Columbia is committed to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need of all students admitted as first-years or transfer students pursuing their first degree, regardless of citizenship status. Undocumented students, regardless of DACA status, are not eligible to receive federal and state financial aid, so we meet their need entirely from Columbia funding.
How can I afford to send my child to Columbia?
We know that choosing the right college involves a variety of factors, and the cost of the institution and how you will finance your student’s education are extremely important considerations. A student should never decide not to apply to Columbia because they think the cost exceeds their family’s ability to pay. Need-based aid makes it possible for everyone to afford a Columbia education.
Columbia reviews each admitted student’s family’s financial circumstances, determines your financial need, and awards aid to meet a family’s full demonstrated financial need. For many families, Columbia can be as affordable, if not more affordable, than a state-college or university education.
We make every effort to help meet students’ financial needs. In our quest to make Columbia affordable for all students, especially those from low-income and middle-income families, the University implemented the following financial aid enhancements for all incoming and continuing students:
- Columbia eliminated loans for all students receiving financial aid packages, whatever their family income, and replaced them with University grants.
- In an effort to further assist low-income families, parents with calculated total incomes below $60,000 (and typical assets) are not expected to contribute any of their income or assets to tuition, room, board and mandatory fees.
- Families with calculated incomes between $60,000 and $100,000 (and typical assets) have a significantly reduced parent contribution.
- To support students pursuing study abroad, research, internships and community service opportunities, Columbia offers the opportunity to apply for additional funding and exemptions from academic year and summer work expectations.
These enhancements build on previous financial aid initiatives and a long standing commitment to make Columbia affordable for all admitted students as illustrated by the following facts:
- Columbia meets 100% of the demonstrated financial need for all students admitted as first years who applied for financial aid, including foreign students, and we continue to meet your 100% of your demonstrated financial need for all four years of study.
- Columbia has the highest proportion of undergraduates receiving federal Pell Grants in the Ivy League and among the nation’s most elite private research institutions.
- About half of Columbia undergraduates receive some sort of financial assistance.
- Last year, Columbia committed over $122 million of its resources for grant aid to undergraduate students.
- In 2007 alumnus John Kluge, CC’37, pledged $400 million to Columbia, all designated for financial aid. This marks the largest pledge ever devoted exclusively to student aid to any single institution of higher education in the United States.