About Columbia College Chicago

Founded in 1890, Columbia College Chicago. is a Private college. Located in Illinois, which is a city setting in Illinois, the campus itself is Urban. The campus is home to 7,809 full time undergraduate students, and 311 full time graduate students.

The Columbia College Chicago Academic calendar runs on a Semester basis. In the school year the student to faculty ratio was 13:1. There are 308 full time instructional teachers. Degrees awarded at Columbia College Chicago include: Bachelor's Degree, Masters Degree, Post-master's certificate, Doctor's degree.

Quick Facts

Acceptance Rate88%
Application Deadline
Application Fee35
SAT Range
ACT Range

Admissions at are considered Less Selective, with ,83% of all applicants being admitted.

In the school year, of the students who applied to the school, only 19 of those who were admitted eventually ended up enrolling.

54% of incoming freshmen are in the top half of their high school class. 24% were in the top quarter, and 8% were in the top tenth. You can apply online.


We asked, and students answered these important questions about student life at Columbia College Chicago.

“We”re apathetic”
“We know about current events and vote”
“We participate and encourage others to get involved”
“There”s nothing we won”t protest”
“We save it for the classroom”
“Sometimes, but not often”
“There”s usually intelligent conversation to be found”
“All the time, including weekends”
“I”m always terrified”
“I only go out in groups”
“I usually let someone know where I”m going”
“I feel extremely safe”
“We don”t play sports”
“We play recreationally”
“We bought the gear”
“We live for the big game”
“It”s not really our thing”
“Occasinally we gallery crawl”
“There are a variety of opportunities”
“We”re a very artistic group”
“Haven”t met them”
“Available in class”
“They keep regular office hours”
“They”re always available”
“No greek life, but other groups to join”
“There is some involvement, but not a lot”
“Plenty of people join a sorority or fraternity”
“It”s everything. If you”re not greek, you”re a geek”
“We”re not into drinking at all”
“Maybe a little, but it”s not a big thing”
“We only party on weekends”
“There”s some drinking happening every night”
“Never, we”re here to learn”
“There might be people who do”
“People are known to partake on weekends”
“There”s a huge drug scene”

Columbia College Chicago REVIEWS

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  • How would you rate on-campus housing?

    218 Students rated on-campus housing 3.8 stars. 25 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate off-campus housing?

    203 Students rated off-campus housing 3.2 stars. 0 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate campus food?

    219 Students rated campus food 3.2 stars. 18 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate campus facilities?

    277 Students rated campus facilities 4.2 stars. 43 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate class size?

    276 Students rated class size 4.5 stars. 59 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate school activities?

    275 Students rated school activities 3.6 stars. 30 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate local services?

    275 Students rated local services 4.5 stars. 65 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate academics?

    277 Students rated academics 3.7 stars. 29 % gave the school a 5.0.

What's your overall opinion of Columbia College Chicago?

100 Students rated Columbia College Chicago

Samantha - 06/22/2023

Columbia College Chicago would not be the school that it is without its students. I am in constant awe of my peers and they motivate me to take advantage of the schools resources and opportunities. The cafeteria at school is abismal, youll be lucky to find fresh fruit to buy on campus. But we are located in a city so you can always eat off campus.

Olivia - 07/01/2022

Columbia College Chicago is a great school. The staff is well trained and are industry professionals. They are experts in the fields they teach and have extensive connections. They give great constructive feedback and are always willing to help their students.

Zion - 03/27/2021

The mental health services are lacking a bit, but the professors I've had have generally been very supportive, helpful, and want you to succeed. There are tons of different resources & opportunities to pursue in your field that help you build your resume 7 make connections, and the professors here are really experienced & have a lot of connections in the field. The people I've met so far are really passionate about their art & overall I've had some really positive experiences here so far.

