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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!

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

Apply to Columbus State

Admissions Dates & Deadlines

IMPORTANT: Complete this step if you have not previously started or submitted an application for admission. If you have already started/submitted an application, retrieve it under the “Already Started an Application?” section at

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.

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  (Columbus State school code: 006867).

Be sure to check your Columbus State email for all Financial Aid related communication.

The FAFSA may also be accessed through CougarWeb, under “Apply for Financial Aid.” To track your financial aid status, log on to CougarWeb and go to “Financial Aid Self Service.”

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.

Make sure you complete the FAFSA application for the correct academic year.

Get Help

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!) You will automatically be matched with any scholarships for which you qualify, and will receive an email with your next steps, sent to your Columbus State email account.

Other Services

Apply for Veterans Benefits

Register with Accessibility Services

New Student Assessment is providing placement testing at the Columbus Campus (Madison Hall, Room 202), Delaware Campus (Moeller Hall, Room 157), and Dublin Regional Learning Center (DB, Room 311).  Appointments are required. Click here to schedule your placement testing appointment.

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 English is not the first language you learned, then answer these questions to see if you need to take the ESL placement test.

  • Have you had at least eight (8) years of K-12 school in the U.S.?
  • If you are a College Credit Plus student, have you had at least six (6) years of school in the U.S.? 
  • Do you have college-level English transfer credit, or have you earned a degree from a U.S. college or university?
  • Do you have a TOEFL score of at least 79 or IELTS 6.5 in the last two years?
  • Do you have an ACT English score of 18 or above or SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score of 480 or above?

If the answer to one or more of these questions is YES, then you do not need to take the ESL placement test.  Contact Columbus State New Student Advising for next steps.

If the answer to all of these questions is NO, then you need to take the ESL placement test to be sure you have a successful start to your college education.

You will be asked to produce a writing sample and complete a multiple-choice test on language use, reading skills, and sentence meaning. The test will be taken during a three-hour online session over Zoom using a webcam. You will need paper and pencil or pen, internet access, and a computer with a webcam.

Schedule your ESL Placement Test

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

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 Autumn 2022 should participate in a New Student Orientation. 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.

Success Tip: Research has show that students who complete required English and math courses in the first year continue in college and graduate at higher levels.

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.

Once you've completed these steps, check our Next Steps for Admitted Students for detailed instructions.