How to Apply for Financial Aid

Your guide to making the most of financial aid opportunities at Columbia.

First Step

File your FAFSA

We recommend all prospective and current students complete this step. Students who file a FAFSA ensure that they are considered for the most aid possible. In 2018-2019, 90% of eligible FAFSA filers received institutional aid from Columbia.

  • Complete your FAFSA here.
  • Prospective Students should file their FAFSA when they submit their application.
  • Current students should file their FAFSA by April 15.
  • Make sure you fill out the FAFSA for the correct year.
  • Remember to use “prior prior year” tax information e.g. 2017 tax information for the 2019-2020 FAFSA. We recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if available.
  • Make sure you file with our school code: 002707

Next Steps (if applicable)

Submit Additional Documents

If you have been selected for federal verification or additional documents have been requested, submit them as soon as possible. If requested, documents will be listed on Netpartner and can be found here.

Review Award Letters

If all of your financial aid documentation has been received and you have been admitted, the Office of Financial Aid will issue you an award letter explaining any awards available to you, their eligibility requirements, and the cost of your anticipated enrollment.

  • Students entering in Summer or Fall begin receiving award letters in mid-late February.
  • Continuing students begin receiving award letters in May-June for the upcoming year.