Columbia Regular Decision Notification Date

December 24, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Columbia Regular Decision Notification Date

When Does Columbia’s Regular Decision Come Out?

Columbia University, founded in 1754 and one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the country, is highly regarded for its excellent training, abundant resources, and research opportunities. Being an Ivy League school attracts tens of thousands of high school applicants each application cycle. Now, you might wonder “When does Columbia’s regular decision come out?” The Columbia regular decision notification date is not specified as other application programs also only have date ranges when you can anticipate hearing back from the school.

Let’s take a look at the deadlines and important dates for your Columbia application below.

Columbia Early Decision Notification: If you choose to apply through Columbia’s Early Decision program, you must do so before or on November 1. In mid-December, you will be notified of your admissions decision.

Columbia Regular Decision Notification: If you apply under Regular Decision, you must submit your application before or on January 1. On Ivy League Decision Day, you will get your admissions decision in early April.

Columbia Transfer Decision Notification: The application date for students wishing to transfer to Columbia is March 1. By the beginning of June, your admissions decision will be available online.

To elaborate on the Columbia regular decision notification date, you have probably heard the phrase “Ivy Day” if you’ve applied to or are currently applying to Ivy League colleges. Ivy Day or Ivy Admissions Day is the day on which all Ivy League schools publish their regular admissions decisions for first-year students. For the year 2022, Ivy Day falls on March 31, 2022.

Ivy Day is the day when all Ivy League schools reveal their normal admissions choices online, generally in late March. Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale often reveal their decisions at the same time. The time changes from year to year, although it is usually between 5 and 7 p.m. ET.

Ivy Day decisions are only available to students who applied to at least one Ivy League school via regular decisions. For example, if you applied for regular decision admission to Brown, Dartmouth, Columbia, and Harvard, you could expect to get admissions notifications from all schools on Ivy Day.

Young woman writing in a desk.

The date was pushed out to 2021 due to a significant increase in applications to Ivy League schools. Similar spikes in applicant numbers have been noted at many Ivy League colleges. The exact explanation is unknown at this time, but it is most likely when Ivy League schools removed their ACT/SAT requirements because of the pandemic. This persuaded more students to apply who otherwise would not have if standardized test scores were still required.

Ivy Day was pushed back by around a week and a half in 2021 to allow Ivy League schools time to assess all these applications. Thus, last year the Columbia regular decision notification date was on April 6, 2021.

How Does The Columbia Admissions Process Work?

How does the Columbia admissions process work? The Common Application and the Coalition Application are both accepted at Columbia. It will also accept QuestBridge Applications from QuestBridge Finalists. You can apply to Columbia through the QuestBridge National College Match program if you come from a low-income family. You can use this program to apply to numerous selective universities at the same time. QuestBridge will analyze your application documents and link you to several institutions.

Two students talking in a room full of glass.

Columbia charges an $85 application fee. However, cost waivers are offered for candidates who face a significant financial burden.

Components of Application

  • Secondary school report
  • Two recommendations from teachers (engineering applicants must have one of the recommendations provided by a science or math teacher)
  • Standardized tests (optional)
  • Columbia-specific essays
  • Interview (not required)

Supplemental Essays

As part of their application, Columbia applicants must respond to four short response questions:

  • Prompt 1: A hallmark of the Columbia experience is being able to learn and thrive in an equitable and inclusive community with a wide range of perspectives. Tell us about an aspect of your own perspective, viewpoint or lived experience that is important to you, and describe how it has shaped the way you would learn from and contribute to Columbia’s diverse and collaborative community. (200 words or fewer)
  • Prompt 2: Why are you interested in attending Columbia University? We encourage you to consider the aspect(s) that you find unique and compelling about Columbia. (200 words or fewer)
  • Prompt 3: Please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the areas of study that you noted in the application. (200 words or fewer)
  • Prompt 4: In Columbia’s admissions process, we value who you are as a unique individual, distinct from your goals and achievements. In the last words of this writing supplement, we would like you to reflect on a source of happiness. Help us get to know you further by describing the first thing that comes to mind when you consider what simply brings you joy. (35 words or fewer)

As part of their application, Columbia applicants must additionally submit two list questions:

  • List the titles of the books, essays, poetry, short stories, or plays you read outside of academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school. (75 words or fewer)
  • We’re interested in learning about some of the ways that you explore your interests. List some resources and outlets that you enjoy, including but not limited to websites, publications,  journals, podcasts, social media accounts, lectures, museums, movies, music, or other content with which you regularly engage. (125 words or fewer)

Essays may help students stand out in a crowded field of candidates, and properly responding to Columbia-specific questions can mean the difference between being admitted to this institution in New York the following fall or not.


Student interviewers and volunteer members of Columbia’s Alumni Representative Committee conduct interviews. Because applicants outnumber interviewers, they are not required as part of a Columbia application. Interviews are given little weight in admission decisions at the university, and individuals who are not offered an interview are not at a disadvantage.

Two female students studying in a living room.

Because Columbia University receives many applications each year, candidates must grasp what the college is searching for to stand out from the crowd. Academics is the factor that carries the most weight in college admissions decisions at Columbia University. Admissions officers at Columbia will affirm intellectually interested applicants who demonstrate a consistent commitment to challenging themselves and broadening their views.

According to the school’s website, Columbia expects rigorous exploration in a variety of subjects and recommends that applications demonstrate strong academic performance across subjects, effective written communication skills, and evidence of a rigorous course load within the scope of an applicant’s school’s curriculum.

