Columbia Financial Aid and Educational Financing

Work Exemption Program

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Thanks to WEP I was able to spend a year working at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. With WEP, I was given the opportunity to make connections between the laboratory experience and my academic studies. Financial struggles should not prevent you from seeking great opportunities.

Elodia C
Elodia C

The Work Exemption Program is designed to enable financial aid recipients to take advantage of unpaid experiential learning opportunities. Accepted program participants receive a Columbia Grant to support their pursuit of unpaid internships, research projects, and community outreach, locally, nationally, and internationally.

WEP grants offset the earnings a student would be expected to contribute towards their educational expenses from paid work. WEP grants do not fund the unpaid opportunity itself, but instead are applied towards the Fall and/or Spring Student Account balance.

Please note that acceptance to WEP is not guaranteed. There is a competitive application process with strict deadlines as well as essay and recommendation letter requirements.

Residential Advisors, scholars, and some recipients of outside scholarships may not be eligible to apply for the WEP Grant. We recommend speaking with a Financial Aid Officer prior to applying to discuss individual eligibility.

WEP Applications

Summer 2024 Applications Open Friday - March 8, 2024


  • Summer 2024 WEP and Summer Funding: Monday - April 8, 2024 at 12 pm EST


Please see the Center for Career Education’s Website for application requirements.

Other Questions?

Non-financial aid application questions can be emailed to