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 2020-2021 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. Recipients of institutional scholarships are required to be enrolled full time and in fieldwork. If your enrollment or FAFSA data change your awards may also change.
- 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.
- Federal Work Study: Federal Work Study (FWS) is a Federally-funded employment program designed to help qualifying students fund their education. Eligible students must have financial need as determined by their FAFSA. Funds are limited and priority in allocating funds is given to students registered full time. FWS funds reflect the maximum you can earn via an on-campus FWS-eligible job. FWS funds are paid to students as they are earned. They are not credited to the student’s account.
- Other types of loans: Based on your financial aid offer, you may be eligible for financial assistance from supplemental loans or outside sources. The difference between the total amount of awards in your financial aid package and your Cost of Attendance represents the maximum amount of additional funding 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.
Cost of AttendanceThe cost of attendance consists of tuition, fees, living and personal expenses, and other education-related expenses for the period during which you expect to be enrolled in our MSW program. The estimated cost of attendance for 2020–2021 for each campus can be found below: here.
Military and Volunteer Service BenefitsIf you served in the military or completed a term of service with AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps, you may qualify for benefits to assist you with funding your education.
- Are you a veteran? Complete the checklist found on the Columbia University Veterans Affairs site to determine eligibility for educational benefits.
- Did you serve in AmeriCorps? Contact AmeriCorps directly to see if you qualify for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award.
- Are you a returned Peace Corps Volunteer? Be sure to indicate your RPCV status within your MSW application to be considered for the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program. To learn more about our partnership with Coverdell, visit our Scholarships page. For more information on the benefits of the Coverdell Fellows Program, visit the Coverdell website.”