Located in New York City, Columbia University is a larger institution. With the university being located in a large urban center, students are able to find various activities or locations to enjoy close by. Barnard College also isn’t far away; if students want to visit friends at Barnard, they are easily able to do so. Columbia University was founded in 1754, well before the colonies won their independence from England.
Overview of Columbia University in the City of New York (CU)
University buildings are clustered around a central Columbia College setting, making it easier for students to get from one area to another. Museums, the Statue of Liberty, and other sights are all within range of a subway ride.
Columbia University is a not-for-profit, private institution with campus housing available for students. Student faculty ratio is small (6 to 1), giving students plenty of opportunities to meet with professors and get assistance with classes and lectures. Student enrollment sits at 31,077; the undergraduate class consists of 8,200+ students and the graduate class includes 22,800+. Male students make up 53% of the student body, with female students filling out the remaining 47%.
The 6-year graduation rate is 96%, while 87% of students graduate in four years.
|School Type||Private not-for-profit|
|Campus Setting||City: Large|
|Student Faculty Ratio||6:1|
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CU Acceptance Rate and Admissions
|High School GPA||Recommended|
|High School Rank||Recommended|
|High School Transcripts||Required|
|College Prep Program||Required|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||Recommended|
|Application Deadline||January 1|
|Common Application Accepted||Yes|
Columbia University Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
Tuition is costly at Columbia University. Bundled together, tuition and fees for a recent academic year were $61,700+. With financial aid, students whose families are middle- or low-income can more easily afford to attend. The average net price of $21,200 is the remainder of tuition and fees that is left over on average after financial aid has been applied.
Freshmen who received financial aid numbered 833 in a recent year; this was 58% of the student body. Grants and scholarships were awarded to 750 students, or 52%. Institutional grants and scholarships went to 734 or 51% of students.
|Average net price||2017-2018|
|Average Total Aid||$53,284|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||58%|
|Room & Board||$14,490|
- Tuition In-State - $61,788
- Tuition Out-of-State - $61,788
- Books and Supplies - $1,294
- Room & Board - $14,490
- Other - $2,180
Students are able to choose from a wide range of majors when they begin college. Depending on the student’s interests, they may choose to major in the humanities, ethnic studies, STEM, biological and biomedical sciences, journalism or communication, or a variety of other science focuses.
Education and business administration programs are popular. Social science majors (sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science) are also some of the more popular majors. Looking closer at business, popular majors for students include business statistics, actuarial science, business administration/management, information resources management, marketing, management sciences, and quantitative methods.
At Columbia University, the retention rate for first-time students is excellent at 98%; this means that nearly 100% of all freshmen return to Columbia in their second academic year.
Students who are older and already working can choose online classes (distance learning) to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree. There are no evening classes or courses offered at Columbia University. However, when students graduate from Columbia, they will have earned a standout degree that will allow them to make a good living and move up in their field.
Student Population Total
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|All Social Science Majors||606 Total Graduates / 28%|
|Econometrics and Quantitative Economics||256 Graduates|
|Political Science and Government, General||215 Graduates|
|Social Sciences, Other||43 Graduates|
|Economics, General||21 Graduates|
|All Engineering Majors||315 Total Graduates / 14%|
|Operations Research||74 Graduates|
|Mechanical Engineering||60 Graduates|
|Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering||47 Graduates|
|Chemical Engineering||31 Graduates|
|Electrical and Electronics Engineering||30 Graduates|
|All Computer Information Science Majors||254 Total Graduates / 12%|
|Computer Science||250 Graduates|
|Information Science/Studies||4 Graduates|
|All Biological & Biomedical Majors||138 Total Graduates / 6%|
|Biology/Biological Sciences, General||58 Graduates|
|Visual and Performing Arts||119 Total Graduates / 5%|
|Visual and Performing Arts, Other||48 Graduates|
|Art History, Criticism and Conservation||38 Graduates|
|Music, General||19 Graduates|
|Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General||12 Graduates|
|Dance, General||2 Graduates|
|All Other Diplomas||35%|
Outcome & Salary
Students who graduate from Columbia University earn an average early-career salary of $73,100. Their average mid-career salary is $138,600 and can increase towards the late-career stage. Their 10-year return on investment estimated to be $745,120; 20-year ROI reaches as high as $2,131,120. With these ROIs, the four-year net price of with financial aid $84,880 can be seen as a very good investment.
High school graduates’ average salary nationally is $38,792. After ten years, their projected income is $387,920; their 20-year projected income is $775,840. While not every high school graduate wants to go to college, it’s clear that those students who do will benefit from their added time in the classroom.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$73,100|
|College Grads Average Salary||$83,000|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$138,600|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$830,000|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$2,216,000|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$84,880|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$745,120|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$2,131,120|
|No College Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$38,792|
|10 Year Projected Income||$387,920|
|20 Year Projected Income||$775,840|
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