Who doesn’t dream of going to school in the Big Apple? If being in the heart of the city is your college fantasy, then going to Columbia University is probably something you should look into. If you’re curious about how to boost your chances of getting in and what the Columbia acceptance rate looks like then keep reading!

What is the Columbia Acceptance Rate?

The Columbia acceptance rate is 6%, making it one of the most competitive schools in the nation. And the perfect way to see how competitive the student body is, is by taking a closer look at the incoming Columbia students. When we look at the most recent batch, we will find that:

  •    Over 90% of students applying for admission were in the top 10% of their high school graduating class
  •    The average ACT score is 34
  •    The average SAT score is 1545
  •    Just over 36,000 students applied for admission to Columbia
  •    Barely 2,200 became part of the Columbia acceptance rate

Even when you look at the other schools in the Ivy League, Columbia is incredibly competitive. What does this mean for you? It means you need to make sure each part of your application is as perfect as possible if you want a shot at being in the Columbia acceptance rate. Let’s break down what you need to do to increase your chances of being accepted into this Ivy League school.

So, You Want to Go to Columbia

Even if you’ve just begun working with your college consultant or have been dreaming of going here since you were a child, Columbia is an amazing college choice. The college admissions process is becoming increasingly competitive, especially amongst the Ancient Eight. Now, more than ever, you have to put a tremendous amount of thought and care into your application.

Since the Columbia acceptance rate has been so low for the last two years, I want to be completely honest with you. Following every single published tip out there does not guarantee you a spot inside Columbia, which is why I don’t promise that I can get you in. It’s not a reflection of your abilities or my faith in you; it’s just an honest look at the numbers. Together, we can increase your chances but I still strongly encourage you to have other schools you’re willing to apply to.

Let’s walk through what you can do to boost your chances of getting into Columbia.

Get Good Grades

Ivy League schools are infamous for their academic rigor and you need to show that you’re up for the challenge. You should review your academic profile with your college consultant and connect with a tutor to get your GPA as competitive as you can. With an average 4.13 GPA from accepted students, you need to see that number as the minimum you will accept from yourself. And to get that above 4.0 GPA, AP and IB classes need to be on your high school transcript. Many schools will weight your GPA, meaning a higher value is assigned to advanced classes, which helps bolster your GPA over that 4.0 mark.

Since most schools push for the well-rounded student, competitive schools like Columbia receive an avalanche of applications with perfectly well-rounded students. It’s not a bad thing. But standing out is really a challenge with this method.

If your school offers an IB diploma program, I recommend pursuing that. It will prepare you for college in an intellectual way that AP classes do not. If it’s not offered, I recommend picking a subject where you excel and devoting yourself to it. Flaunt your niche. Make everything about it.

Rock Your Standardized Tests

To get your scores to the percentiles they need to be for Columbia, I cannot emphasize enough how important working with a top-scoring tutor will be for your test prep. Be sure to develop good study habits and a schedule that you stick to while you prepare for the ACT or SAT.

Show What Gets You Excited

Developing your angle for your college applications makes you stick out. When you decide on your narrative, pick extra-curriculars that serve as evidence. If you want to be known as a writer with a love of politics, hone in your skills by starting a blog and submit essays to be published in well-respected news magazines. If you want to be known for science, pursue courses on the college level, enter and win science fairs, participate in local research.

However you spend your time, make sure it all supports the narrative you’re creating.

Other Schools to Consider

Because of how competitive Columbia is, I cannot go through this article without suggesting other schools for you to apply to. I want you to know your options and know that there are other schools like Columbia for you to consider. Some of them are more competitive than the Columbia acceptance rate and others are easier to get into. Be sure to check them out!

School Name Location ACT Average SAT Average
Brown University Providence, RI 32 1490
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 32 1470
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 32 1480
Dartmouth College Hanover, NH 32 1510
Duke University Durham, NC 34 1540
Emory University Atlanta, GA 30 1430
Harvard College Cambridge, MA 34 1540
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 34 1520
New York University New York, NY 30 1410
Northeastern University Boston, MA 31 1440
Princeton University Princeton, NJ 33 1540
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY 29 1420
Rice University Houston, TX 33 1510
Stanford University Stanford, CA 33 1520
Tufts University Medford, MA 31 1490
University of Chicago Chicago, IL 33 1520
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 30 1430
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 32 1500
Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN 33 1520
Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO 33 1520
Yale University New Haven, CT 33 1540

Columbia is an incredible Ivy League school and with a highly competitive acceptance rate, only the best of the best are getting in. But sometimes the best of the best are being rejected, too. Follow the suggestions I’ve laid out here and you can increase your chances of getting in, but remember to have other schools you’re willing to apply to on hand.

What do you think of the Columbia acceptance rate? Are you excited to apply? Let us know in the comments section below.