Columbia Financial Aid and Educational Financing

Study Abroad

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Financial aid is available for undergraduate students who are participating in an approved program during the academic year. For more information regarding study abroad and approved programs please visit the Study Abroad website.

How it Works

Financial aid for study abroad will be calculated and awarded in a similar manner as it is when you are attending Columbia for the semester. You will need to complete the financial aid application materials as though you will be at Columbia for the entire academic year.

The equation used to determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid remains the same:
Cost of Attendance minus Family Contribution = Need. Cost of Attendance is determined by including both direct (tuition and fees, room and board) and indirect (books and supplies, personal and incidental expenses, and transportation) charges.

Your family contribution does not change based on your decision to study abroad. The family continues to hold the first responsibility to meet educational costs. As the Cost of Attendance of the program changes, your Need changes; therefore, your financial aid award changes.

Determining Program Costs

When you go abroad, you are paying Columbia’s tuition, not the program’s academic fees. However, you will have to pay the program’s non-academic fees. Here is an example:

2015-2016 Semester Charges

ColumbiaStudy Abroad Program
Room & Board$6,430Check the program website for these figures
Mandatory Fees$1,237
Books & Personal Expenses$1,612
TOTAL BUDGET:$34,542 + travel

Programs that cost less than Columbia University

If your study abroad program cost is less than Columbia, then you will have less need and therefore less aid.

Programs that cost more than Columbia University

If your study abroad program costs more, you may be eligible to receive more Columbia assistance. Your financial aid officer will determine if those increased costs will be covered by Columbia grant or loans. If Columbia is unable to cover the increased cost of your program then you and your family will be responsible for covering the extra cost.

Financial Aid for Domestic Exchange Programs

Columbia University Grant is available only for students enrolled in the Columbia/Howard and Columbia/Spelman exchange programs. Loans are available if you are enrolled in another domestic program, for the summer or academic year.

Deposits for Programs

If the program requires advance payment that will be covered by your financial aid award, be sure to first inform the program that you are a recipient of financial aid. Many programs will accept a copy of your financial aid award letter. If that is not sufficient, simply ask the program what documentation they require in order to verify that your financial aid funds will become available at a later date.

Refund Request

Students whose financial aid credits exceed the balance due on their student account will be eligible for a refund. You should confirm with a financial aid officer that you should be expecting a refund. We suggest that you have any refunds direct deposited to your student account. You can set that up on Student Services Online (SSOL).

Billing Issues when Abroad

You will receive two bills, one from Columbia and one from your study abroad program. On your Columbia bill you will be billed for tuition. If you are on the University’s health insurance, you will also see charges for health insurance and the health services fee. You will not be billed for Columbia room, board or other non-academic fees. You will be responsible for paying off any carry-over balances from the previous semester. The bill from your study abroad program will show all of the program fees and charges. Do not pay any academic charges (tuition and academic fees) to that institution as Columbia will pay your tuition and academic fees separately.

Work Study when Abroad

Students who are planning to study abroad will automatically have their work study replaced by Columbia Grant when we receive official notice from the Office of Global Programs regarding your plans to study abroad.