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Get Started Guide

You're in the right place. Let's get started!

Need more help with any of these steps? Check our New Student Guide for detailed instructions.

Step 1: Apply For Admission,
Financial Aid, Scholarships,
Benefits & Additional Services

Apply for Admission

This application is for all student types, including Recent High School Grads, Adult Learners and Transfer Students.

Admissions Dates & Deadlines

Apply to Columbus State

Special Instructions for:

Check Your Progress

While you’re waiting for your application to be processed, check your email for communications about next steps, further required documentation and other important information.

Aid, Benefits & Assistance

Apply for Financial Aid

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 and that you receive your funds before fees are due.  Be sure to check your Columbus State email for all Financial Aid related communication.

For more info, visit Columbus State's Financial Aid page or  If you'd like help filing your FAFSA, sign up to attend a FAFSA Workshop, or visit Student Central on the Columbus Campus in Madison Hall.

Apply for Scholarships

Once you complete the FAFSA, you may qualify for different types of aid, including grants, loans, and some scholarships. However, many scholarships have their own application process.

Visit Columbus State's Scholarship Page for details. (Deadlines change, so keep checking back!)

Other Services

Apply for Veterans Benefits

Register with Disability Services

Once you have been accepted to Columbus State, proceed to Step 2


Step 2: Submit Test Scores/Transcripts or Take Placement Tests

Columbus State has temporarily suspended in-person placement testing because of the health risks during COVID-19. Instead, the College is using alternative methods to place students in the best-fit courses for their academic success.

Prior to registering for classes, new students should submit their transcripts and ACT/SAT test scores to the College. If you’ve been out of high school for more than 10 years and don’t have documentation, the College has other options for placement. Read more on your specific situation below:

Submit the following documentation prior to registration:
• SAT and/or ACT scores, if available
• High school transcript
• Transcripts from any college you attended
• Scores from placement tests you've recently taken
• GED transcript

Learn how to submit high school transcripts

Learn how to submit college transcripts 

If the documentation options above are not available to you, register for College Writing (ENGL 0199)/College Composition Workshop (ENGL 1101), where you’ll learn in a small-group environment that will set you up for success through the rest of your college journey. To determine math placement, you will need to take the online math placement test, ALEKS, which you’ll access through CougarWeb once you’ve been given your Columbus State username and password.  

If you have less than six years of school in the United States, you’ll need complete the ESL Placement Test. We’ll ask you to produce a writing sample during a one-hour online session over WebEx using a webcam. You’ll need a paper and pencil or pen, internet access and a computer webcam or mobile device with a video camera. For more information, including tips on how to prepare and what to expect, or if you don’t have access to a computer with a webcam, please contact College Testing Services at 614-287-2478 or visit ESL Placement. 

In response to the state's updated College Credit Plus (CCP) program eligibility rules due to COVID-19, we have implemented a simple, alternative process to move students forward in the CCP enrollment process.

High School GPA: If you have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or higher, you are eligible to participate in CCP. After you complete the CCP application, we will contact your high school counselor and ask them to provide your high school GPA to Columbus State.

ACT/SAT scores: Or, if you have taken the ACT and/or SAT within the last two years, you scores may be used to determine your eligibility for College Credit Plus. Please have your official scores sent to Columbus State. ACT scores must be sent directly from the American College Testing database. Visit, click on "Register, view scores and more," and follow the prompts to request that your scores be sent to Columbus State (College Code: 3261). SAT Scores must be sent directly from the College Board. Visit and click on "Send scores to colleges" and follow the prompts to request that your scores be sent to Columbus State (College Code: 1148).   

Once we receive your scores, we’ll determine if they meet the eligibility score thresholds set by the state of Ohio, and then determine course placement. Once your eligibility has been confirmed, we’ll email with you with your next steps.

If you have questions about CCP placement testing, please contact

Step 3: Register for Class & Pay Tuition & Fees

Once you have submitted your ACT and/or SAT scores, completed placement testing and/or sent your official transcripts, you will be Ready to Register. Registering for classes brings many different options depending on how you identify.

(Be sure to check your student email because you may have received a personalized invitation to the New Student Workshop or Orientation.)

Find the category which best describes you:

New Columbus State Student and Recent High School Graduate?

(Graduated from high school in the past two years)

You Will Register For Classes at a New Student Orientation

Students who are planning to enroll for Spring 2021 should participate in a New Student Workshop. At Orientation, our advisors and staff will work with you to:

  • Tour Campus
  • Help You Register For Your First Semester of Classes
  • Discuss Financial Aid Information
  • Learn About Campus Resources, Getting Involved and Much More

New Columbus State Student and Graduated From High School More Than 2 Years Ago?

You Will Register For Classes at a New Student Workshop

Click here to reserve your spot for an upcoming New Student Workshop

In the workshop, an advisor will work with you to:

  • Help You Register For Your First Semester of Classes
  • Discover Information About Financial Aid
  • Learn About Campus Resources, Getting Involved and Much More

Returning Columbus State Student?

(Previously accepted or attended classes at Columbus State before)

You Will Register For Classes Through CougarWeb

  • To find your classes, browse courses using the Course Schedule.
  • Register for classes using CougarWeb.
  • More information about registering for classes.
  • Need advising regarding your Degree or Program of Study or a refresher on registering for classes? View Academic Advising walk-in hours or you can make an appointment with Advising by calling 614-287-5353 or 614-287-2668.

Pay Your Fees Once You're Registered!

  • Log into CougarWeb and click "Manage My Account" to pay your fees.
  • Learn more about Tuition Payment Options including Extended Payment Plans and Deferrals