Columbia University Receives Record Number of Applications from Nontraditional Undergrad Students

The Columbia University School of General Studies—dedicated to serving nontraditional students and one of three undergraduate colleges at the University—saw a 20% increase in Fall 2020 applications, receiving its highest number in over a decade.
NEW YORK - July 15, 2020 - PRLog -- The School of General Studies (GS) has a long history of educating individuals seeking a new direction during a critical moment in their lives. As many now look to change paths during these uncertain times, whether by choice or by necessity, GS is uniquely positioned to support those who want to complete their education or pursue a new field—as it has done for decades.

With the necessary cancellation of all in-person events midway through the recruitment cycle, the GS Office of Admissions quickly expanded its online offerings and scaled up the availability of telecounseling, allowing prospective students worldwide to learn about the School at a pivotal moment.

At GS, students are offered the opportunity to pursue a traditional, undergraduate Ivy League education while receiving dedicated and unparalleled support from a college that has been educating nontraditional students for more than 70 years.

"I left school prematurely to go into a real estate career that eventually led me to a position as head of real estate at the largest bank in Mexico, and later, a senior position in the private equity industry. Then, in 2008, the markets crashed and I had to rethink everything." –Pablo Mota '13GS

As institutions across the country worked to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University quickly mobilized to accommodate online learning beginning with the Summer Session. Columbia also extended a unique opportunity for newly-admitted students to get a head start on their coursework by registering for summer classes in advance of the fall semester. This year's Summer Session saw a more than 50% increase in enrollment of GS students over last year, with a significant portion of that increase being represented by the incoming class.

As the School adapts to provide the best educational experience possible during these uncertain times, its long tradition of developing innovative approaches to higher education continues to evolve, and is perhaps more relevant now than ever before.


About Columbia University School of General Studies
The Columbia University School of General Studies ( (GS), founded in 1947, is the premier liberal arts college in the United States for nontraditional students seeking a traditional undergraduate Ivy League education. GS students take the same courses, study with the same faculty, and earn the same degree as all undergraduates at Columbia University.

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