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Get Started Guide

You're in the right place. Follow the Get Started Guide to find out how to enroll at Columbus State. Let's get started!

Apply for Admission

1. Apply for Admission

Our Standard Application is for most student types, including recent high school grads, adult learners and transfer students. There's a separate application for College Credit Plus students. There's no fee to apply - get started on your journey today!

Apply to Columbus State | Contact Admissions

Already started or submitted an application? Log In To Application

Special Instructions for:

Check Your Progress

Once your application is submitted, you will receive an email within 2-3 business days. Check your email for communications about next steps, further required documentation and other important information.

Activate Your Columbus State Account

Once you are admitted to Columbus State, you will receive a Columbus State account and Columbus State email. You'll use your Columbus State account in CougarWeb, the portal where you can manage financial aid, register for classes, and manage your financial aid. Most official college communications will go to your Columbus State email.

Discover your Username and Password

Access Columbus State email

Apply for Financial Aid

2. Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial Aid includes a number of grant and loan programs to help you pay for college. The first step to receiving financial aid is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Complete the FAFSA at and indicate Columbus State as your choice for college to ensure that your financial aid information is processed (Columbus State school code: 006867). Be sure to check your Columbus State email for all Financial Aid related communication.

Apply for Financial Aid

FAFSA Workshop | Financial Aid Help & FAQs

Apply for Scholarships

Once you complete the FAFSA, you may qualify grants and scholarships. You can find many scholarships using our Scholarship portal. However, many scholarships have their own application process. Visit Columbus State's Scholarship Page for details.

Other Services

Apply for Veterans Benefits

Register with Accessibility Services


3. Placement & Testing

We want to start you in the right classes. Placement testing and transcripts allow us to put you in the correct classes and make sure you're not repeating material you've already learned.

  • If you have recent test scores and school transcripts, send them to us for evaluation.
  • No recent scores? Take a Placement Test.

Placement & Testing

Register for Classes

4. Orientation & Registration

After you've submitted your ACT and/or SAT scores, completed placement testing and/or sent your official transcripts, we'll review your record. Then, you will be Ready to Register.

Most new students will register for their first classes either at Orientation or New Student Workshop, although the procedure is different for transfer students, ESL students, and College Credit Plus students. Watch your student email for information on proceeding to your next step .

Find Your Orientation

Class Registration: Schedule your classes using CougarWeb. Find more instructions at Register for Classes.

Get Ready for Success

For more tips on how to get ready, find parking and books, and succeed in your classes, see our Next Steps for Registered Students guide.

Pay for Classes

5. Pay Tuition & Fees

Be sure all tuition and fees are paid no later than five days before the start of the semester. Sign into CougarWeb with your Columbus State username and password, then click “Manage My Account” and follow the prompts.

Access CougarWeb

Find more information on tuition and payment deadlines.