Application Process

Columbia Families

How Do I Express Interest in Admissions?

If you work at Columbia University or are being recruited for employment at Columbia University, please contact our school's Admissions Office at or complete the inquiry form here.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

  • To apply, at least one parent/guardian must be a Columbia University full-time Officer of Instruction, Research, the Libraries, or Administration and qualify for the PTS (Primary Tuition Scholarship) benefit; and live or plan on living within the five boroughs of New York City upon enrollment
  • Members of Columbia University bargaining units can apply through the neighborhood lottery process if they reside in New York City Public School District 3 or 5.
  • Adjunct professors, students, and certain post docs are ineligible to apply even if they live in District 3 or 5. However, please see the bullet above if you are a member of a Columbia bargaining unit who falls into any of these groups. Visiting officers may be eligible to apply in certain circumstances; please contact us for more information.
  • Applicant CU-affiliated families must live in one of the five boroughs of New York City; they may start the application process before moving to New York City, but must establish residency at the time of matriculation. Residency must be confirmed by CU Human Resources and the Office of the Provost.
  • Students applying to Kindergarten for the 2024-25 school year must turn five by August 31, 2024.
  • The School does not require any educational testing (ERBs, etc.) for admission.
  • The School does not have an application fee.

How Are Acceptances Determined?

For kindergarten and openings at other grade levels, we follow a process, developed by a faculty task force, for allocating seats, prioritizing by groups based on an affiliate’s primary appointment:
  • Group I is officers of instruction of professorial rank (assistant, associate, and full professors, professors of practice, and clinical professors).
  • Group II is other academic officers (officers of the libraries, research officers, teachers at The School, and other officers of instruction not included in the first category).
  • Group III is officers of administration.
Seats are allocated through a general lottery that occurs in early February with seats prioritized by group, as described above. Any applicants who do not receive a seat through the lottery are placed on a waitlist and, in recent years, many ultimately received offers for the fall.

Admissions Timeline

  • Please contact the Admissions Office at for information on our admissions process. 
  • Applications are sent via email beginning mid-October. Application receipt does not guarantee a space.
  • The inquiry deadline for 2024-25 is December 1, 2023
  • For all applicants, the process includes a child visit and an internal assessment by The School to confirm it can serve the child.
  • Notifications are sent in early February 2024.
  • Signed contracts and deposits are due by noon on February 16, 2024. Children may be placed on our waitlist to be offered admission if additional spaces become available. The waitlist stays active only until the start of the school year, and does not automatically carry over to the next year. Families must reapply if they wish to be in the next year’s application cycle.

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