Apply for Financial Aid

Eligibility Criteria for Financial Aid

For a full list of eligibility criteria, please visit the Columbia University Student Financial Services website. The requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • You are a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
  • You have a valid Social Security Number.
  • You have registered with Selective Service, if you are male and between the ages of 18-25.
  • You have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate.
  • You are enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate. Students must be registered at least as a half-time (HT) status student to receive federal loans. Part-time (PT) students are not eligible for federal financial aid.
  • You don't have a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while receiving federal student aid (such as grants, loans, or work-study).
  • You don't owe a refund on a federal grant; or you are not in default on a federal student loan.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine eligibility for federal student aid for U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens for the academic year in which they are enrolled as a student. Students seeking funding for the Direct Stafford Loan and Direct Graduate PLUS loan must complete the application annually.

The FAFSA must be completed by December 15 of each year. Applicants are encouraged to meet deadlines when applying for aid. Meeting the deadlines provides ample time for our office to process student information and consequently provide an award in timely fashion. Timely awards are critical because it gives students the opportunity to make an informed decision in advance of enrolling.

Applicants are required to enter a school code in order to ensure that their information gets sent to the correct school on the application.

Verification Process

After the completion of FAFSA, applicants will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Some students will be notified on their SAR that the information they submitted on their FAFSA needs to be verified.

Verification is the process used by Columbia Nursing to confirm that the data reported on the FAFSA is accurate. The verification process must be completed before the Office of Financial Aid certifies any federal loan applications. The Office of Financial Aid will directly contact applicants who have been selected for verification. In addition to the required worksheet provided by the Office of Financial Aid, additional documentation may be required to be submitted in order to complete the verification process.