Admissions Timeline & Dates for Prospective Undergraduate Students: Fall Semester Start

You’re interested in Columbia, and we want to help you join our community. Below, you’ll find a timeline of important dates and info to keep you on track with the admissions process. Every prospective student is different, and we encourage you to contact us to talk about your next steps in becoming a Columbia student next fall. We’re here to help.



September: Application opens for fall admission

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Columbia's Admissions Review Committee typically makes admission decisions within three weeks of obtaining a completed file—an application and all required materials. The college does not operate an early decision or early action program, but we encourage you to apply early. Visit for more information.



January: Submit financial aid information (domestic students)

File your 2016–17 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the Columbia College Chicago school code (001655). Submitting a FAFSA ensures that you’re considered for all financial aid opportunities, including institutional scholarships and all forms of federal and state aid. Visit for more information.



January 15: Preferred scholarship consideration

To be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your admission application and submit a FAFSA. For preferred consideration, we recommend that you complete those steps by this date. You will be notified of your total financial aid package, including Columbia scholarships, on your Financial Aid Award Letter. Visit for more information.



February: Apply for housing

After you decide to enroll and make a deposit to confirm your attendance, you should complete a housing application. Students must submit a $500 prepayment when they apply. We expect new freshmen and transfers to live on campus their first year. See floor plans and photos and apply for housing—which is offered on a first-come, first-served basis—at



March: Award letters begin going out

Your Financial Aid Award Letter provides a summary of your federal, state and institutional awards and offers an estimated cost of attendance for the academic year. These letters are sent on a rolling basis beginning in March, based on the date you are admitted and submit a FAFSA. For help understanding your award letter, visit



April: Complete the financial aid process

Students will receive notices from Student Financial Services regarding additional documents that are required to complete the financial aid process. You’ll be able to view any outstanding documents online at this time.



April: Sign-up for orientation opens

All new students must attend orientation, a daylong program held on campus over the summer. In order to sign-up, you must first confirm your attendance with a $250 deposit (refundable until May 1). Students living 250 miles or more from campus can attend a distance orientation. Visit for more information.



May 1: National College Decision Day

New students are encouraged to confirm their attendance by making a $250 deposit on or before this date.



May: Housing contracts begin going out

To receive a housing contract, you must be admitted to the college and complete a housing application. Housing contracts are sent out on a rolling basis beginning in May, based on the date you are admitted and submit your housing application. Visit for more information.



May: Fall class registration

After paying the $250 deposit and signing up for orientation, you should register for classes. New students will have access to advising tools and information and may make changes to their schedules as needed. You can review and finalize your schedule with an academic advisor during orientation. Visit for more information.



June: Submit final high school and college transcripts

If you are currently enrolled in high school or at a college or university, you must submit an official copy of your final transcript to Admissions. Late transcripts can complicate registration, financial aid and payment for your first semester. Visit for more information.



July: Housing notifications

Students living on campus begin receiving roommate and room assignment notifications. Students who have signed housing contracts receive information about their roommates and what to bring to campus. Visit for more information.



July–August: Orientation

All new students are required to attend an orientation, either on campus or online. The $250 deposit confirms your attendance. Visit for more information.



August 1: Submit payment

Students must either pay in full or establish an automated payment plan for any portion of their bill not covered by secured financial aid by August 1. Students who register for classes after this date will have seven calendar days to establish payment arrangements. Visit for more information.



Late August/Early September: Residence Life move-in

Students should expect to receive move-in dates when they receive their roommate information in July. Visit for more information.



September 2: New Student Convocation

Convocation showcases the talents of our current students and alumni. The annual event features an iconic assembly with President Kwang-Wu Kim; a student services exposition; and a catered party with live bands, performance art and more.



September 6: Fall semester begins

Dates are subject to change.