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Admission Policies

Day and Evening Students

Columbia College enrolls students who have both the desire and ability to succeed in a rigorous teaching and learning environment. The College invites applications from students who have demonstrated that they are likely to complete the College's broad general education curriculum and to master an undergraduate major. Previous academic achievement is the best predictor of success at Columbia College. The College does not admit applicants whose previous academic performance predicts failure. Admission requirements are generally the same for both the Day and Evening programs and are considered moderately selective.

General Admission

Admission is generally granted to high school applicants with no previous college credit (excluding high school dual enrollment) who rank in the top half of their class or have an ACT or SAT score at a minimum 50th percentile and have earned at least a 2.0 cumulative high school grade point average. Admission is also generally granted to applicants with a GED score at a minimum 50th percentile and home schooled applicants who present an ACT or SAT or GED score at a minimum 50th percentile. Applicants who graduated from high school more than two years ago may not be required to submit ACT or SAT scores for admission consideration. However, these scores are also used for freshman course advising and placement.

Columbia College welcomes students with academic credit from other institutions. Transfer applicants must present a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average with a 2.0 earned in the last semester attended. In general, students transferring 24 or more credits accepted by Columbia College will be favorably considered for admission. Only grades of C or above are accepted in transfer. If fewer than 24 hours are accepted, transfer applicants may also be considered for admission on the basis of the high school record (class rank, ACT/SAT, grade point average) in addition to college coursework. A student who has earned more than 6 college credits after high school completion is considered a transfer student.

The Admissions Review Committee reserves the right to review any application for admission.

New Freshmen

To apply for admission as a new freshman, applicants must:

  1. Submit the Columbia College undergraduate application for admission with a one-time non-refundable $25 fee. The application fee is waived prior to January 1 for Day Program fall semester applicants and October 1 for Day Program spring semester applicants.
  2. Request official high school transcripts be sent directly to the Admissions Office, or submit official GED scores.
  3. Request an official transcript to be sent directly to the Admissions Office from colleges from which college credit was earned while in high school.
  4. Submit either ACT or SAT scores.
  5. Provide a copy of a resident alien card, If not a U.S. citizen but a permanent resident.

Home Schooled Students

Submit an ACT or SAT score and a record of high school-level coursework or a GED score. Scholarship eligible students must submit a high school equivalent grade point average or other relative materials to be considered for institutional aid. Please contact the Admissions Office for details.

Recommended High School Curriculum

Final high school transcripts should reflect a college bound curriculum with a minimum of four units of English, three units of mathematics (two years of algebra and one year of geometry), two units of natural science, and two units of social studies. Students who completed the Core Curriculum recognized by Missouri¡s Coordinating Board for Higher Education are typically well prepared for academic success at Columbia College.

Transfer Students

To apply for admission to Columbia College as a transfer student, applicants must:

  1. Submit the Columbia College undergraduate application for admission and a one-time$25 application fee. The fee is waived prior to January 1 for Day Program fall semester applicants and October 1 for Day Program spring semester applicants.
  2. Request an official transcript from all colleges attended be sent directly to the Admissions Office.
  3. If semester hours earned total less than 24, request an official high school transcript or GED scores be sent directly to the Admissions Office.
  4. Provide a copy of their resident alien card, if a permanent resident but not a U.S. citizen.

Transfer students who do not present a minimum cumulative 2.0 grade point average for previous college coursework, or if less than a 2.0 grade point average was earned in the last semester attended, may be considered for admission through the Admissions Review Committee process.

Falsification of application information, including failure to identify all post-secondary institutions attended, may result in denial of admission or, if discovered after matriculation, dismissal.

Additional Academic Information

Although not required for admission consideration, additional academic information that may supplement an application file includes, but may not be limited to: Advanced Placement; International Baccalaureate; Excelsior (formerly Regents); ACE accredited corporate courses; military credit (DANTES, DD214, USAFI); Law Enforcement Training Institute; RN certification and LPN certification. For use in admissions consideration or for an official evaluation of credit, all documents must be submitted directly to the Admissions Office. For additional information about the transfer of alternative credit, contact the Evaluations Office.

Readmission

Students who wish to return to Columbia College after interrupting attendance for one semester or two consecutive evening sessions must apply for readmission through the Admissions Office. Official transcripts from all colleges attended will be required for readmission consideration. The Admissions Office checks academic and financial status and notifies the student of the readmission decision.

