Among just a handful of universities in the United States, Columbia has fiercely maintained over the years a commitment to need-blind admissions for undergraduates.
Need-blind admissions is a policy of making admissions decisions without consideration of prospective students’ financial situations, with the general understanding that the University will help close any financial gaps that would prevent admitted students from attending. Fewer than thirty U.S. universities can or do offer what Columbia does: All admitted undergraduates, including transfer students, have a guarantee of full financial aid for all four years.
Columbia has always sought to be a place where talented students can achieve their fullest potential, even if they do not have the ability to pay the full cost of attending.
Proud of the diversity of its student body, the University is committed to continuing to expand opportunity at Columbia. Recent expansions to the financial aid program include:
Grants Replace Loans for Students from Families Earning Less Than $50,000 in Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
Beginning with the 2007-2008 academic year, students with family incomes under $50,000 will no longer be required to take out student loans; the former loan packages are being replaced with grants. Columbia committed more than $55 million for this grant aid. Note: In March 2008, the University announced further expansions of financial aid; replacing all need-based loans with grants and eliminating tuition, room, board and fees for families with incomes below $60,000.
Kluge Gift of $400 Million
Alumnus John Kluge (CC’37) recently pledged $400 million to Columbia exclusively for financial aid. Half of the gift will support and expand existing financial aid programs for Columbia College. The gift is the largest in Columbia’s history, the largest in higher education devoted exclusively to financial aid, and the fourth largest single donation to a college or university in the United States.
The University’s $4 billion fundraising campaign has a primary goal of raising $445 million for undergraduate financial aid.