Search for an Outside Scholarship

There are no academic, athletic or talent-based institutional scholarships at Columbia as all of our institutional financial aid is need-based. Our students are often the recipients of merit-based scholarships from outside organizations (state grants/scholarships, local/national merit-based awards, etc.); however, no merit-based aid is offered directly through Columbia University.

Common Outside Scholarship Search Engines

U.S Citizen & Eligible Non-Citizen Students

International / Non-Domestic Students

In addition, most high schools have information regarding local scholarship opportunities and many employers have scholarship programs for the children of employees.

Additional Information on Outside Scholarships

Following are some additional links for Outside Scholarship agencies that can be researched for more scholarship opportunities. Columbia University is not involved in the awarding of any of these Outside Scholarships; these links are informational only and do not constitute any endorsement or involvement by Columbia University:

Advice on Applying for Outside Scholarships

  1. Do Your Research
    • Register for the search engines listed on this page
    • Visit your school’s guidance and/or college counseling office for information on scholarships
    • Check in with your parents’ employer to see if they offer scholarships for children of employees
  2. Create a separate email account just for your scholarship search
    • Use free services such as Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
  3. Make sure you meet all deadlines
    • Start researching the summer before you apply to college; some scholarships may have deadlines in the fall of your senior year
    • Give your teachers/counselors/employers plenty of advance notice to prepare a recommendation
    • Don’t wait until deadline day! There are never penalties for submitting early, but you may often lose out if your miss the deadlines by even a day

*** You should never have to pay for a scholarship search. All of the websites listed above are free of charge ***

How do outside scholarships affect my Columbia financial aid award?

The scholarships you receive from outside sources will be used to reduce the work study portion of your financial aid package. For example, if you are awarded a $2,000 National Merit Scholarship, your work study expectation will be reduced by the full $2,000. Only after your work study has been completely eliminated will your scholarships begin to reduce any Columbia Grant you may have received.

PLEASE NOTE: Outside Scholarships/outside funding may NOT reduce the Parent Contribution or the Student Contribution (summer work expectation).

Tuition benefits from your/your family’s employer are applied to your need-based financial aid award as any other outside scholarship/outside funding (see above paragraph).

ROTC and Veteran’s Benefits: Scholarships received through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and/or veteran’s benefits/Post-9-11 GI Bill benefits are applied to your need-based financial aid award in the same manner as any other outside scholarships/outside funding (see above paragraph). For further information about ROTC at Columbia, please visit http://www.columbia.edu/cu/rotc/.

Current/Enrolling Columbia Students: If your outside scholarship agency needs to contact our office or send payment on your behalf, please direct them to the following mailing address:

Office of Financial Aid and Educational Financing
100 Hamilton Hall, MC 2802
1130 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027
ATTN: XinHan-Jane Zhang

Please ensure that all outside scholarship checks are made payable to “Columbia University” and that your full name and Columbia ID# are included in either the memo field of the check or accompanying documentation so that the funds will be correctly applied to your account.