Columbia Financial Aid and Educational Financing

Columbia College & Columbia Engineering Undergraduate Deans’ Student Assistance Fund (DSAF)

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Started in 2015, the Deans’ Student Assistance Fund (DSAF) is primarily intended for undergraduate[1] Columbia Grant recipients with a Columbia Parent Contribution of approximately $5,000 or less. Eligible students with one-time start-up expenses and unanticipated term-time emergency expenses are encouraged to apply for assistance.

Examples for which DSAF could be requested include, but are not limited to, travel home for a family emergency, unexpected health care costs or cold weather clothing needs.

Please note that DSAF cannot be used to cover expenses already factored in to the Cost of Attendance (tuition, fees, housing and meals, books and supplies, travel and personal expenses).

To apply for grants awarded through this fund, students will meet with a Financial Aid Officer to discuss their particular need and how best to meet it. Financial aid officers are also available to work with students on future financial planning. Financial support accessed through this fund does not need to be repaid.

DSAF FAQs

  1. How will I know if I am eligible to apply for DSAF? Eligible students will be notified via email at the beginning of each semester. Columbia Grant recipients with a Columbia Parent Contribution of approximately $5,000 or less should consider applying for eligible expenses; other students will be considered on a case by case basis.

  2. If I did not receive a notice of DSAF eligibility at the beginning of the semester, may I still apply for DSAF? DSAF is primarily intended to assist Columbia Grant recipients with a Columbia Parent Contribution of approximately $5,000 or less; other students will be considered on a case by case basis. If you have an emergency expense, please contact our office so that we can offer guidance and determine if DSAF or another solution will be available.

  3. Can I use DSAF to pay my E-Bill? No, please note that the Dean’s Student Assistance Fund cannot be used to cover expenses already factored in to the Cost of Attendance (tuition, fees, housing and meals, books and supplies, travel and personal expenses).

  4. This will be my first winter at Columbia. Can I request DSAF to buy a winter coat and boots? Yes, DSAF funds may be requested by newly enrolling DSAF-eligible Columbia students to help cover some of the one-time costs of purchasing cold weather clothing.

Students who wish to apply for support through DSAF are invited to contact our office in order to speak with a financial aid officer.

[1] The Deans’ Student Assistance Fund is available to eligible undergraduates currently enrolled in Columbia College and Columbia Engineering. Undergraduate students of Barnard College, School of General Studies, School of Nursing and post-baccalaureate students at the School of Professional Studies should contact their respective financial aid offices to inquire about possible funding for emergency expenses.