Ixy - 10/19/2020

I love Columbia It was my first choice in high school where I wanted to attend. Columbia knows how to run a school. The school area might be sketchy sometimes as there's a lot of nearby alerts but it's downtown Chicago with many types of people I wouldn't blame the school on that part. Inside I feel safe as it's hard to get in without a student ID. The school always had flyers and fun events on campus before covid like game nights, cooking, sewing, dancing, and any major or culture-related events you can think of! Now off-campus with covid, there's some online too to keep us sane. I believe we lack in sports but we finally have a gym at the student center! Now personally heart to heart with the school walking around campus I feel off but not in a bad way, every single student has a talent or a motive and during high school, if I mentioned what I wanted to do, fashion, they’d tell me it was a waste of time trying to design as it’s me vs a billion. Although at Columbia students and teachers believe in my passion and support me. It’s something I’m not used to, it motivates me to keep pushing in my worse. Here I can share my ideas and dress how I want without anyone giving me a look because everyone loves how different everyone is from each other and gives each other pointers and ideas in class and out.

Columbia College Chicago FAQS

  1. What is the Acceptance Rate at Columbia College Chicago?

    The fall 2020 acceptance rate for Columbia College Chicago is 88%. That means, out of _____ applications received in 2020 , _____ students were offered admission. The number of males who applied was _____ vs the number of females which was _____.

  2. What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

    I would tell myself to apply for as many scholarships as I can. I am mostly happy with every other decision I made. I started at community college to save money, and then went to my dream school, Columbia.

    Read all  328 answers
  3. Describe the students at your school.

    I haven't enrolled yet this would be my first year so I haven't met anyone yet.

    Read all  80 answers
  4. What's unique about your campus?

    Well, my school offers the opportunity for artistically driven young and older adults to learn their craft in a variety of fields. At Columbia College Chicago, there is a high emphasis on critical as well as creative problem solving which would be useful in a variety of industries and businesses. Our motto is to "Author the Culture of Our Times" by making an signature imprint on the world though our visions in music, dance, theater, creative writing, and a variety of other artistic channels of media. Students are encouraged to push limits of creative visions that express their world interpretations .

    Read all  66 answers
  5. What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

    The worst thing about my school are the three hour classes. Three hours is a long period of time, and for the most part information either becomes confusing, or the student begins to tire, so much to that he or she cannot pay attention.

    Read all  64 answers
  6. Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

    Columbia college is filled with great people and teachers. Columbia is greater then I ever imagined

    Read all  63 answers
  7. Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

    Columbia College is one of the recommended colleges told by my former English professor, and I'm glad it was recommended because I adored with the art classes and it shows that they care for art students as much as any other art colleges.

    Read all  63 answers
  8. What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

    I wish I had taken the time to read more reviews of the school.

    Read all  58 answers
  9. What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

    The most frustrating thing about my school the cost. Yes I get that college is not free , but its real unfortunate when students have to leave a school that they love because they can't afford to stay here.

    Read all  51 answers
  10. What kind of person should attend this school?

    A person with the passion and desire to make something of their life should go to this school. I feel that attending a private school in one of the greatest cities in the world that the sky is the limit. If your the type of person that wants to be more focus on the future at a younger age you should attend Columbia College. From personal experience college campus life can be distracting. Living in the city without the fraternities and sororities helps a lot.

    Read all  48 answers
  11. What kind of person should not attend this school?

    The kind of person that should not attend Columbia college is one that does not appreciate creativity. Columbia college is in the midst of downtown chicago, which is in the heart of the "art district" and each program explores an element of the creative arts.

    Read all  45 answers
  12. Describe your favorite campus traditions.

    Our professors are all very experienced in their fields.

    Read all  43 answers
  13. What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

    When telling friends about Columbia I brag most about the teachers. All of the teachers are professionals who are currently working in their field. They bring so much insight to the class room as well as industry connections.

    Read all  38 answers
  14. What are the academics like at your school?

    The classes are super small which is really fantastic and helpful because you are able to get one on one help from your teacher. Most of my teachers are extremely knowledgeable in the field they are teaching and all the teachers really encourage participation so much student do participate well and we usually have really great discussions. The small classes also help to become good friends and possible career partners with people.