Readmission after suspension

Students who wish to return to Columbia College after interrupting attendance for one semester or five consecutive evening sessions must apply for readmission through the Admissions Office. Official transcripts from each college attended will be required for readmission consideration. The Admissions Office checks academic and financial status and notifies the student of the readmission decision.

Readmission after Suspension

Students may apply for readmission to Columbia College following a suspension of one semester for Day students or two sessions for Evening students.

To apply for admission after suspension, students must:

  1. Complete the undergraduate application for admission and submit the non-refundable $25 application fee if it was not paid with the original application for admission.
  2. Write a letter to the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs requesting consideration for readmission. The letter should include an assessment of lack of previous academic progress, an outline of accomplishments since suspension and a specific plan of action for success should readmission be approved.
  3. Reconcile any balance owed to the Columbia College Business Office.
  4. Request official transcripts be sent directly to the Admission Office from any colleges attended since leaving Columbia College.
  5. Await the decision by the Admissions Review Committee.

Program Transfers

Currently enrolled students who wish to change programs (i.e., Evening to Day, ESD to Day, Day to Evening, ESD to Evening, Distance Education to Evening, etc.) must apply for program transfer in the Admissions Office. The Admissions Office checks academic and financial status and notifies the student of the transfer decision.

High School Dual Enrollment

High school juniors and seniors have the opportunity to take college courses for credit while completing high school.

Students in high school who wish to earn credit at Columbia College must:

  1. Submit the undergraduate application for admission with a non-refundable $25 fee.
  2. Request an official high school transcript and ACT or SAT score be sent directly to the Admissions Office.
  3. Present a 2.5 cumulative high school grade point average and a minimum 50th percentile on ACT/SAT.
  4. Provide written support from the high school principal or guidance counselor and a parent by completing the Columbia College dual enrollment form.

The Admissions Review Committee reserves the right to review any application for admission under the dual enrollment status.

International students

An international student is categorized as a foreign born person who is not a citizen, national or permanent resident of the United States. International students seeking an I-20 from Columbia College are eligible for undergraduate admission in the Day program only. International students who are accepted for admission will receive a housing contract and I-20, if applicable, in the acceptance packet.

New Freshmen

International applicants are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Students must complete a full sequence of university-preparatory studies that would qualify them for admission to university-level work in their home country. This requirement is equivalent to the twelve-year program in the United States.

Transfer Students

Columbia College welcomes international students with academic credit from other institutions. The College does not admit applicants whose previous performance predicts lack of academic success. In general, students who present a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average from previous college coursework are considered for admission. If a transfer student does not present a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0, or if less than a 2.0 was earned in the last semester attended, he/she may be considered for admission through the Admissions Review Committee process. (See Admissions Review Committee information.)

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Students with a minimum TOEFL score of 500 on the paper-based exam or 173 on the computer-based version, take the Columbia College English Placement Exam to determine initial placement in English courses.

Students with no TOEFL score, or a score below 500, are generally considered for admission to the English as a Second or Other Language Program (ESOL), which is offered in the Day program only. Students begin the ESOL program at one of two proficiency levels: intermediate or advanced. Placement is determined by in-house diagnostic testing. This test is given to ESOL students when they arrive on campus.

Application Process

To be considered for admission to Columbia College, an international student must:

  1. Submit the application for admission with a non-refundable $25 (U.S. dollars) application fee. The application will not be processed until the application fee is received. Checks should be made payable to Columbia College.
  2. Request official secondary school records in the native language and an official English translation be sent directly to the Admissions Office.
    Columbia College evaluates advanced secondary school education from other countries such as the British Advanced Level Examinations, the French Baccalaureate, the German Abitur, and the Canadian CEGEPs. Students who have successfully completed advanced secondary school education may receive advanced standing or transfer credit at Columbia College for that work. Such credit is evaluated on a course-by-course basis. Students may be asked to submit course descriptions and/or course syllabi for evaluation purposes.
  3. Request official transcripts (in the native language) from all colleges/universities and an official English translation be sent directly to the Admissions Office.
  4. Submit the Columbia College Certificate of Financial Support along with official bank documents to provide evidence of adequate financial support (in U.S. dollars) for every year of study at the College.
  5. Show proof of English proficiency: TOEFL score of 500 or above paper-based or 173 or above computer-based; completion of a course equivalent to English Composition I with a grade of C or better; completion of an advanced proficiency level in an English as a Second Language Program; or satisfactory completion of the Columbia College in-house ESOL diagnostic test.
  6. Students transferring to Columbia College from an institution in the United States must complete a Transfer Eligibility form and furnish a copy of a valid visa, passport, I-94 and I-20 from the last school attended

Non-degree Seeking Students

International students who are not degree seeking and wish to enroll part-time at Columbia College may be considered for admission as a Non-Degree Seeking student. (See Non-Degree Seeking information). Students must be degree seeking to be eligible for an I-20.

