Established in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia University is one of the oldest universities in the United States. The university boasts an impressive list of notable alumni, including former US Presidents, numerous Nobel laureates, and distinguished thinkers and leaders across a wide range of industries.

Recognized as one of the best universities in the world and located in the bustling city of New York, Columbia attracts a lot of applications from around the world. If you dream of studying at Columbia, keep reading to know the acceptance rate at Columbia University and the admission statistics for this prestigious university.

Columbia University Acceptance Rate

According to admission data from Columbia University, Columbia’s acceptance rate in 2012 was 7 percent – of the 31,851 applications it received, the university admitted 2,362 students. While the number of applicants has nearly doubled in a decade – in 2021, it had 60551 applications – the number of admissions has remained nearly the same. This disparity means that it has become increasingly hard to get accepted into Columbia – less than 4 percent of the students who applied were offered a seat in 2021. Of these, 13 percent were international students from 82 countries around the world.

Preliminary data suggests the trend remains the same this year too. The profile of the class of 2027 – admission figures for the latest year – also saw a 3.9 percent admit rate.

The university does not compile aggregate admission statistics for graduate studies because of the wide range of programs offered; prospective students can contact the specific programs directly for admission information such as admit rates.

Preparing for Columbia University

While knowing the acceptance rate is crucial in assessing your likelihood of admission, it is just a small part of the bigger picture in pursuing higher education. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the admission process, understand the costs of studying, and explore available options for financing your education.

Admission Requirements

Apart from knowing the acceptance rate of Columbia University, another big step to getting a seat at the university is to meet the admission requirements. It is crucial to get familiar with the eligibility criteria and requirements well in advance so that you have enough time to identify the criteria, determine if your qualifications are sufficient, and work on crossing off any unmet requirements.

Tuition Fees

Your attendance at university inevitably depends on whether you can pay the fees for your program. Being aware of the current tuition fees and other associated costs enables you to assess which programs are feasible and how much of a financial investment you will need to make toward higher education. This knowledge helps in making informed decisions about which programs to pursue, and if the cost is outside what you can afford, you will be prepared to look for scholarship opportunities.


Scholarship opportunities are a great way to help you afford your dream education. It’s important to explore both internal and external scholarships very early in the admission process, as scholarship deadlines are often earlier than regular deadlines. If you are proactive in your application process, scholarships can be a great way to ease the financial strain that accompanies most college education.

The low acceptance rate at Columbia is a reflection of the university’s commitment to selecting the best candidates who demonstrate academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, and a passion for learning. Although the admission process at Columbia can be challenging, applicants can increase their chances of being accepted by preparing well in advance and submitting a strong application that best showcases their achievements and potential. Getting admitted to Columbia is a significant accomplishment that opens up exciting opportunities for academic, personal, and professional growth. Hopefully, this article on Columbia University acceptance rate was informative. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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