Columbia is Affordable

It's your ability that matters, not your ability to pay

Columbia’s approach to affordability is simple. Need-based. Full need. No loan. We are committed to making Columbia’s opportunities affordable for everyone - opportunities that can only be provided by one of the most dynamic cities in the world, where the smartest, newest ideas are constantly within reach. 

Financial aid at Columbia is need-based; there are no academic, athletic or talent-based institutional scholarships. Instead, we evaluate each family’s ability to pay based on the information provided to us in the financial aid application. And then we cover 100% of the financial need for all first-years, for all four years of study.


                How to apply for aid                                                Estimate your net cost

Affordability doesn't end with your aid letter ​

Cost shouldn't be a barrier to making the most of Columbia's opportunities — on campus, in New York or around the globe. From your residence hall to the Center for Career Education, there are resources on campus to allow you to take advantage of everything Columbia has to offer. 

  • 95% of students have at least 1 internship during their time at Columbia
  • Free laundry in Columbia residence halls
  • The Work Exemption Program offers students a grant to support their pursuit of unpaid or low-paid internships, research projects and community outreach
  • There are hundreds of work opportunities available on campus — you could be a research assistant, assist with web development for the university, support an athletics team on game day and much more! 
  • Free entry to 30+ museums with the Arts Initiative, just one of the ways Columbia opens doors to New York
  • Over 200 study abroad programs — and your financial aid travels with you during the academic year

"Columbia offers lots of resources which allow students to get to know the arts and culture of New York for free. Students can experience popular Broadway shows and museums like the Museum of Modern Art without spending a dime." 

-- Alexis B., Davidsville, PA

Learn more about financial aid