Columbia Financial Aid and Educational Financing

Graduate Education Loans

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We encourage all graduate students to review the cost of attendance for their program to determine accurate borrowing needs.

Your loan eligibility may change if you receive any funding from other sources, including departmental funding or stipends.  If you are receiving any funds in addition to loans, please report them to our office. If you receive funding during the year, we may reduce your loans accordingly.  If you have questions, please contact our office to speak with a Financial Aid Officer.  

Please note: Applications for Summer loan funds are now available. Students enrolled in six credits or more may borrow a Federal Loan up to their yearly maximum.  Students who borrow in the summer will have reduced or no federal student loan eligibility for the subsequent Fall and Spring semesters. Students enrolled in less than six credits are only eligible for educational loans secured through private lenders.

Federal Direct Loan

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To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, have a valid Social Security Number and be admitted as at least a half-time student to a degree program. Learn about these and additional eligibility requirements at Columbia’s Student Financial Services website.

  • Interest Rate = 5.31% for loans disbursed after July 1, 2016.
  • Origination Fee from October 1, 2015- September 30, 2016 is 1.068% Calculate Fee
  • Students may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year.
  • Use the Department of Education's Loan Repayment Estimator for information about repayment options.
  • Read more about the Federal Direct Loan.
Graduate PLUS Loan

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To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, have a valid Social Security Number and be admitted as at least a half-time student to a degree program. Learn about these and additional eligibility requirements at Columbia’s Student Financial Services website

  • Interest Rate = 6.31% for loans disbursed after July 1, 2016.
  • Origination Fee from October 1, 2015 - September 30, 2016 is 4.272% Calculate Fee
  • Students may borrow up to the total cost of attendance minus any other financial assistance received.
  • To borrow the PLUS Loan, the borrower must pass a credit review and must not have adverse credit.
  • Use the Department of Education's Loan Repayment Estimator for information about repayment options.
  • Read more about the PLUS Loan.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Due to the interest rate and origination fee, we recommend graduate students first borrow their maximum eiligibility in the Federal Direct Loan before borrowing any PLUS.
Perkins Loan

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*Please note: Under new federal regulations, incoming Graduate students enrolled in The Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science are not eligible to apply for the Perkins Loan.

  • If you are unsure as to whether or not you are eligible please contact our office at ugrad-finaid@columbia.edu.
  • If you nave not borrowed a Perkins Loan with Columbia prior to 15-16 academic year, you do not have elligibility.
  • Before requesting Perkins funds, students should first borrow their full Direct Federal Stafford loan eligibility.
  • Perkins funds are limited and available on a first-come first-serve basis for qualifying students with federal eligibility.
  • Graduate students may borrow a maximum of $8,000 (if eligible).
  • 2014-2015 Interest Rate =5%
  • No interest will accrue while the student is enrolled in school at least half-time.
  • Read more about the Federal Perkins loan.
Private Loans

Apply for 2016-2017

Apply for 2015-2016 

  • Some families turn to private education loans when federal loans don't provide enough money or when they need more flexible repayment options. However, since federal education loans are usually less expensive than and offer better terms than private student loans, you should consider your federal loan options prior to applying for a private loan.   
  • Fees, interest rates and repayment options vary based on the lender.  Columbia offers a Suggested Lender List for students to reference.
  • Students have the right and ability to select the education loan provider of their choice, are not required to use any of the suggested lenders, and will suffer no penalty for choosing a lender that is not a suggested lender. We encourage students to explore the loan products of lenders that are not included as a suggested lender.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  The Department of Education School Code for Columbia = 002707; the Campus Code for Graduate Engineering = 20.  These codes MUST be used on all private loan applications in order to ensure proper processing.
  • The terms and conditions of the federal student loans or assistance may be more favorable or beneficial than the terms and conditions of private education loans.  If you have questions about your federal student loan eligibility, please contact our office.  
International Loans

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Apply for 2015-2016

  • International students may apply for education loans using a private lender of their choice.
  • Some lenders may require students to apply with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner.
  • Columbia offers a Suggested Lender List for students to reference.  
  • Students have the right and ability to select the education loan provider of their choice, are not required to use any of the suggested lenders, and will suffer no penalty for choosing a lender that is not a suggested lender. We encourage students to explore the loan products of lenders that are not included as a suggested lender.  
  • Once borrowers secure a loan with the lender directly, they must then complete our online application in order for the loan to be certified by Columbia.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  The Department of Education School Code for Columbia = 002707; the Campus Code for Graduate Engineering = 20.  These codes MUST be used on all private loan applications in order to ensure proper processing.
  • The terms and conditions of the federal student loans or assistance may be more favorable or beneficial than the terms and conditions of private education loans.  If you have questions about your federal student loan eligibility, please contact our office.