Enhancements to Undergraduate Financial Aid for 2023-2024 Academic Year

Additional enhancements to financial aid will support students attending Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, and Columbia School of General Studies.

March 30, 2023

On March 30, 2023, Columbia University announced various enhancements to financial aid in each of its undergraduate schools beginning in the 2023-2024 academic year. Columbia has a long history of providing financial support for our undergraduate students, and continues to make this a top priority of the University.

The University also announced advantageous changes to the structure of the tuition billing for full-time students in the School of General Studies, and has announced the term bill for undergraduates in Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) for the next academic year.

The changes to financial aid, which are intended to increase access and support families, include:

  • The School of General Studies will increase its Yellow Ribbon Program commitment to cover 100% of tuition and fees for our student veterans eligible under the Post-9/11 GI Bill®️ (chapter 33). This is due to the tremendous generosity of our donors and support for our veteran population, among the largest in the Ivy League.
  • Students enrolled part-time in the fall and/or spring terms at the School of General Studies will now be eligible to apply for institutional aid.
  • For the 2023-2024 academic year, the School of General Studies will direct additional aid funds to its highest need graduating seniors with special circumstances.
  • First-year students at Columbia College and SEAS from families with incomes below $66,000 (and with typical assets) will have their first-year summer earnings contribution requirement waived, to ease the financial burden of transition to undergraduate study. This is in addition to the $2,000 start-up University grant program in place for these students and their families.
  • Transfer students who are part of the SEAS Combined Plan program and qualify for financial aid will have full need met, removing a previous financial obligation for these families.

“The enhancements announced today to the University’s financial aid benefits demonstrate our ongoing and expanding commitment to supporting our undergraduate students,” said Mary C. Boyce, University Provost. “We are pleased that more than 50% of our undergraduates across all three schools receive financial aid from Columbia.”

Changes in charges for full-time students in the School of General Studies

Currently students in the School of General Studies pay tuition on a per credit basis, to allow students to tailor their pace and program to best meet their needs. A flat rate for tuition begins at 17 credits, per term. Effective in academic year 2023-2024, the School of General Studies will utilize a flat rate beginning at 16 credits per term, which is advantageous for students who are working with their academic advisors and decide to carry this level of course load.

Changes for the 2023-2024 Term Bill

Looking forward to the academic year of 2023-2024, for students who are not receiving full financial aid, the University will continue to moderate tuition and fees below the inflationary cost increases experienced by the University and affecting most non-profits and businesses in New York City. Even in light of significant cost pressure, the University has committed to a term bill increase for students that recognizes and aims to mitigate the impact of financing higher education for our families. The University’s undergraduate term bill for the 2023-2024 academic year will rise 4.3% to $85,200, which is below the anticipated increases in costs for programmatic support, growth in financial aid, and goods and services supplied to the University.

The University’s undergraduate term bill increase includes growth in tuition plus mandatory fees of 4.39%, and an increase in room and board of 4.0%. Included in the undergraduate term bill is housing, which Columbia makes available to full-time undergraduate students in the College and SEAS for all four years, at rates well below other similar institutions.

As in past years, student payments for tuition and fees are not sufficient to cover the cost of providing undergraduate education, and the University is grateful for the support of its donors and alumni whose contributions continue to propel academic excellence at Columbia.

This announcement represents a continuation of multi-year efforts to constrain the cost of the undergraduate term bill. In the 2020-2021 academic year, the University froze undergraduate tuition, while only modestly increasing fees, as a result of the pandemic and its impact on our students and their families, and increased the term bill modestly in subsequent years. The five year compound annual growth rate in the total term bill from academic year 2018-2019 through to the increases announced for the coming academic year 2023-2024, is just 3%, with 2.9% compound annual growth in tuition as the primary component.

The total anticipated financial aid budget funded by Columbia to support its undergraduates is expected to exceed $250 million in the coming academic year. Beyond financial aid packages, Columbia University also facilitates employment opportunities on campus, in New York and around the globe to support our students, including hundreds of work opportunities available throughout the University.