Columbia College is a four-year, non-profit, liberal arts college which focuses on media, visual arts, and music. The college was founded in 1890 and was originally named the Columbia School of Oratory. The name was changed to the Columbia College of Expression in 1927. The co-founders were Mary A. Blood and Ida Morey Riley. Both were graduates of the Monroe Conservatory of Oratory located in Boston, Massachusetts. They founded Columbia because there was a need in the Midwest for a conservatory/college which focused on the arts. They chose Chicago because of the city’s diversity and multiculturalism. The campus is located in the South Loop at 600 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
There are approximately 9,500 students who are currently pursuing both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. There are more than 100 majors offered to undergraduate and graduate students. The average class size is generally fewer than 20 students. This allows the students to have more one-on-one time with their professors, which often allows for a deeper understanding of the course work. Columbia College is proud of their culturally diverse student body, with students coming from all across the nation as well as 41 foreign nations.
The requirements for freshmen are as follows: submission of official high school transcripts and a personal statement with a variety of topics, due at the time of submission. There are no GPA or ACT requirement because the school is test-optional. Tuition is about $25,000.00 per year, which does not include general fees, books, or room and board. Many students are from Chicago and commute to and from campus to save money. Nevertheless, Chicago students do participate in different activities around campus.