Columbia Financial Aid and Educational Financing

COVID-19 Financial Aid Updates

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Summer 2021 Earnings Grant

In recognition that some students may still not be able to secure summer employment and paid internships due to the pandemic, and that this may impact their ability to fulfill the summer earnings expectation part of their financial aid package, Columbia College and Columbia Engineering are offering the opportunity to apply for a special one-time Summer 2021 Earnings Grant. This special grant will be funded by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, a federally funded program. The grant application process will be open to all incoming and continuing College or Engineering undergraduates who receive Columbia Grant-based financial aid. There is limited funding available so it may not be possible to fund all applications. The grant will help offset the summer 2021 student contribution for the 2021-22 academic year

Eligibility:

  • Students must be recipients of Columbia Institutional Need-Based Grants that include a summer work expectation (also known as the student contribution) for the 2021-22 academic year.

  • Students who have a paid job, internship or research experience that will allow them to earn their student contribution are not eligible for this special grant.

  • Resident Advisers (RA) serving during the 2021-22 academic year are ineligible for this grant since their student contribution and academic year student employment expectation will already be fulfilled with a Residential Adviser Grant.

  • University scholars may be ineligible or have reduced eligibility for this special grant depending on whether they have a student contribution for the 2021-22 academic year.

  • Students who will receive an outside scholarship, tuition benefit, or Veteran’s Benefit may be ineligible or have reduced eligibility for this special grant depending on whether their student contribution and/or academic year student employment expectation are covered for the 2021-22 academic year.

  • Current enrolled students who have been awarded a Summer 2021 Work Exemption Program (WEP) award are ineligible for this grant since their WEP grant will fulfill their student contribution.

Instructions:

Please follow application instructions carefully and review the program information on this website before you apply. Your application must be submitted by the deadline, Sunday, June 27 at 11:59 PM ET. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered. You can find the application using the following link: https://my.undergrad.columbia.edu/s/fsfs-summer-earnings-grant

How the Grant Works:

If you are awarded the Summer 2021 Earnings Grant, it will help offset your summer earnings expectation (student contribution) component of your 2021-22 financial aid package. Students who are approved to receive a grant may elect to receive the funds via direct deposit or apply the funding toward their student account.

Special Notes:

If you have been awarded a Work Exemption Program (WEP) summer 2021 award, you are ineligible for this grant since a WEP grant would already fulfill your summer work expectation.

If you receive funding for summer opportunities from other Columbia University sources, the value of your Summer 2021 Earnings Grant may be adjusted to reflect the awarding of these other funds.

The following financial aid recipients may not be eligible to apply for the Summer 2021 Earnings Grant:

  • Resident Advisers (RA) serving during the 2021-22 Fall and Spring semesters are ineligible since student contribution and academic year student employment expectation will already be fulfilled by a Resident Adviser Grant.

  • University scholars may be ineligible or have reduced eligibility for this special grant depending on whether they have a student contribution expectation for the 2021-22 academic year.

  • Students receiving an outside scholarship, tuition benefit or Veterans Benefit may be ineligible or have reduced eligibility for this special grant depending on whether they have a student contribution and/or academic year student employment expectation for the 2021-22 academic year.

Students will not be eligible for this special grant if they have a paid summer job, internship, or research experience that allows them to meet their student contribution.

FAQs

Will the student contribution be waived?
The Summer 2021 student contribution will not be waived. Instead, an application will be available for special funding for a Summer 2021 Earnings Grant for students who will not have a paid job, internship, or research experience to fulfill their student contribution. This funding for approved applications will help offset the financial burden of the student contribution. Please note, there is limited funding available so it may not be possible to fund all applications.

How will the Summer 2021 Earnings Grant funding be made available?
Funds will be made available based on the option students select in their application. Students who are approved to receive a grant may elect to receive the funds via direct deposit or apply the funds toward their student account.

Will the Summer 2021 Earnings Grant affect my financial aid eligibility?
No, this funding will not affect your current or future financial aid eligibility.

What if I have extenuating circumstances but do not receive Columbia aid?
You can contact Financial Aid at ugrad-finaid@columbia.edu to discuss the financial aid application/appeal process. If based on their review your extenuating circumstances qualify you for need-based grants, then you will be able to apply for the special Summer 2021 Earnings Grant. Only students who receive need-based grants will be eligible for the Summer 2021 Earnings Grant.

