Making Columbia Accessible

We strive to make Columbia accessible to students from every socioeconomic background. Here is how:

Columbia meets 100% of the demonstrated financial need of every admitted first-year student who has applied for financial aid and continues to meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for all four years of study.

Admission to Columbia is need-blind for United States citizens and permanent residents and persons granted refugee visas by the United States. Needs-blind admission means that Columbia admits applicants regardless of the financial circumstances of the applicants or their families. We award significant financial aid to foreign students as well, though financial need is taken into consideration at the time of admission.

Our need-based aid is in the form of grants and work-study positions. Loans are not a component of Columbia financial aid packages.

There is no parent contribution for students from families with calculated incomes of less than $60,000 each year. For students who come from families with total incomes between $60,000 and $100,000 each year, Columbia offers a signficantly reduced parent contribution. Families earning over $100,000 still can qualify for significant financial aid from Columbia.


Consider these facts:

  • Columbia awards more than $122 million each year in scholarships and grants from all sources.
  • Half of Columbia's students receive grants from Columbia, and the average award is $42,238.
  • The median income for families receiving a Columbia grant is $98,814. However, many families earning as much as $200,000 each year may qualify for financial aid.
  • 16% of Columbia's undergraduates receive the Pell Grant, a federal grant reserved for the neediest students in the country.