Columbia Financial Aid and Educational Financing

Education Loans

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While Columbia does not require loans as part of the financial aid package for any student, families may choose to borrow loans to finance all or a portion of the expected Family Contribution. We recommend speaking to a Financial Aid Officer prior to applying to determine accurate borrowing needs. 

Federal Direct Loan

Annual Loan LimitsDependent Undergraduate StudentsIndependent Undergraduate Students (and dependent students whose parents are denied a Parent PLUS Loan)
First Year
Second Year
Third Year & Beyond

* The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive each academic year may be less than the annual loan limit. Speak with an officer for individual borrowing eligibility.

  • 2014-2015 Interest Rate = 4.66%
  • Origination Fee after October 1, 2014  = 1.073% Calculate Fee
  • Subsidized Loans: Interest begins accruing after the six-month grace period (post-graduation or during a period of unenrollment longer than six months).
  • Unsubsidized Loans: Interest accrues once the loan is disbursed to the student account.
    *Students must qualify for subsidized student loans. If students are not eligible for any subsidized loan, they are still able to borrow the maximum in an unsubsidized loan.
  • Students can estimate post-graduation monthly loan repayment using the Repayment Estimator.
  • Read more about the Federal Direct Loan.

Apply Now for 2015-2016

Federal Perkins Loan

  • Before requesting Perkins funds, students must first borrow their full Direct Federal Stafford Subsidized loan eligibility.
  • Perkins funds are available on a first-come first-serve basis for qualifying students with federal eligibility. To determine if you are eligible for a Perkins loan, please contact our office.
  • Undergraduate students may borrow a maximum of $5,500 (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.

Apply Now for 2015-2016

Federal Parent PLUS Loan

  • Parents may borrow up to the total cost of attendance minus any other financial assistance received.
  • 2014-2015 Interest Rate = 7.21%
  • Origination Fee after October 1, 2014 = 4.292% Calculate Fee
  • To borrow the PLUS Loan, parents must pass a credit review and must not have adverse credit.
  • If a parent is denied the PLUS based on credit, our office will contact them with options to appeal the decision directly with the Dept. of Education, re-apply for the PLUS Loan with an Endorser, or with steps their student can take to obtain additional unsubsidized Stafford Loan funds.
  • PLUS Loans automatically go into repayment once the loan disburses, but parents have the option to contact their Loan Servicer directly to request repayment be deferred until after the student graduates.
  • Read more about the PLUS Loan.

Apply Now for 2015-2016

Private & International Loans

Private Loans

  • Students and parents may choose to finance through an educational private loan with a lender of their choice. Families must secure these loans with the lender directly and then complete our online application in order for the loan to be certified.
  • Fees and interest rates vary based on the lender. Columbia offers a Suggested Lender List for families to reference. Please note you do not have to choose a lender on this list.

International Student Loans

  • International students may apply for educational loans using a private lender of their choice.
  • Please note: some lenders may require students to apply with a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident creditworthy cosigner.
  • Columbia offers a Suggested Lender List for families to reference. Please note you do not have to choose a lender on this list.
  • Once students secure a loan with the lender directly, they must then complete our online application in order for the loan to be certified.

Apply Now for 2015-2016