Cost & Aid

The cost of a Columbia education will vary depending on your particular circumstances, and we encourage you to use our cost estimator tools to plan for your educational expenses with the most accurate information available to you. Still, it’s helpful to have some baseline facts and figures to start with as a frame of reference. Below, you’ll find the estimated total cost of attendance, as well as insights on scholarships and grants the University provides to make sure that Columbia truly is affordable for everyone.


I come from a first-generation, low-income, single-parent household, so finding a school that was able to support me and my family was really important. Columbia offers so many great opportunities and resources, but the support is phenomenal as well. I truly feel that all of the faculty and staff want to see students succeed and will do what they can to help make this possible.

Los Angeles, CA
Mechanical Engineering, Minor in Earth and Environmental Engineering

Grants & aid

  • Students coming from families with annual incomes less than $150,000 (and typical assets) are able to attend Columbia tuition-free.
  • Columbia awards more than $215 million annually in scholarships and grants from all sources.
  • About half of Columbia's incoming first-year students receive grants from Columbia and the average amount awarded is $71,043.
  • 19% of Columbia’s incoming first-years receive the Pell Grant, a Federal Grant reserved for the students with the highest need in the country.
  • Incoming first-year students from low-income families receive a start-up grant of $2,000 to ease their transition to college.
  • Students are expected to borrow $0 to attend Columbia. 

In Financial Aid and Educational Financing, our primary goal is to work with you and your family in developing a plan to pay for your education. We are here to help you understand the costs and explore your financing options, and we will be here to assist you throughout your entire time at Columbia. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any assistance in your planning. We understand that financing your education can be among the most daunting parts of the college journey. But with dedicated staff and one of the most generous financial aid programs in the country, we want to assure you that we’re here to help—and that cost should never be a barrier to attending Columbia. 



expected parent contribution for students coming from families with annual incomes of less than $66,000 (and typical assets)


Free tuition

for students coming from families with annual incomes of less than $150,000 (and typical assets)


No loans

Loans are not used to meet financial need or included in initial financial aid awards


I worked as a Teaching Fellow with Breakthrough Houston and the Center for Career Education's Summer Funding Program's support for living and personal expenses helped make it such a memorable experience.

Houston, TX
Theatre and Education Studies

2023-2024 Cost of attendance

  • Tuition and fees: $68,400
  • New student fees: $645
  • Housing and food: $16,800
  • Books and personal: $3,742
  • Total cost of attendance: $89,587

These figures are the basis for determining financial aid eligibility, although individual student expenses may vary.

The  housing and food figure represents a first-year student living on campus for the full year. Housing and food for non-first year students is based on the standard room charge and Meal Plan B. Students who choose to live off campus will have the same allowance for their out-of-pocket housing and meal expenses.

Visit Student Financial Services for more details on cost of attendance.