Columbia University in the City of New York

Columbia University in the City of New York


Columbia University is the fifth oldest college in the U.S. and a member of the Ivy League. Columbia offers nearly 100 majors to its undergraduates in two schools: Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. Students hail from all fifty states and ninety countries, and over half of students identify as students of color. Fourteen percent of students are first-generation college students. Columbia has the one of the highest percentage of Pell Grant recipients among Ivy League schools and one of the most diverse student bodies in the country. Research opportunities abound in over 200 research institutes throughout the university.

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Pre-College Prep & Outreach College Access Outreach

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions collaborates with hundreds of non-profit/community based organizations nationwide, such as QuestBridge and College Horizons, to improve college access and opportunity. The Multicultural Recruitment Committee (MRC), a student volunteer group, assists Admissions to recruit a vibrant and dynamic first-year class. Columbia offers a one day Open House in the fall designed for underrepresented students of color and all students interested in diversity and multiculturalism.

Open House, Fly-in, Visit Columbia Engineering Experience

Underrepresented students interested in engineering are invited to apply to Columbia Engineering Experience (CE2), a three-day overnight program on campus. Students admitted to the program will learn about The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and the various resources Columbia and New York City have to offer. Columbia also has a three-day program in April for admitted students; students who qualify for travel assistance will receive funding for travel to and from our campus.

Scholarship & Financial Aid Student Loan Replacement

Columbia meets 100 percent of the demonstrated financial need for all students admitted as first years for all four years of study. Columbia has eliminated loans for all students receiving financial aid, whatever their family income, and replaced them with university grants. Students whose parents’ calculated incomes are below $60,000 (with typical assets) are not expected to contribute any of their income or assets to the cost of attendance, while families with calculated incomes between $60,000 and $100,000 (with typical assets) have a significantly reduced parent contribution. Students may also apply for additional funding to support study abroad, research, internships and community service opportunities. Learn more about Student Loan Replacement

Academic Advising & Support Academic Success Programs (ASP)

Through a network of comprehensive programs and services, the Academic Success Programs provide transitional programming, tutoring, skill-building seminars, educational and personal advising and mentoring to students. Academic Success Programs include the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), National Opportunity Program (NOP) and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair Fellows Program), among others. Learn more about Academic Success Programs (ASP)

Student Life & Support Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA)

Responding to the needs of its diverse undergraduate student body, the Office of Multicultural Affairs oversees programming in the following areas: critical intellectual inquiry, mentoring, advocacy, social justice and intercultural programming; leadership development and training; diversity education and training; and cultural and identity-based student organization advising. Of particular note are the heritage months that this office facilitates, which provide awareness campaigns focused on the Latino, African-American, Native American, Asian Pacific and LGBTQ communities. Learn more about Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA)

Student Diversity

  • 6,102
  • 52/48
  • 14%
    First-generation college students
  • 2%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 22%
  • 12%
    Black or African American
  • 12%
  • n/a
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 34%
  • n/a
    Two or more races
  • n/a
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 14%

Student Success

  • 99%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 96%
    Six-year graduation
  • 89%
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 100%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 95%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 1,529
    Full-time faculty
  • 320
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 6:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Political Science, Economics, Engineering, English, History, Biology

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    African Students Association, Arab Students’ Organization (Turath), Black Students Organization, Caribbean Students Association, Chicano Caucus, Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Korean Students Association, Native American Council, United Students of Color Council, Vietnamese Student Association


Cost of Attendance

  • $52,478
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • $3,103
    Required Fees
  • $13,244
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $129,733,219
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $47,490
    Average aid package
  • n/a
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 16%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 50%
    Students with financial need
  • 100%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 97%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 100%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 36,250
    # of applicants
  • 6%
  • n/a
    Average HS GPA
  • 33
    ACT Composite
  • 700—790
    SAT Critical Reading
  • 700—800
    SAT Math
  • 700—790
    SAT Writing
  • n/a
    SAT/ACT optional


  • 01/01
    Regular application closing date
  • $85
    Application Fee
  • $85
    Application Fee (online)
  • yes
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • yes
    Early decision plan
  • 11/01
    Early decision application closing date
  • n/a
    Early action plan
  • n/a
    Early action application closing date