Application Walkthrough

Video and transcript

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Video Player

“Hello, and welcome to our High School Immersion Program application overview! In this video, we will walk through our program’s application step-by-step to help you fill out your application correctly and completely. As a reminder, this application must be filled out by students themselves. Applications found to be submitted by a parent, legal guardian, or an agent will not be accepted.

The first page in the application is the Program of Study page, where you will identify important information, including your current grade and your “program of study” – in other words, the program you are applying to. It is imperative that you take great care to answer each question and that your answers are accurate, as this page will determine how the rest of the application will appear. If any later page of the application does not properly load or appear, this is an indication the Program of Study page has been inadequately filled out. Additionally, if you were given a fee waiver code, you may enter it on this page. Make sure your fee waiver code is spelled and formatted correctly; otherwise, it will not be recognized, and you will be prompted to pay a fee.

The Program of Study page also lists the specific application requirements for the program, and we encourage you to review this list if you are unfamiliar. Once you have completely filled out this page, you may click “Continue”; clicking “Continue” on any page saves the information you have entered, and will bring you to the next page.

The next page is Application Instructions, which includes pertinent instructions to your specific program of study’s application as a whole. Please review this before moving forward. Most application pages will include their own instructions as well – we strongly encourage you to read all instructions carefully to ensure you are completing the application correctly.

The next page is the Personal Background page, where you will provide personal information details including your preferred name, address, and telephone number. If you are a U.S. citizen, you are asked to provide your Social Security Number. While not required, we recommend doing so as it is used to create your student record in the Columbia University student information system. The Race/Ethnicity fields at the bottom of the page are optional and used for reporting purposes only.

The next two pages are for Parent/Legal Guardian and Emergency Contact Information. These pages contain identical fields where you will provide the name and contact information for one or two parents or legal guardians, and one emergency contact. Your Emergency Contact should not be a parent or legal guardian. As our programs operate in New York City, on Eastern Time, an emergency contact in a compatible timezone who can communicate in English is recommended.

The next page is for your Academic History. On this page, you will list all secondary schools you have attended (or your current school if you are in 8th Grade) and upload your transcripts through the pop-up window opened by clicking “Add Institution”. Grades from all secondary school work completed are required; this includes every school year that you have completed from 9th Grade to the present, including your most recent report card from the current school year. If you are in 8th Grade, we will only require your most recent 8th grade report card. Please list your Dates Attended with your anticipated high school graduation date if you are still enrolled in the school. You do not need to provide your GPA if it is not printed on your transcript.

The next page is the Curricular Interest Form where you will indicate two to four courses you would be interested in enrolling in. In the prerequisites and academic preparation response field, please speak first to how your academic history has satisfied the prerequisites for your courses, if any; and second to why you are interested in or excited to take these courses.

It is important to note that by filling out this page, you are only expressing interest in these courses. Your application does not register you for courses. If you are admitted to the program, your acceptance letter will list which of these courses you are eligible to enroll in; you will receive further information at that time about how to register yourself for any eligible courses. In the event that you would like to register for a course not identified on your application, you will be able to discuss eligibility with an Admissions Officer, and must obtain permission to be able to register. Course registration is closely monitored. Students are only eligible to register for pre-approved classes.

The next section is the Additional Information, where you will provide supplementary information such as any significant interruptions in your studies, any suspensions or dismissals from school, and if you are the dependent of a full-time Columbia University employee. Please answer these questions as honestly and accurately as possible; applications will not be dismissed solely based on a response to these questions.

The next page is Essays, where you will upload your Statement of Purpose. Your Statement of Purpose should be in a .docx or .pdf format, and the prompt is available on this page for your reference.

The next page is Recommendations, where you will provide your recommenders’ contact information. If you are applying to an online program, you must submit only one Academic letter of recommendation. The academic recommendation must be from a teacher who has taught you in class, is presently employed at the school you currently attend, and has access to a school-affiliated email. You cannot use a headmaster or guidance counselor if they have not taught you in class; you cannot use a teacher from a previously-attended school or one who has retired; and we cannot accept recommendations from non-school-affiliated email addresses, such as gmail or yahoo. The only exception is that current 8th or 9th Grade students may use a middle school teacher as a recommender.

Your recommendation should come from a teacher in a closely-related field to the courses you are interested in, i.e. from a Science teacher if you are interested in taking a Science course. If you are interested in a course you have no prior experience in, such as Digital Filmmaking when you’ve never taken a film course, please practice your best discretion. An English teacher may be a good choice in this example, as both English and film are liberal arts-based.

If you are applying to an in-person program, you must submit a second recommendation from a Guidance Counselor. Same as for the Academic recommender, the guidance counselor must be presently employed at the school you currently attend and have access to a school affiliated email address. If you do not have a formal guidance counselor, a dean, advisor, or principal who can speak to your overall standing as a student and member of your school community will fulfill this requirement.

On this page, you will provide your recommender’s contact information. After providing this information, your recommender will automatically be sent an email prompting them to provide their recommendation. Please let your teachers know to expect this email from and to reach out to us directly if they experience difficulties, including not receiving this link. The complete recommendation consists of a brief recommendation form as well as an uploaded letter of recommendation. Under no circumstances should you upload a letter on behalf of a recommender. Any person who writes a letter of recommendation must submit that letter themselves through the application system.

While providing your recommender’s information, you will also be able to indicate your FERPA waiver status. This indicates whether or not you would like to have the ability to view the recommendation should you be admitted to the program. If you do not waive your right and are enrolled, you may visit the Office of Admissions to view your letter. Hard copy or electronic copies are not provided to students. Applicants who are not admitted are not eligible to view letters of recommendation.

Please note that you may submit your application before your recommendation is received, and your application will not be penalized for this. After submitting your application, you should regularly check to see if your recommendation has been submitted, and can send email reminders to your recommender through the application system if necessary. Instructions to do so are located at the bottom of your application checklist. Additionally, you will receive an email once your recommendation has been provided to the Office of Admissions.

The next two pages are the Community Standards Consent Form and the Financial Responsibility Agreement. Our community standards are expectations that all program participants are expected to know and abide by – please ensure you have comprehensively reviewed this form. The Financial Responsibility Agreement page is where participants confirm they are aware participation in the program means they are financially responsible for paying the program’s fees. Both pages require digital signatures from applicants and parents/legal guardians to attest to review and comprehension of this information.

The penultimate page, Signature, is where you certify that your application in its entirety has been accurately and authentically filled out by you. You will provide your digital signature as confirmation, knowing that any false statements, falsified documents, or deliberate omissions on this application may be grounds for rejection of my application, or if admitted, disciplinary action.

The final page is the Review page. Here, you will be notified if any page of the application is incomplete; if not, you will be able to submit your application and pay your $80 application fee. If you entered a valid application fee waiver code or are applying during a time when the application fee is waived you should not be prompted to pay the application fee. After payment, your application has been successfully submitted – congratulations!

Our Admissions Officers will reach out to you directly in the event that additional information or materials are required, as only fully complete applications are eligible to be reviewed for admission.

We look forward to reviewing your applications soon! Thank you, and please feel free to reach out to us if we can provide any further assistance in helping you submit your application.”