions and prompts you will need to answer.
It’s important that you take the opportunity here to stand out from other applicants. Refrain from repeating factual information that is already within your application. Instead, use the short answers, essay questions, and personal statements to be genuine, sincere, and personal instead of statistical or factual.
Getting into Columbia University with Empowerly
We know how stressful it can be applying to schools like Columbia, so we’re here to help! At Empowerly, we have a proven track record of helping students improve their admission rates at colleges across the U.S. Contact us now, and we’ll schedule a consultation with you.