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Applying to Columbia? Consider Doing it Now

April 07, 2020

Columbia Business School admissions recently hosted an update call, discussing recent impacts from COVID-19. Tone of the discussion was hopeful, and we appreciated the openness of all the staff on the call to discuss what they are seeing. In fact, they reiterated that their department remains fully-functioning, and open to outreach from any applicant or potential applicant on how they might fit into Columbia this year or next.

They did acknowledge that, with 40% of their 550-size class likely requiring a visa by the Fall, they are seeking qualified candidates over the next few months in order to fill their class. A few important datapoints depending on your situation:

For candidates who have already applied:

  • When discussing possible deferrals, CBS staff divided people seeking deferrals into two groups, 1) those who choose not to start and 2), those who are unable to start (i.e. visa issues). They indicated group 1 would be unlikely to receive deferrals, but would be encouraged to re-apply next year with favorable bias towards their candidacy. They committed to deferring those in group 2.
  • CBS is asking for answers sooner rather than later, so they know the gap they need to fill in upcoming application rounds
  • For waitlisted candidates, they admitted it would be a longer wait
  • They to start in-person classes in August; current classes are being done online
  • They will work with any student on a case-by-case basis
  • They are not considering reviewing declined applicants; they encouraged them to re-apply next cycle

For candidates applying this cycle:

  • Application deadline extended to June 1
  • They are accepting applications without standardized test scores – will make final decisions after scores are submitted
  • They will view standardized test scores done at home in the same way as those done in testing centers
  • Will have "much larger waitlist" as in the past, though they won’t know how many spots (their current guess is almost 200) or how much financial aid they will have remaining to grant until at least after the April 22nd deposit deadline
  • They will continue admitting international students, but want to ensure the countries they are coming from have effective virus mitigation strategies.

For candidates applying next cycle:

  • They will view standardized test scores done at home in the same way as those done in testing centers
  • Unsure if they are changing anything in the application process for next year
  • No consideration of not having a 2020 application season
  • If reapplicant next year, they don't need to show "growth" given the extraordinary circumstances in the economy