Tuition & Financial Aid
Our Commitment to Your Education
The Office of Financial Aid is committed to working with every student who qualifies for admission. As a student at our School, you will have access to a dedicated and knowledgeable financial aid team that provides detailed financial aid counseling throughout your tenure.
The Office of Financial Aid provides all students with:
- A yearly budget estimating the costs associated with your chosen program—known as the cost of attendance (COA). NOTE: This budget is created each academic year to account for variable costs.
- A financial aid package to illustrate your options for covering these costs.
Applying for Financial Aid
Our students aren’t on their own when it comes to affording tuition. In fact, 90% of eligible FAFSA filers in 2018-2019 received institutional aid from Columbia. That’s why we’ve made a simple how-to guide to make the application process easy.
Your Financial Aid PackageTo apply for financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once our Office of Financial Aid receives your FAFSA data—which generally is not available to the School until after February 15th—we can begin the evaluation process for determining your financial aid package. Financial aid packages typically include a mix of:
- Scholarships: These awards are gifts from the school and do not have to be paid back. Most of the awards are need-based (note: the only application consists of your FAFSA); the remainder are merit-based.
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan: This federal loan is available to any student who has completed the FAFSA, is not in default on a federal student loan, and has not exceeded their annual or lifetime loan limit. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan has a fixed interest rate that is set annually by Congress on July 1st for loans disbursed through the following June 30. It is not a need-based loan and graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 each year.
- Other types of loans: Based on your financial aid offer, you may be eligible for financial assistance from supplemental loans or outside sources—listed on your award letter as “Alternative Eligibility.” Alternative Eligibility represents the maximum amount you may borrow in either a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, which has a fixed interest rate, or a private educational loan, which has either a variable or fixed interest rate.
- Limited funds are reserved for Federal Work Study opportunities for eligible graduate students to secure on-campus paid employment.
- The School also has a limited amount of institutional loans available for students who are unable to secure a Graduate PLUS or private educational loan. The interest rate on these loans is 5 percent, with a 10-year repayment period. Loan amounts range from $2,000 to $10,000.