Columbia College Admissions

SAT Scores, Acceptance Rate, Financial Aid, Tuition, Graduation Rate & More

Downtown Columbia
Downtown Columbia. Akhenaton06 / Wikimedia Commons

Columbia College Admissions Overview:

Columbia College has an acceptance rate of 89% and the admissions standards are not highly selective. Successful applicants tend to have grades and standardized test scores that are average or better. To apply, students can use the Common Application, or they can use the school's application (found on Columbia's website). Additional materials include a personal essay, high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and a teacher recommendation.

Admissions Data (2016):

Columbia College Description:

Founded in 1854, Columbia College is a private women's liberal arts college located in Columbia, South Carolina. The city is the capital of the state and is home to an active arts scene as well as numerous other colleges including the University of South Carolina and Columbia International University. Students at Columbia College come from 23 states and 20 countries. Undergraduates can choose from 30 majors and a premedical program, and the college also has a strong masters program in education. Co-educational evening programs are available for non-traditional students. Campus life is active with over 60 student clubs and organizations. On the athletic front, the Columbia Fighting Koalas (yes, it's an unusual mascot) compete in the NAIA Appalachian Athletic Conference. The college fields teams for softball, soccer, tennis, volleyball and basketball.

Enrollment (2016):

  • Total Enrollment: 1,588 (1,456 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 27% Male / 73% Female
  • 71% Full-time

Costs (2016 - 17):

  • Tuition and Fees: $28,900
  • Books: $1,182 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $7,650
  • Other Expenses: $4,438
  • Total Cost: $42,170

Columbia College Financial Aid (2015 - 16):

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 100%
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 100%
    • Loans: 70%
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $23,356
    • Loans: $5,925

Academic Programs:

  • Most Popular Majors: Accounting, Biology, Business Administration, Child and Family Studies, Communication, Political Science, Psychology

Graduation and Retention Rates:

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 68%
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 42%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 50%

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs:

  • Women's Sports: Golf, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Track and Field, Cross Country, Basketball, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball 

Data Source:

National Center for Educational Statistics

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Columbia College Mission Statement:

read the complete mission statement at

"Columbia College, a women's college related to the United Methodist Church, educates students in the liberal arts tradition. The College provides educational opportunities that develop students' capacity for critical thought and expression, life-long learning, acceptance of personal responsibility, and commitment to service and social justice. In furtherance of its mission, the College is responsive to the needs of students, the communities to which it belongs, and the greater global society..."

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Grove, Allen. "Columbia College Admissions." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, Grove, Allen. (2020, August 25). Columbia College Admissions. Retrieved from Grove, Allen. "Columbia College Admissions." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 28, 2023).