Admitted students who wish to apply for federal, state, or institutional aid and have not yet done so should refer to the Prospective Students page.
Admitted students may confirm the receipt of their scholarship applications and other financial aid documents through the Columbia Online Financial Aid System. Please allow one week for processing before seeking confirmation. The Columbia Online Financial Aid System is updated in mid-March for the upcoming academic year. If you have trouble logging in, please review our step-by-step guide.
For a list of commonly-used financial aid terms, please reference the Financial Aid Definitions page.
For information about financial aid for Postbac Premed Program students, visit Types of Financial Aid.
Please note: continuing students should refer to renewal instructions.
All applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Federal regulations provide financial aid administrators with the authority to use their discretion or professional judgment on a case-by-case basis and with proper documentation to consider certain financial circumstances that impact a Title IV Applicant’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For more information regarding this professional judgment review, please visit the Student Financial Services website. If you have special circumstances that you believe may qualify for such a review by our office, please schedule an appointment to discuss your applicable circumstances and to complete the necessary documentation. Please note: not all circumstances will be eligible for consideration, and not all appeals will result in additional financial assistance.
CSS Profile (CSS Code 2095)
For consideration for GS institutional aid, complete family and parental information is required on the CSS Profile application from both custodial and non-custodial parents. If the parents have separate households (unmarried, separated, or divorced,) complete financial information for both parental households must be provided on the application. Please note: all applicants who are at least 36 years old by December 31, 2022 will not be required to provide parental information.
Submitting a CSS Profile to one college costs $25; additional reports are $16 per college. The College Board will automatically provide fee waivers to qualifying domestic students at the time of submission. Please note: the School of General Studies does not offer any additional fee waivers.
Admitted students who decide to enroll and are applying for scholarship consideration will be required to submit their 2020 tax return, spouse’s tax return (if married and filing separately,) and parents’ tax returns (all applicants not yet age 36 by December 31.) International students who did not file in the U.S. should submit translated copies of their foreign return for 2020 or if the country does not use calendar year, the year that most closely includes 2020 information.
Tax returns are not required before initial aid packages are offered but are required before aid can disburse. If information on your returns vary from what you reported on the CSS Profile and/or FAFSA, awards are subject to change. Please ensure taxes are submitted as soon as possible and no later than 08/15/2022 to avoid delays in receiving aid.
IDOC: Institutional Document Service
The School of General Studies uses IDOC: Institutional Document Service to securely collect all documents. Please do not email documents to the Educational Financing Office.
Students will not have access to IDOC until after they are admitted and are not required to submit these materials unless they decide to enroll. There is no cost to students to use IDOC.
Instructions for using IDOC will be sent to newly admitted students after they are admitted.
For a comprehensive look at educational financing options, please visit Types of Financial Aid.
For optimal federal-aid processing, admitted students should submit the Planned Enrollment Form as soon as possible. Federal aid will not be determined until the Planned Enrollment Form is submitted.
In order to access the Planned Enrollment Form, students will need their Columbia University Identification Number (CUID), which consists of the letter C followed by 9 numbers and is included in the acceptance packet.
Note: If you are experiencing login difficulties, review our step-by-step guide in order to properly reset your credentials and access your financial aid portal.
Students who are still in the process of planning their schedule should provide their best estimate of the number of points for which they will register. It is always possible to update the Planned Enrollment Form with final information after it has been submitted.
Newly admitted students are invited to register for an Online Financial Aid Workshop, hosted by a representative from the Office of Educational Financing. Students will receive information regarding the institutional and federal aid application processes along with an overview of the cost of attendance, student account payment options, billing due dates, and information to help understand their online financial aid and student account interactions.
Note: These sessions are reserved for students who have received an offer of admission for the upcoming semester.
Postbac Premed Students
New York State Residents
The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is administered by the Higher Education Services Corporation. For full details on eligibility and the application process please visit the NYS HESC website.
Part-time students who are NYS residents will be notified about the Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS) application each semester.