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Columbia's College Match Scholarship Package Details

For high school students applying to the National College Match in 2015.

Columbia is committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of all admitted first-year students. We partner with each family to provide need-based financial assistance for the four years of undergraduate education at Columbia.

Columbia evaluates applications and family circumstances individually based on several factors including total family income, family size, and number of family members in college. The family's assets (savings, investments, additional properties) will be factored in, however the evaluation of need is based primarily on the family's earned income. Columbia also takes into consideration any extenuating circumstances such as financial support of family members living outside the household, high medical costs not covered by insurance, other educational debt, etc.

The QuestBridge College Match Scholarship will look like the package below. Students from families with total earned income less than $60,000 per year, typical assets ($250,000 or less) and straightforward financial situations who are admitted through Early or Regular Decision will be offered similar financial aid packages. Students from families with slightly higher income or with significant assets would have an increased family contribution based on their financial situation.

PLEASE NOTE: Columbia will re-evaluate each student's eligibility for financial aid each year; Columbia QuestBridge Match Scholars will need to submit updated financial information annually, and subsequent financial aid awards will reflect any changes in financial circumstances.

Scholarship Details
These numbers are based on costs for the 2015-2016 school year. Amounts will change slightly from year to year, but as the cost of college increases, the need-based awards will correspondingly increase.

Glossary of terms appearing in scholarship package details

Annual Cost of Attendance
Total $72,390
Tuition $50,526
Room & Board $12,860
Books & Supplies $1,200
Travel varies
Personal $2,024
Required Fees $2,997
Health Insurance $2,783 (if


How Costs Are Covered 
Total $72,390
Grants $66,900
Federal Work-Study $3,090
Student Summer Work Contribution $2,400
Student Savings varies
Parent Contribution $0
Student Loan $0


Policy Regarding Outside Scholarships
Outside scholarships may be used to reduce the $3,090 work-study contribution and the $2,400 Student Contribution, and/or cover the cost of purchasing a computer (up to $1,500). Outside scholarships in excess of these amounts will be used to reduce the Columbia Grant dollar for dollar; outside scholarships may not be used to reduce the Parent Contribution.

Policy on Health Insurance
Columbia requires all students to have health insurance, either through a parent or another plan. If the QuestBridge College Match student is not adequately covered by a parental plan while in New York (or abroad), the Columbia grant will be increased to pay for the $2,783 Columbia student health insurance.

Policy on Travel Allowance
A travel cost will be determined by Columbia based on student location. The Columbia grant will be increased to account for this expense.

Requirements Associated with Maintaining this Award
Columbia offers need-based financial aid.  There are no academic requirements for maintaining need-based eligibility in the QuestBridge Match Program.  PLEASE NOTE: Columbia will re-evaluate each student's eligibility for financial aid each year; Columbia QuestBridge Match Scholars will need to submit updated financial information, and financial aid awards will reflect any changes in financial circumstances.

Other Details
Students may choose to replace their work-study eligibility or their student earnings/savings contribution with a loan.

Students are expected to contribute 10% of their personal savings/investments toward their annual college expenses. This will decrease the amount of Columbia Grant dollar for dollar.

The expected Student Summer Work Contribution and the Work-Study Expectation will increase every year, estimated at an increase of approximately $300-$500 each per year.

Personal expenses and books are generally expected to be covered by the student work-study earnings (paid biweekly, directly to the student).



  • Over half of Columbia undergraduates receive financial aid and the average award for freshmen was about $37,000. Learn more.
  • Columbia is ''need-blind'' for US Citizens, Permanent Residents, and persons granted refugee visas by the US. As a result, the Office of Admissions considers your application without regard to your financial need.
  • No-Loan Policy and Eliminated/Reduced Parent Contributions: Columbia financial aid recipients (regardless of income) will not have a loan component in their award; Columbia meets 100% of each family's demonstrated need by awarding only grants and work study. Parents with total incomes below $60,000 per year will not have to pay for any aspect of college, and families with total income between $60,000 and $100,000 have a significantly reduced parent contribution. Learn more.

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