Admissions Review Process

Applicants who do not meet the standards described above for general admittance may be considered for admission through the Admissions Review Committee process. In addition to the materials outlined above, Admissions Review Committee applicants must:

  1. Submit a letter that explains previous academic experiences and any difficulties encountered; a description of an activity, project or task at which they have persevered to completion; and a plan for success at Columbia College.
  2. Complete a personal interview with an Admissions Counselor.

It is also strongly recommended that Committee applicants submit letters of reference from persons not related to them who can address the issues listed above.

Applications with supporting materials will be reviewed to determine whether applicants are admitted to the College. The Committee looks for unrealized potential, uncommon talent in a given area, perseverance, and predictability for academic success. If admitted, students must earn a minimum 2.0 grade point average during their first term enrolled at Columbia College. Failure to do so will result in suspension from the College.

An applicant who is denied admission to the home campus programs is eligible for admission to the Columbia College Extended Studies Division (ESD) or Distance Learning programs. An applicant who is denied admission to the home campus programs may appeal through the Admissions Office.

Admissions Deadline

It is recommended that all new students (freshmen, transfers, readmits, international) complete the application process no later than one week prior to the first day of classes for the term for which they seek admission. Students who miss this recommended deadline may be required to apply as Non-Degree Seeking status or postpone enrollment until a later term.

Deposit

Upon notification of admission to the Day Program, students must acknowledge acceptance of the offer of admission by making a deposit payment of $100. The fee is credited to the student's account and is refundable until May 1 prior to the fall of initial enrollment, or until December 15 prior to the spring of initial enrollment. The fee assures the privilege to preregister for classes offered the succeeding semester and secures a residence hall assignment.

Non-Degree Seeking Status

The Non-Degree Seeking status is designed for part-time students who do not seek an academic degree at Columbia College. Enrollment as a Non-Degree Seeking student neither guarantees automatic admission to degree seeking status nor does it necessarily impact an admission decision. Non-Degree Seeking students must earn a grade of C or better in each course and reapply for admission each session/semester.

Non-Degree Seeking students are not eligible for financial aid. Students enrolling at Columbia College under this status may be considered for degree-seeking status in a subsequent term by completing the regular application process.

Students who wish to apply for Non-Degree Seeking status must complete the Non-Degree Seeking application for admission and submit it with the $25 one-time, non-refundable application fee. Non-Degree Seeking international students must show proof of English proficiency: minimum TOEFL score of 500 paper-based or 173 computer-based; an APIEL score of 3 or higher; completion of an advanced proficiency level in an accredited English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) program; completion of a course equivalent to English Composition I with a grade of C or higher; or satisfactory completion of the Columbia College diagnostic test. Additionally, international students must submit a copy of a valid passport, visa, I-94 departure record and most recent I-20, if currently enrolled at another institution.

Enrollment for Non-Degree Seeking students is on a space available basis only. Course selections may be limited. Evening Campus students under this status are not required to meet with an advisor. Day students under this status must be cleared for enrollment through the Office for Academic Affairs. Non-Degree Seeking students must provide proof that course prerequisites have been met.

Non-Degree Seeking students who enroll in twelve or more hours in the Day program are considered full-time students. Enrolling as a Non-Degree Seeking student does not negate the residence hall requirement.

Full-time freshmen and sophomore Day program students are required to live on campus unless the student is: 1) over 22 years old, 2) married, 3) a single-parent, 4) residing with parents in Boone County, Missouri, where such address is the sole legal and permanent residence of parent or spouse, 5) a military veteran.

Warranted Degree Program

Students who have an associate or baccalaureate degree from Columbia College may be eligible to participate in the Warranted Degree Program. Eligible students may enroll in one course free of charge if five years have elapsed since receiving their degree, they owe no fees, and are not in default on federal aid loans.

Students may enroll for credit or as auditors in courses being offered during the regularly scheduled semesters or sessions, provided space is available and course pre-requisites are met. The Warranted Degree program cannot be used for graduate-level courses.

Students are required to pay lab fees and for textbooks associated with the courses.

Students are permitted to enroll in one free course in each subsequent five-year period but may not accumulate free courses.

Application for the Warranted Degree Program is made to the Admissions Office, and no application fee is required. Warranted Degree applicants must submit a Columbia College financial assistance application.

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