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Students applying for or receiving financial aid must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
WHAT’S NEW: The 2017-2018 FAFSA application will be available to complete starting on October 1, 2016, three months earlier than in past years. Learn more about important changes to FAFSA.
Contact your school for exact deadline dates.
A FAFSA can be completed online at FAFSA-on-the-Web.
To complete your FAFSA, you will need Columbia University's School Code: 002707
To request a paper copy, call the U.S. Department of Education at 800-4FED-AID.
That information will be used to determine whether you receive any type of need-based federal student aid and, if you are eligible, how much federal financial aid you will receive. You’ll need to determine whose information to report on the FAFSA:
- yours, if you’re an independent student;
- yours and your spouse’s, if you’re an independent and married student;
- or yours and your parents’ if you are a dependent student.
When you apply for federal student aid, your answers to the questions in Step 3 of the paper FAFSA, or in Step 2 of the electronic online FAFSA, determine whether you are considered a dependent or independent student.
Dependent students must report their parents’ income and assets on the FAFSA as well as their own. If you’re considered a dependent student, your parents are expected to contribute toward the cost of your education. Federal student aid programs are based on the concept that a dependent student’s parents have the primary responsibility for paying for their child’s education.
To determine whether you are considered “dependent” or “independent,” please see this dependency fact sheet from the Department of Education.
If you opt out or are ineligible, you may need to submit to the University a federal tax return transcript. There are three methods for obtaining a federal tax return transcript: