New Parent Guide

Columbia Central

Paying for school requires a considerable amount of planning and Columbia Central can help with that process. Columbia Central offers a number of resources to assist students with calculating total costs, formulating a plan, and executing that plan.

For questions, call Columbia Central at 312-369-7140 or visit the office at 600 S. Michigan Ave, Suite 303 during normal business hours. It’s also a great idea to visit the Columbia Central website to learn about support options, deadlines, and financial aid opportunities.


When planning to pay for tuition, students should always look into scholarships. Columbia offers a number of both need and merit based scholarships for continuing undergraduate students. Each scholarship has it’s own criteria and application guidelines. 

To get started, students can use Columbia’s Scholarship Finder to see which scholarship(s) they may qualify for in the upcoming year.

Student Employment & Handshake

Handshake is Columbia’s online career management system. New students are registered with an account once they have been issued a MyColumbia ID and a student email address, and have registered for classes.  To access Handshake, students need to activate their account using their MyColumbia ID and password. Once they are signed in, students can set-up and personalize their profile, upload a resume, and access career resources. Students can also use Handshake to book appointments with Career Center staff, search for jobs (including on-campus) and internships, find career development resources, and register for Career Center events, workshops, and job fairs. Visit to get started.

Students looking for an on-campus job specifically can expect to find open opportunities posted about a month prior to the start of the semester. For more information on student employment, visit

Career Center

A student’s creative career starts long before graduation. That's why we encourage current students to take advantage of our Career Center: a one-stop shop that helps navigate the path from college to career.

From the first day on campus to graduation and beyond, the Career Center works with students to increase their employability and help them find meaningful work, internships, and portfolio-building opportunities. The Career Center offers an ever-expanding range of services to help students earn income while in school and gain hands-on experience with creative industries.

Current students, and especially incoming transfer students, looking to develop their portfolio and professional body of work, should visit the Career Center ASAP. The Career Center has a staff of industry professionals to review portfolios and also hosts portfolio workshops and events.

Visit the Career Center website, schedule an appointment on Handshake, or stop by their offices on 618 S. Michigan Avenue, First Floor, to learn how they can help.

Fall Classes

Class registration for the Fall semester will begin in May. Undergraduate registration times are determined by the number of earned hours, including courses in progress for the current semester. Students will receive an email to their Office 365 account with a specific registration date and time. They can register any time after their assigned time, up until registration closes for the semester.

We strongly recommend that students meet or speak with their College Advisor before registering for classes.