    Read all  15 answers
  15. What are the most popular student activities/groups?

    The TV and film clubs tend to be pretty popular since they make up a large percentage of the school, #savecolumbia became very popular, Common Ground (the LGBTQA club is pretty popular as well), Student Government Association (SGA), the quidditch team, and many many more.

    Read all  14 answers
  16. What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

    Columbia College Chicago is a college that is completely unique. Learning is focused more on the networking, and how you might use a class in your professional career. The college has definitely taken a new twist on liberal arts education. The most unique thing about Columbia College Chicago are the students themselves. When you think of an arts school, you might have images of kids wearing paint splattered clothes, and people with an interesting sense of style. I love that even though art school students are often labeled as "hipsters", students on campus do not always fit that mold. We are kids that have a passion for what we are going to school for. We live what we love. If that makes us "hipster" or "art school freaks", then I will gladly wear that stereotype.

    Read all  13 answers
  17. What is your overall opinion of this school?

    There are pros and cons of going to Columbia but all the things I have learned and have gained from columbia is defiantly worth every penny I paid here. All the teachers are working or have woken in the industry they are teaching so they have a ton of connections and can really help in finding a job. I like the city but it is hard to receive the sense of a college community because your in the heart of the city. I wish they had more sports and advertised sports around campus more because I was athletic in high school and miss doing sports when I came here. The school is exspensive and the supplies are exspensive but I leaned soo very much and built a really great portfolio and resume. I feel like I will earn ever penny back that I spent at Columbia because I went to Columbia.

    Read all  12 answers
  18. Where is the best place to get work done on campus?

    Either in the library, coffee shops, or the computer labs in certain buildings. Some work has to be done in designated areas though such as sewing or photo printing because certain equipment is needed.

    Read all  5 answers
  19. Tell us about the food and dining options.

    Columbia's urban campus has a wide variety of dining options. Most of the on-campus residence halls have kitchens in-unit, therefore it is sometimes easiest to stock the fridge and make your own meals (that's what I did when I lived on campus). The cafeteria is located in the University Center (UC) and is a building shared by four local universities (Columbia, DePaul, Robert Morris, and Roosevelt). A meal plan is included in the housing cost for all students living in the UC. If you live in any of the other buildings, you may purchase a supplementary meal plan and enter the cafeteria during meal times. With or without a meal plan, there are countless restaurants and places to grab a quick bite. The college also has a few cafes on campus to get coffee and a sandwich between class.

    Read all  4 answers
  20. What is the stereotype of students at your school?

    Rich, white, stubborn, snobby, close-minded, pseudo-artistic.

    Read all  4 answers
  21. What's the Greek scene like?

    Nonexistent. Avoid Columbia if you want Greek life. It's not the place for you.

    Read all  4 answers

Student Body







Total Undergrad Enrollment


Total Grad Students









Student Organizations







On-Campus Housing


of students living on campus

Student Diversity

% American Indian/Alaskan Native
% Asian/Pacific Islander
% Black or African-American
% Hispanic/Latino
% White or Caucasian


All students must apply yearly for financial aid. This process starts with the FAFSA. Though financial aid deadlines vary by school, it is a good idea to apply as soon as possible. For the upcoming school year, you can apply as early as October 1 for the FAFSA. Additional school aid will be dependent on the FAFSA results.

88% of students attending Columbia College Chicago receive some sort of financial aid. 35% were awarded federal grants. While 69% received federal loans. Many students do also need to apply for additional private student loans.

Cost Out of State


Tuition and fees(Out of state)


Books and Supplies


Room and Board


Total On Campus

Actual Cost By Income Level(W/Financial Aid)

Family Income
$0 - $30K
$30 - $48K
$48 - $75K
$75 - $110K
$110K & UP

We use student reviews and the most current publicly available data on our school pages. As such, we don't typically remove or edit college information. Sources for school statistics and data include the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Portions of college data include copyrighted material, which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. © 2009-2016 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.


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