Summer 2021 Financial Aid

In recognition of the unusual three-term 2020-21 academic year, Columbia College and Columbia Engineering have made a one-time adjustment to financial aid policy in order to provide summer financial aid to undergraduates taking summer courses at Columbia who are eligible to receive financial aid.

Students will be eligible for a Columbia University grant (CUG) if:

  • They were enrolled full-time in the fall and spring terms and will have completed less than 40 credits at the beginning of the summer term;
  • They were recipients of a Columbia University grant (CUG) in both fall and spring; and
  • They are enrolled full-time (minimum of 6 points) in Summer A or Summer B.
What will summer financial aid cover?

For those living on-campus: Your Columbia University Grant will cover on-campus housing and Dining Plan 2 along with mandatory fees and a books/personal allowance. The mandatory fees have not yet been finalized. The amount of your total financial aid award will be based on your family contribution for 2020-21.

For example, the total on-campus housing and dining costs will be $3,853 for one summer session (Summer A or Summer B) and $7,706 for the full summer term. The chart below shows how much financial assistance you will receive for housing and dining costs based on your family contribution level.
Parental ContributionFull Summer Aid AmountSummer A Only Aid Amount
Less than $6,000$7,706$3,853
Between $6,000 to $15,000$6,550$3,275
Between $15,001-$30,000$5,780$2,890
Between $30,001-$50,000$5,008$2,504
Above $50,001$3,854$1,927

Please visit the Columbia Housing and Columbia Dining websites to find information about dates and rates for summer housing and dining.

For those living off-campus: Your Columbia University Grant will cover mandatory fees and a books/personal allowance. The mandatory fees have not yet been finalized. You will also have the opportunity to apply for a special grant to support expenses such as living costs during your time of study this summer. We hope to direct federal funding for our students to this purpose and anticipate that an application process will open next month.

What about the summer student contribution?

Columbia is assessing the possibility of offering a special grant to address summer work expectations for those who may not be able to secure a job this summer. A decision will be announced soon along with information about that process.

More information about summer funding programs including the Work Exemption Program (WEP) is available on the Center for Career Education website.

Spring 2021 COVID-19 Related Emergency Grant

Given the unprecedented and unexpected continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbia College and Columbia Engineering are offering students the opportunity to apply for a special one-time emergency grant paid directly to students. For example, we understand many students may be experiencing challenges in finding paid work that would have supported expenses such as food, housing, course materials, and technology. This unique grant opportunity will be funded by the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds for aided students who are eligible for US federal financial aid programs. Columbia students who receive financial aid but are not eligible for this CARES Act funding may apply for an emergency grant funded from the other institutional sources.

The grant application process will be open to all College or Engineering undergraduates who receive Columbia Grant-based financial aid and will be enrolled for the full spring term with full-time registration status.

Please note, there is limited funding available for the one-time Spring COVID-19 Related Emergency Grant so it may not be possible to fund all applications.

Students currently not receiving Columbia Grant-based aid but who have extenuating circumstances should contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss their situation.

Why does my Cost of Attendance include $8,000 for room and board? I plan on being remote for the year.

If you are remote for the year, you will not be billed by Columbia Housing and Dining for $8,000. The Cost of Attendance (financial aid budget) is an estimate of how much it will cost, (both billed and unbilled costs) to attend Columbia for the year. Students who are living off-campus will still need to provide for their housing and meals. To account for these costs, $8,000 has been allocated to the Cost of Attendance for students who are not living on campus. This helps in recognizing that there will be unbilled costs that you will face while living remotely and it adjusts your grants to account for that. Please review our Understanding the Housing Allowance Document for more information on how this impacts your financial aid.

I have chosen to live off-campus and need more money to pay for rent. How can I increase my grant?

If you need additional funding for off-campus housing, you have the option of borrowing a student loan. We are not able to award additional Columbia Grant to offset higher off-campus housing costs.

When will my loan be processed?

Loans will be processed as packages are finalized for on or off-campus attendance.

When will I find out if I will receive the Summer 2020 Earnings Grant?

