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.

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.

Please note that your family contribution does not change based on your decision to study abroad.

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. The program may provide a Financial Aid Deferral Request form that you can forward to us and it will be completed within 7-10 business days.

Determining Program Costs

When you go abroad, you are paying Columbia’s tuition rather than the program’s tuition and academic fees. However, you will have to pay the program’s non-academic fees. Here is an example:

Example Semester Charges

Mandatory Fees$1,550$623
Room and Meals$7,700Check the program website for these figures.

$41,307 plus travel

Billing while Abroad

Students whose financial aid credits exceed the balance due on their student account will be eligible for a refund.

This refund and the family contribution can be used to cover any study abroad expenses that are beyond the Columbia tuition/fee charges for that term.

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 on SSOL.

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. You will not be billed for Columbia room, board or other non-academic fees. The bill from your study abroad program will show all of the program fees and charges.

Term-time work 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 Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement (UGE) regarding your plans to study abroad.

Related FAQs

How does financial aid work with Study Abroad?

Financial aid generally can be used to help cover the expenses of a study abroad program that grants academic credit during the Fall or Spring semesters. As part of the application process for studying abroad, the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement (UGE) suggests that students speak with a financial aid officer to discuss the impact on the financial aid award.

How will I pay for the flight to my Study Abroad program?

Students are expected to make their own travel arrangements to their abroad program including the purchase of a plane ticket to their destination. The Financial Aid office does not provide any assistance or additional funds to pay for a student's travel and advises that families purchase flights early to take advantage of lower prices. Eligible students will be notified via email when their refunds will be disbursed if their program begins prior to the Columbia semester start date. Otherwise, students' aid will disburse based at the beginning of the respective semester and can be monitored through their SSOL accounts under "View Student Account Detail By Term."

How do I cover my enrollment deposit for my Study Abroad program?

Families are expected to pay the enrollment deposit for their student's study abroad program and adhere to the deadlines set by that institution. However, a student's enrollment deposit can be deferred if they receive enough financial aid that the anticipated refund will cover the program's fees. Eligible students can visit the Office of Financial Aid to determine if their expected aid will generate a refund and complete the necessary documentation to have the payment deferred. Students should consult their specific program to understand what documentation is required in order to have their deposit deferred. Please be aware that not every student will receive a refund to defer the enrollment deposit and should expect to cover said fee in order to avoid complications with matriculation.