Columbia Financial Aid and Educational Financing

Facts and Figures

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2015-2016 Costs

  • Total Cost of Attendance: $69,084
    • Tuition and Fees: $53,000
    • Room and Board: $12,860
    • Books and Personal: $3,224
  • These figures are the basis for determining financial aid eligibility, although individual student expenses may vary.
  • First-year and incoming transfer/combined plan students are also charged one-time transcript and orientation fees totaling $523.


  • Columbia awards more than $134 million annually in scholarships and grants from all sources.
  • 50% of Columbia students receive grants from Columbia and the average amount awarded is $46,516.
  • 16% of Columbia’s undergraduates receive the Pell Grant, a Federal Grant reserved for the students with the highest need in the country. 
  • John Kluge’s recent gift of $400 million for Columbia’s financial aid programs is the single largest gift made to any university financial aid program.


  • Students are expected to borrow $0 to attend Columbia.


  • Students who receive work-study are able to earn wages during their academic year to help offset their expenses by working an average of 10 hours a week in an on-campus job.


  • The median income of families receiving Columbia Grant is $98,814, but many families who earn as much as $200,000 a year can qualify for financial aid.
  • Parents with calculated incomes below $60,000 a year and typical assets are expected to contribute $0 towards their children’s Columbia education.
  • Parents with calculated incomes between $60,000 and $100,000 and typical assets have substantially lowered contribution requirements.
  • Parents earning over $100,000 can still qualify for significant financial aid from Columbia.