Undergraduate Timeline & Dates

Admissions Timeline and Dates

Prospective Undergraduate Students: Spring or Fall 2020

You’re interested in Columbia, and we want to help you join our creative community. Below, you’ll find a timeline of important dates and info to keep you on track with the admissions process.

Each prospective student is different; we encourage you to contact us to discuss your next steps toward becoming a Columbia student so we can answer any and all of your questions.

  • August

    Application opens for Spring or Fall 2020

    Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Columbia College Chicago's Admissions Review Committee will release its first-round of decisions for early applicants in late-October 2019. Thereafter, an admissions decision will typically be released within four weeks of completing the application and submitting all required materials. We do not offer an early decision or early action option, but we encourage students to apply early as early as possible. Visit colum.edu/apply for more information.

    If you're applying for Spring 2020, our deadline is December 13, 2019. And if you're applying for Fall 2020, our priority deadline is January 31, 2020.

  • October

    Fall 2020 applicants should submit financial aid information (domestic students)

    File your 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with Columbia’s school code: 001665. Submitting a FAFSA ensures that you’re considered for financial aid opportunities, including institutional scholarships and all forms of federal and state aid.

    Spring 2020 applicants should submit financial aid information (domestic students)

    File your 2019-20 FAFSA with Columbia’s school code: 001665. Visit colum.edu/sfs for more information.

  • November

    Estimated award letters begin going out

    Sent to admitted students, the estimated Financial Aid Award Letter provides an initial 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 November, based on the date you're admitted to the college and submit a FAFSA. We'll update you when your award is finalized. For more info following the receipt of your award letter, visit colum.edu/awardletter.

    Complete the financial aid process

    Student Financial Services will begin sending notices regarding any additional documents that may be required to complete the financial aid process. Admitted students will be able to view any outstanding documents needed through their MyColumbia accounts at this time.

  • December

    The Spring 2020 application closes and supporting materials must be sent

    The Spring 2020 application will close on December 13, 2019. All supporting materials for Spring 2020 applicants (transcripts, etc.) must be received by January 6, 2020.

  • January

    Submit your portfolio or a video audition for scholarship and/or BFA/BMus consideration

    To be considered for the Faculty Recognition Award scholarship, you must complete your admission application and submit your portfolio materials or schedule your audition by January 31, 2020. Work sample requirements will vary based on your intended major field of study. BA and BS applicants can visit colum.edu/fra for a complete list of requirements. BFA and BMus applicants can find submission requirements at colum.edu/bfa

  • February

    Apply for housing

    After confirming your attendance with a $250 tuition deposit, the housing application will become available to you. The application requires a $500 prepayment when you apply. We expect new freshmen students coming to Columbia from beyond a commutable distance to live on campus during their first year. Housing assignments are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Students can indicate preferences for room type and roommates on the housing application, but these preferences cannot be guaranteed. View floor plans and photos of available housing at colum.edu/residencelife.

  • April

    Sign up for orientation

    After you’ve submitted your $250 tuition deposit, it’s time to sign up for orientation. Learn more about events for admitted students at colum.edu/admit.

  • May

    National College Decision Day

    May 1, 2020, is National College Decision Day! New students are encouraged to confirm their attendance by submitting a $250 tuition deposit on or before this date. The deposit is nonrefundable after May 1 and will be accepted after May 1. Students who need extra time to make their decisions should stay in touch with their admissions representative to be sure they stay on track with all pre-enrollment activities.

    Register for classes

    Students who have confirmed their attendance can begin the registration process with an online prep course. The course includes contact information for advisors who can help you register for classes from home. You’ll have a chance to review and finalize your schedule with your academic advisor during orientation.

    Return your housing contract

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

  • June

    Submit final high school and college transcripts

    Students with academic work in progress at the time of admission are required to submit official copies of all final transcript from their high school, junior/community college, or university to Columbia’s Admissions office. High school transcripts must indicate a graduation date. Late transcripts can complicate registration, financial aid, and payment for your first semester.

    Finalize your financial plan

    Many students and families use resources beyond those offered on the Financial Aid Award Letter to support their educational goals. Learn more about these resources—such as loans and employment-sponsored tuition plans—along with our payment plan options at colum.edu/createaplan.

  • July

    Receive your roommate assignment and move-in date

    Students living on campus who’ve completed housing contracts will begin receiving room assignments, roommate information, and move-in dates. Visit colum.edu/residencelife for more information.

  • July–August

    Attend orientation

    All new students are required to attend their scheduled orientation session. Visit colum.edu/newstudents for more information.

  • August

    Submit payment or establish a payment plan

    By August 1, 2020, students must either pay in full for any portion of their bill not covered by secured financial aid or establish an automated payment plan. Students who register for classes after this date will have seven calendar days to establish payment arrangements. Visit colum.edu/paymentplan for more information.

    Move in to on-campus housing

    If you’re going to be living in on-campus housing, assigned move-in dates will be in late August. Visit colum.edu/residencelife for more information.

    New Student Convocation

    Before classes start, our New Student Convocation will showcase the talents of our student and alumni community. The annual event features an assembly with President Kwang-Wu Kim, a student services exposition showcasing clubs, organizations, and more, and a catered party with live bands and performance art.

  • September

    Fall 2020 semester begins

    The Fall 2020 semester will begin on Tuesday, September 8, 2019.

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