International Admissions

Columbia Independent School encourages all international students (students requiring an I-20 to study in the U.S.) who meet the following requirements to apply to CIS:

  • The student must be proficient in English. As a college-preparatory school, our curriculum is rigorous and requires students to be strong readers, writers, and speakers of English regardless of the subject area.

  • CIS does not provide housing for students, nor does CIS provide transportation to and from school. The student must live with immediate or extended family members, or friends in Columbia or a surrounding community.

  • The student and his/her family must be able to pay for all tuition, books, and required fees.

  • The student must provide the school with proof of health insurance while attending school at CIS.

  • The student’s records must be excellent at his/her current school.

International Tuition for the 2019-2020 School Year

Lower School (grades JK-5): $18,500
Middle and Upper School (grades 6-12): $20,300

Please note: An additional fee of $3,000-$5,000 may be necessary if the student requires more intensive tutoring and academic support.

Send the application material to:

Kari Dowell, Director of Admissions
Columbia Independent School
1801 North Stadium Boulevard
Columbia, MO 65202 USA

The admissions committee will review the student’s complete file and will notify the student and his/her family of the admissions decision.

If the student is admitted to CIS, and his/her parents/guardians notify CIS of acceptance of admission, the director of admissions and marketing will email to you an official acceptance letter and enrollment contract. Once the contract is signed and tuition paid, the admissions office will mail the Form I-20 to the family. The student and his/her family will then be responsible for paying the SEVIS (the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System) fee, obtaining a passport, interviewing and applying for the student’s visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate, arranging transportation to the U.S. and the city of Columbia, securing health insurance for the student while studying at CIS, and any other related needs.

For questions, please contact Kari at (573) 777-9257 or


Online Application of Admission

International Student Application.pdf

Form 1 - Records Request.pdf

Form 2 - Financial Support.pdf

Form 3 - Lower School Evaluation.pdf

Form 4 - English Evaluation.pdf

Form 5 - Math Evaluation.pdf

International Admissions Checklist and Material

  • Online Application for Admission including $150 application fee. You may fill out a PDF application here.

  • Request for Copies of School Records

  • Statement of Financial Support and a copy of your parent’s and/or your sponsor’s bank statement. CIS cannot begin the I-20 process without this information.

  • Lower School Teacher Evaluation (JK-5th grade applicants only)

  • English Teacher Evaluation (6-12th grade applicants only)

  • Math Teacher Evaluation (6-12th grade applicants only)

  • Photo of applicant

  • Official school records received by CIS. CIS must receive official school transcripts for the past three school years, as well as English translations of the transcripts. The transcripts should state the courses the student has taken, the school’s grading scale, the grades the student earned, and any disciplinary action taken against the student.

  • Official TOEFL iBT score (Test of English as a Foreign Language, internet-based test) for 9-12 grade applicants. This score must be sent directly from ETS to CIS. Information about the TOEFLiBT can be found at CIS’s TOEFL iBT school code is 1639.

  • Once we have received the student’s application and additional scores/forms, the director of admissions will contact the family to schedule an interview with the applicant. While a Skype interview is sufficient, an on-site visit is preferable.