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.

The last date to process a federal loan for the 2016-2017 academic year was May 12th.

Federal Direct Loan

Summer Federal Direct Loan Application

Students enrolled in at least 6 credits for the Summer have the option of borrowing federal loan funds from their 2017-2018 loan eligibility.

*The last date to process a federal loan for the 2016-2017 academic year was May 12th. Loan information and applications for 2017-2018 will be available in July.

Annual Loan LimitsDependent Undergraduate StudentsIndependent Undergraduate Students (and dependent students whose parents are denied a Parent PLUS Loan)
First Year
Subsidized$3,500
Unsubsidized$2,000
Total$5,500
Subsidized$3,500
Unsubsidized$6,000
Total$9,500
Second Year
Subsidized$4,500
Unsubsidized$2,000
Total$6,500
Subsidized$4,500
Unsubsidized$6,000
Total$10,500
Third Year & Beyond
Subsidized$5,500
Unsubsidized$2,000
Total$7,500
Subsidized$5,500
Unsubsidized$7,000
Total$12,500

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.

  • Interest Rate = 3.76% for loans disbursed after July 1, 2016.
  • Origination Fee from October 1, 2016- September 30, 2017 is 1.069% 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.

Federal Perkins Loan

2016-2017 Perkins Loan Application

Summer Perkins Loan Application

The last date to process a federal loan for the 2016-2017 academic year was May 12th.

  • 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.
  • Before requesting Perkins funds, students should first borrow their full Direct Federal Stafford loan eligibility.
  • Undergraduate students may borrow a maximum of $5,500 (if eligible).
  • 2016-2017 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.

Federal Parent PLUS Loan

Please be advised that students must be enrolled at least half time in order to receive federal loans.

  • Parents may borrow up to the total cost of attendance minus any other financial assistance received.
  • Interest Rate = 6.31% for loans disbursed after July 1, 2016.
  • Origination Fee from October 1, 2016- September 30, 2017 is 4.276% Calculate Fee
  • 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.

Instructions on applying:

  • Go to StudentLoans.gov, choose the “Parent Borrowers” tab, and then click on “Apply for a PLUS Loan

  • Log in with your FSA ID

  • Start the PLUS application using the Columbia University school code (002707):

Make sure to complete a PLUS Master Promissory Note, if you have not already completed one. MPNs are generally valid for ten years. The entire Direct PLUS Loan Application process takes approximately 20 minutes, and must be completed in a single session.

  • Specify the loan amount requested; you may request the maximum amount of PLUS loan available (not to exceed the total cost of attendance); a specific amount of loan; or you may contact our office to notify us of the desired loan amount.
  • Specify the period for which you are requesting the loan. The Loan Period is based on the semesters of the 2017-2018 academic year:

Summer 2017: 5/23/2017—8/12/2017

Fall 2017: 9/5/2017—12/22/2017

Spring 2018: 1/16/2018—5/11/2018

  • Submitting the PLUS application via Studentloans.gov will initiate a credit check. You will be provided with further instructions if the credit check is denied.

Private & International Loans

Apply Now for 2016-2017

Summer Private Loan Application

Private Loans

  • Some families turn to private education loans when federal loans don't provide enough money or when they need more flexible repayment options. However, since federal education loans are usually less expensive than and offer better terms than private student loans, you should consider your federal loan options prior to applying for a private loan.
  • 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.
  • The Department of Education School Code for Columbia = 002707 and the Campus Code for Columbia College = 10 and Columbia Engineering = 04. These codes MUST be used on all private loan applications in order to ensure proper processing.

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.
  • The Department of Education School Code for Columbia = 002707 and the Campus Code for Columbia College = 10 and Columbia Engineering = 04. These codes MUST be used on all private loan applications in order to ensure proper processing.