Students received notification of their Summer 2020 Earnings Grant application status on Monday, July 13. More information on the Summer 2020 Earnings Grant can be found here: https://cc-seas.financialaid.columbia.edu/content/summer-2020-earnings-grant .

How will students who may face challenges meeting their student contributions this year be supported?

Columbia College and Columbia Engineering will be waiving the Fall Student Employment expectation by awarding students who are institutional aid recipients and have a work expectation with a Fall Student Employment Grant. This grant will be incorporated in all eligibility letters from Monday, August 24th and later.

When will I receive my financial aid eligibility letter?

Most financial aid applicants have received their financial aid eligibility letters at this point. If you haven't, please contact us at ugrad-finaid@columbia.edu and ask about the status of your award.

How do I check the status of my financial aid application?

You can review the status of your application requirements by logging into Columbia’s Online Financial Aid System. Once logged in, go to the Documents and Messages page and make certain that all documents required for packaging are listed as ‘Received’.

Will there be financial support for students who live at home?

When calculating financial aid awards for students living off-campus, Columbia College and Columbia Engineering will include an off-campus living allowance of $4,000 per semester to help with living and technology expenses related to remote learning.

Will there be financial support for students who choose to live off campus but not at home?

Students who live off campus but not at home will be provided with the same remote living costs allocation as students who reside at home.

How much will tuition and mandatory fees be?

Undergraduate tuition and fees for 2020-2021 has been set at $31,440 per semester (fall and spring) or $62,880 for the full academic year.

To enhance the experience of attending Columbia in this unprecedented academic year, Columbia College and Columbia Engineering undergraduate students who enroll in both fall and spring will also be able to take classes for a third term, Summer 2021, at no additional tuition charge. In addition, the maximum credit hours for this year have been increased to 40 credits, thereby allowing students greater progress towards their degree, if they desire. The 40 credits can be spread over the three semesters of fall, spring and summer.

How much will next year’s cost of attendance be?

Please visit: https://cc-seas.financialaid.columbia.edu/eligibility/facts

I typically have a zero Parent Contribution and will be living at home for the year. Will I get support for my remote living costs?

Once your financial aid package is updated with the remote budget and if your financial aid exceeds the balance on your student account, you will receive a refund that can be used to help pay for your remote living costs. Refunds are issued once there is a credit-balance on your student account after the start of the semester.

What happens to my financial aid if I need to take a leave of absence in the middle of the term?

Information on withdrawals can be found here: https://cc-seas.financialaid.columbia.edu/content/withdrawals.

If I take courses in the summer, do I have to pay for housing?

Housing for Summer term is an additional expense. The application for Summer housing will be available next Spring. Summer courses will also be available online, and therefore can be taken from whatever location you are in.

Will a voluntary leave count toward my 8 semesters of aid eligibility?

Taking a voluntary leave may impact financial aid eligibility. If you take a voluntary withdrawal or leave after the start of the semester, that semester may count toward your eight semesters of financial aid eligibility. You will, thus, either need to petition for an additional semester upon your return or apply for confirmation that the semester on leave did not impact your existing aid eligibility.

If you process your leave before the start of the term and no charges are assessed to your student account, the term will not count towards your 8 semesters of aid.

Can I update my financial aid application if my parent has lost a job due to the coronavirus outbreak?

If your family’s financial situation has changed significantly from what was originally reported in your application materials, please follow the steps below:

- If you have already received your eligibility letter for 2020-2021, please review the information on our Request an Appeal webpage to learn more about the appeal process.

- If you have not received your eligibility letter for 2020-2021, please wait until you receive your eligibility letter before you submit your appeal.

If I am not back on campus or in NY for the fall, what will happen to my belongings in storage? Will Columbia pay for shipping or additional storage?

Information on how to retrieve items in storage can be found here: https://housing.columbia.edu/content/faqs-academic-year-202021. At this time, we do not have funds to assist with this process.

More answers and guidance can be found on Columbia College webpage, Our Path Forward: FAQs for Fall 2020

Contacting Our Office

Financial Aid and Educational Financing is currently closed for in-office visits and phone calls. Instead, you can reach us by e-mailing ugrad-finaid@columbia.edu or by requesting a Virtual Appointment.