Columbia College encourages all qualified students to apply for admission. Equal educational opportunities are offered to students regardless of race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, marital status, or disability. The College seeks to enroll students who will benefit from the academic programs and who will live together in an honorable community.
Selection to Columbia College is competitive and not determined by any single factor; rather, the College reviews each person’s application to predict her or his success at Columbia College. Candidates must provide satisfactory evidence that, in scholarship and character, they are qualified for the education program and standards maintained at Columbia College. The College reserves the right to deny admission to any student whose record indicates that she or he may not be a successful participant in the educational program or whose conduct as a whole is viewed by the College to be inconsistent with its goals, standards, and/or ideals. Individual interviews may be required in some cases.
Admission of First-Year Students
To be eligible for admission as a first-year student, an applicant should be a graduate of an accredited high school or its equivalent. The College recommends that 16 or more college preparatory academic units be earned in the following areas: English (4 units), laboratory science (2 units), foreign language (2 units), algebra I and II, geometry, and courses in United States history, world history, other social sciences, advanced mathematics, or natural sciences.
An applicant should submit the following to the Office of Admissions:
The application and accompanying essay (essay is optional). Applications are available online at www.columbiasc.edu or www.commonapp.org.
Official high school transcript or GED certificate. The applicant’s high school guidance counselor must mail or electronically send a complete transcript to the Office of Admissions. A final official transcript must also be sent upon completion of the senior year. GED certificates must be mailed directly to the Admissions Office.
SAT or ACT scores (optional). Applicants should request that their test scores be sent directly to the Columbia College Office of Admissions. Columbia College’s code for SATs (CEEB code) is 5117; for ACT, it is 3850. The College combines a student’s best SAT math and SAT critical reading scores. Nursing program applicants must submit SAT or ACT test scores (taken in the last three years) to be considered for acceptance into the Columbia College Nursing Program. To be considered for acceptance in the Nursing program, students must have scored: SAT: 500 EBRW and 580 Math or ACT: 24 Math, 20 Verbal and 20 Composite
Letter of Recommendation (optional). Applicants can have their letter(s) of recommendation mailed or emailed to the Admissions Office or through the Common Application.
First-year Student Application Deadlines, Notification, and Acceptance
Columbia College strongly encourages early application. The admission decision is based upon high school grade point average, scholastic rank in class, extra-curricular activities, and, in some cases, SAT or ACT scores, the application essay, and a teacher recommendation form.
To accept an offer of admission, a student must submit a reservation deposit as early as possible ($200 for residential students; $100 for commuting students). The deposit is not refundable after May 1 for first-semester applicants or after November 1 for second-semester applicants. All deposits will be credited as payment on tuition and fees when the applicant registers.
Summer School Admission for First-year Students
Prospective first-year students may earn credits at Columbia College during the summer session prior to fall entrance. First-year students who plan to enter in the summer should contact the Office of Admissions.
Admission of Transfer Students
Credentials necessary for admission are the following:
- a completed application form with accompanying essay and
- all unofficial or official college and university transcripts need to be submitted to the Office of Admissions as part of the application and acceptance process. A final official transcript from each previously attended institution must be received before the late registration date or students will be automatically withdrawn from the institution (high school transcript if the applicant has earned less than 30 college credits).
- Minimum GPA: Undergraduate College, Evening College and Online College require a 2.0 cumulative GPA
Columbia College reserves the right to determine which transfer courses meet the requirements and standards of the College. See details regarding transfer credit. Transfer students may be required to complete placement tests prior to registration for certain courses.
Some programs at Columbia College require an Associate Degree for entry into the program. Please see individual program requirements for more information.
Admission of International Students
Academically prepared students from countries other than the United States are encouraged to apply for admission. Applicants should be aware the curriculum is presented entirely in English. Students may apply as first-year students or transfer students. Credentials necessary for international admission are the following: (1) a completed application form with accompanying essay, (2) English translated transcripts, records or certificates from each high school, college, or university previously attended (students attempting to transfer college or university credits must provide English translated course catalog descriptions for each class being considered), and (3) SAT, ACT, TOEFL, or IELTS scores (any of these is acceptable - a minimum TOEFL score of 550-paper, 213-computer, or 79-iBT; or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required). International students who fail to meet the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score may enroll in an ESL Center or Language Program. An ESL level of 109 or successful completion of level 5 of Academic English is accepted in lieu of test scores for admission to Columbia College. There are ESL centers located throughout the United States (including one in Columbia, SC) and in over 50 countries throughout the world.
