Admissions Timeline and Dates

Prospective Undergraduate Students: Fall 2018 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. Each 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.

  • August

    Application opens for Fall admission

    Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Columbia College Chicago's Admissions Review Committee typically makes admission decisions within four weeks of obtaining an application and all required materials. We do not offer an early decision or early action option, but we encourage you to apply early. Visit for more information.

  • October

    Submit financial aid information (domestic students)

    File your 2018-19 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with Columbia’s 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.

  • November

    Estimated award letters begin going out

    Your 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 help understanding your award letter, visit

  • November

    Complete the financial aid process

    Beginning in November, Student Financial Services sends notices regarding additional documents required to complete the financial aid process. You’ll be able to view any outstanding documents online at this time.

  • January 15

    Submit portfolio

    To be considered for a talent-based scholarship, you must complete your admission application and submit a portfolio or audition by this date. Visit for requirements.

  • February

    Apply for housing

    After confirming your attendance with a tuition deposit, you should complete a housing application. You must submit a $500 prepayment when you 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

  • April–July

    Sign up for orientation and register for classes

    After paying your tuition deposit, you should sign up for orientation and register for classes. Orientation includes an online prep course, which helps you register for classes from home, and an on-campus session with your fellow students. You can review and finalize your schedule with an academic advisor during orientation. Visit for more information.

  • May 1

    National College Decision Day

    New students are encouraged to confirm their attendance by paying a $250 tuition 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.

  • 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 official copies of your final transcripts to Admissions. Late transcripts can complicate registration, financial aid and payment for your first semester. Visit for more information.

  • June

    Finalize your financial plan

    To pay for education, many families use resources beyond the awards offered on the Financial Aid Award Letter. Learn more about these resources—such as loans and employment-sponsored tuition plans—and read about our payment plan at

  • July

    Receive your roommate assignment and move-in date

    Students living on campus begin receiving roommate and room assignment notifications. If you’ve signed a housing contract, you’ll receive information about your roommates and what to bring to campus. Visit for more information.

  • July–August

    Attend orientation

    All new students are required to attend an orientation session. Visit for more information.

  • August 1

    Submit payment

    You must either pay in full or establish an automated payment plan for any portion of your bill not covered by secured financial aid by August 1. If you register for classes after this date, you’ll have seven calendar days to establish payment arrangements. Visit for more information.

  • August–September

    Residence Life move-in

    You’ll receive your move-in date and roommate information in July. Visit for more information.

  • August 31

    New Student Convocation

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

  • September 4

    Fall semester begins