Students should emphasize what they are passionate about, what they have done to pursue their passions throughout high school, and how attending Columbia University will help them advance further in their chosen fields throughout their application process. Students can talk about their academic interests as well as extracurricular activities that are important to them.

Rather than trying to fill their application with as many activities as possible, applicants should concentrate on a few topics that they are passionate about and to which they have spent substantial time.

How Many People Get Waitlisted By Columbia?

When a university distributes acceptance letters to its application pool, it hopes to create an entering class of a given size.

On or before May 1st, students will either accept or decline their admission offers. When a university’s incoming class size is not as large as the school would like, it must admit more students. To do this, the institution maintains a waitlist of applicants who were not admitted but may be awarded these additional matriculation slots.

Being waitlisted means you are neither accepted nor rejected; you are offered the option to “take” a spot in the incoming class from an accepted student who does not enroll in the university.

Group of students studying in the stairs of a building.

Your odds of acceptance from the waitlist at an Ivy League institution vary greatly from institution to institution. It is therefore essential to examine the incoming class size, the size of the waitlist, and the number of students admitted from the waitlist at various Ivy League institutions.

So, how many people get waitlisted by Columbia? In general, Brown, Cornell, and Yale admit roughly 100 students from their waitlists each admissions cycle. On the other hand, UPenn, Dartmouth, Columbia, Princeton, and Harvard frequently admit 0-40 students from their waitlists.

Given the high level of competition for admission to Columbia University, it is expected that the school typically waitlists a portion of its candidates. The waitlist is made up of extraordinarily qualified and noteworthy applicants but the college just does not have enough space to accommodate every qualified student who applies. Students who are waitlisted will be informed of the outcome on the Columbia regular decision notification date, and they will have the option of remaining on the waitlist or not.

It should be noted that Columbia’s admissions waitlists are not rated; rather, applicants will be admitted off the waitlist to fill the institutional needs in terms of the class size and ensure the upcoming class is balanced.

If students apply through Early Decision, there is no waitlist available, but there is deferral; which means students must wait until the regular decision round to find out if they will be admitted or not.

Many students wonder what they should do if they have been deferred. The first stage, like waitlists, is to decide whether Columbia University is still your top option. If this is the case, you must find out what materials the school will require (such as an updated transcript) and submit them as soon as possible.

Does Early Action Increase Chances At Columbia?

The early decision program at Columbia is intended for applicants who have made Columbia their first choice and are sure to attend if admitted. You should not apply through the early decision program unless you are confident that you want to attend Columbia and have earned a competitive GPA and test scores.

If you are accepted through the early decision program, you must attend Columbia and withdraw applications made through regular decision processes at other schools. According to Columbia, you can apply to other schools’ non-binding application processes, but any applications you submit must be withdrawn if you are accepted into the school’s early decision program.

Female student holding her books while smiling at the camera.

It is also possible that your application has been deferred to the regular decision program. If this occurs, Columbia will postpone the admission decision on your application until it reviews all applications received within the regular decision process. You will be advised of the outcome of your application on the Columbia regular decision notification date.

Finally, in December, you may be advised that your early decision application has been denied. If this occurs, you will be unable to apply to Columbia through its regular decision program for the remainder of the year. While you could reapply in the following year, you should apply to the other institutions you are interested in through their regular decision systems.

While this is unfortunate news, remember that Columbia rejects tens of thousands of extremely competent applicants each year. Receiving a denial does not imply that you are unprepared for college or that you are a poor candidate. Columbia might not find you a “fit” for the institution or they might see you as a better match for another prestigious school.

Columbia University had another amazing application season. The school got 60,377 applications, nearly surpassing the previous year’s record of 60,551. Columbia’s Class of 2026 acceptance rate of 3.73% was nearly comparable to the previous year’s rate of 3.66%.

While the numbers stayed consistent over the prior two years, they were notably different from the levels in the 2019-2020 admissions cycle, when only 40,083 students applied and 6.15% were admitted.

Acceptance Rates for the Columbia Class of 2026

Number of Applications Accepted Students Acceptance Rate
Regular Applications 54,072 1,603 2.96%
Early Applications 6,305 650 10.31%

So, does early action increase chances at Columbia? Acceptance rate percentages, on the other hand, never tell the complete story. For example, students who take advantage of early decision deadlines may prioritize polishing their Columbia application over other universities they apply to because Columbia is their top choice. Such factors may have an impact on these numbers. However, it is still extremely likely that taking advantage of the early decision deadline will boost one’s chances of admission as reflected in the acceptance rates of the previous admissions cycle.

While the Columbia regular decision notification date takes longer than the early decision, this program would be a better option for students who are unclear about whether they want to attend Columbia or another institution. It is also an excellent option if you need to repeat the SAT or ACT to improve your scores, or if you want to take some extra classes during the autumn semester to increase your GPA.

Columbia University, like any Ivy League, is a place for both education and networking, laying a solid foundation and social circle for your future profession.  But first, you must figure out how to get into Columbia. Admission to a selective school like Columbia will be difficult—but not impossible. An expert’s guidance will be the best choice for you to boost your chances at Columbia. College admissions experts like AdmissionSight help high school students prepare for college and students who are aspiring to get into top graduate schools in the US.

At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process to get accepted to the top universities in the world. On average, 75% of our students are admitted to an Ivy League university, Stanford, MIT, UChicago, and Caltech, one of the highest track records in the industry. Feel free to set up an appointment today to book your initial consultation.



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