Only after the above requirements are met will a letter of acceptance or denial be sent from Columbia College. If accepted, the student must complete the following three requirements before the Form I-20 (Certificate of eligibility of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service) is released to the student: (1) official bank statement demonstrating that she has adequate financial resources to cover her share of all expenses for the entire period of study at Columbia College, (2) $200 (US) non-refundable reservation deposit (these funds will be credited toward tuition and fees upon enrollment), and (3) physical examination report (the report must be completed and translated in English and signed by a physician).
There are other important financial requirements international students at Columbia College must take into consideration: (1) all international students must have an acceptable health insurance plan at their expense, (2) all international students must pay for miscellaneous expenses, and (3) all international students choosing to stay in the United States during any portion of the summer must secure and pay for rent and other expenses.
In addition to these requirements, the following documents should be presented with the application:
1. Financial Statement
2. Passport Signature Page
4. I-94 card
5. Previous I-20 forms
Room and Space Reservation Deposits
When a new student’s application is processed and acceptance is granted, a reservation deposit is due. Incoming residential and incoming commuter students will pay a deposit. The deposit will be paid to the Admissions Office. Deposits paid by new students are not refundable after July 31 for fall semester applicants or after December 31 for spring semester applicants. Reservation deposits will be credited as payment on tuition and fees when the student registers for the semester for which the deposit was made. Returning students are not required to submit a housing deposit and will participate in the Room Selection process in the spring to select their room assignment. All housing contracts are binding July 1 for returning students..
Readmission of Former Degree Students
Students who elect to stay out a semester or more (summer semesters do not apply) must seek readmission and are subject to the requirements listed in the Bulletin of the year of readmission, unless they have been granted a leave of absence. Students must submit an Application for Readmission and update their educational and biographical data. Students that have been separated from the College for five or more years must submit a new application for admission. Both applications are available on the College’s website.
If a student whose Columbia College cumulative grade point average is below 2.00 is readmitted, she/he will remain on academic probation until her/his cumulative grade point average is 2.00. After an absence of at least three calendar years from the institution, the student may apply for academic renewal. Under academic renewal, a student will receive credit toward graduation for grades of “C” or above on courses previously taken at Columbia College but will not receive any quality points. Additional information is available in the Registrar’s Office and the Office of the Provost.
Second Bachelor’s Degree
Columbia College alumnae wishing to pursue a second degree of the same type or of a different type, and students who have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited four-year college who wish to pursue a second degree may apply to Columbia College. The two degrees must be in different majors. Credentials necessary for admission are the following: (1) application form and (2) official transcripts from all colleges previously attended.
Students applying for admission as a non-degree seeking student are not required to pay an application fee. Tuition for class(es) must be paid in full before the end of the add/drop period for the course(s). If the student fails to pay within the designated timeframe, the student will be administratively dropped from the course(s). If a student enrolled in a non-degree program decides to seek admission to a degree program, all requirements for admission at that time must be met. No more than 24 semester hours earned as a non-degree student at Columbia College may be applied toward an undergraduate degree from Columbia College. Applications for non-degree seeking students can be found on Columbia College’s webpage.
Admission as a Transient Student
A student wishing to enroll primarily for credit to be transferred to another college is required to submit a non-degree application for admission and a statement of good standing and permission to enroll from the institution where she/he is currently enrolled. Applications for transient students can be found on Columbia College’s webpage.
Admission as a Joint-Enrollment Student
Columbia College offers classes in various Undergraduate College curricula to qualified high school students. This opportunity permits students to earn college credit and to become acclimated to the college environment. Enrollment in the program would appeal particularly to college-bound students who have completed the majority of their high school requirements. The classes offered will be those regularly scheduled for college credit. Basic requirements for admission to the joint-enrollment program are as follows:
- Enrollment in the college preparatory program in high school
- Rank in the top 25 percent of her class.
- A total score of at least 1000 (critical reading and math) on the SAT or PSAT.
- Classification as a high school senior during enrollment at Columbia College.
- Written approval and authorization from the high school.
For information and application forms, contact the Office of Admissions.
Students who wish to audit courses should apply online at www.columbiasc.edu as a non-degree seeking student using the appropriate admission application. Contact the Registrar’s Office for information and current tuition costs.