Columbia College Chicago Admissions

ACT Scores, Acceptance Rate, Financial Aid, and More

USA - Chicago - Columbia College
Columbia College Chicago. Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

Admissions at Columbia College Chicago is not overly selective. SAT and ACT scores are optional, and admitted students tend to have high school grades in the A or B range. Interested students can apply using the school's application, the Common Application, or the free Cappex Application. In addition to an application, students will also need to submit a personal essay, high school transcripts, and a letter of recommendation. 

Admissions Data (2016)

Columbia College has open admissions

Columbia College Chicago Description

Founded in 1890, Columbia College Chicago is one of the largest private arts and media colleges in the United States. The urban campus is nontraditional, composed of several different buildings spread throughout Chicago’s South Loop. Columbia College Chicago offers more than 120 academic majors and programs. Academics are divided into schools of liberal arts and sciences, fine and performing arts and media arts. Film and video and arts management are the most popular undergraduate degrees, and the master of arts management is also popular among graduate students.

The college offers an average class size of less than 20 and an 13 to 1 student-faculty ratio. Columbia College Chicago is also home to more than 85 student clubs and organizations and presents hundreds of cultural and performance events each year. Athletics are student-run, and the Columbia College Renegades participate in competitive club volleyball, soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, cheerleading and ultimate Frisbee.

Enrollment (2016)

  • Total Enrollment: 8,120 (7,809 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 42% Male / 58% Female
  • 91% Full-time

Costs (2016 - 17)

  • Tuition and Fees: $25,334
  • Books: $1,600 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $13,298
  • Other Expenses: $2,936
  • Total Cost: $43,168

Columbia College Chicago Financial Aid (2015 - 16)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 88%
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 82%
    • Loans: 69%
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $11,029
    • Loans: $7,753

Academic Programs

  • Most Popular Majors: Audio Arts, Creative Writing, Film and Video, Fine Arts, Journalism, Marketing, Photography, Radio and Television, Theatre

Retention and Graduation Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 70%
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 30%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 45%

Data Source

National Center for Educational Statistics

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Columbia College Chicago Mission Statement

mission statement from

"Columbia College Chicago is an undergraduate and graduate institution whose principal commitment is to provide a comprehensive educational opportunity in the arts, communications, and public information within a context of enlightened liberal education. Columbia’s intent is to educate students who will communicate creatively and shape the public’s perceptions of issues and events and who will author the culture of their times. Columbia is an urban institution whose students reflect the economic, racial, cultural, and educational diversity of contemporary America. Columbia conducts education in close relationship to a vital urban reality and serves an important civic purpose by active engagement in the life and culture of the city of Chicago."