SPS Financial Aid Checklist

Steps to Take

  • Complete the FAFSA with the most recent tax year's financial information online at the Federal Student Aid website. The FAFSA opens October 1 and closes June 30.
    • The Office of Student Financial Planning requires 4-6 weeks to prepare a financial aid package for students. Applicants should plan accordingly by filing taxes early and applying for the FAFSA as soon as their return is accepted if they wish to receive notice of federal funding by April 1st. Delays in filing tax returns and/or the FAFSA application may delay the arrival of an aid package.
    • Do not forget to submit before the state and federal deadlines if you wish to be considered for available federal aid. Some forms of aid may not be available if applicants wait until June to submit. Applicants who fail to submit a FAFSA before June 30 will not receive federal aid for the forthcoming academic year.
      • Columbia's FAFSA School Code: 002707
  • Accept or decline your award.
    1. Log on to NetPartner using your CU ID# (which begins with C followed by nine digits) and your password, which is your date of birth in MMDDYYYY format.
      • Do not log in as a first-time user since login access has already been established for you.
    2. Click on the Menu tab.
    3. Click on the Accept Awards tab.
    4. Change status from “Pending” to “Accept” or “Decline.”
    5. Click the Submit button to save your selection.
  • If you decide to Accept your financial aid package and you plan to borrow loans, you must complete the required loan documents listed as "Not Received" under the Documents tab in NetPartner.
    • Click on each document name to complete the following:
      • Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Federal Direct Loans
      • Entrance Interview/Counseling for graduate students (for Grad PLUS loans)
  • To apply for a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan:
    1. Go to http://sfs.columbia.edu.
    2. Click on Forms and Docs.
    3. Click on the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Request and Credit Authorization Form.
    4. Log in and complete the form.
    5. If you have not done so already, you must also go to https://studentaid.gov/mpn/ to complete the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note.
  • To apply for a private educational loan, students can choose any lender funding private student loans and complete an online application with the chosen lender.
  • International students may choose any lender of their choice funding private student loans and complete an online application that includes a creditworthy U.S. cosigner, or they may investigate home country resources.