Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.18
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date Nov. 30, 2012
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.1

Columbia University
PAE-10: Affordability and Access Programs

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Kristina Hernandez
Director Communications
Strategic Communications, Columbia University Facilities and Operations
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Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of the institution’s participation in federal TRIO programs:

Columbia’s Double Discovery Center houses two federally-funded TRIO programs. Upward Bound is an intensive academic immersion for 165 students who show promise for college success. Underachieving 9th and 10th graders are targeted for year-round academic enrichment, skills building, and guidance, continuing each year through high school graduation and college entrance. After school tutoring, Saturday enrichment and the residential Summer Academy at Columbia are required components. Talent Search (TS) is a youth development program with a broad array of services for over 750 students ages 12 through 27. There is a middle school component to prepare for high school enrollment, and a high school program that enables students to choose from among workshops, tutoring, academic classes, internships, and field trips ranging from careers to science labs. In addition, the federally-funded McNair Fellows Program at Columbia University encourages low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students to prepare for and pursue doctoral study and serves Columbia College (CC), the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) and General Studies (GS) students.

A brief description of the institution’s policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students?:

Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science offer incredibly generous full need financial aid packages to undergraduates admitted as first year students, and we guarantee to meet the full need for all four years of study. We meet the full demonstrated financial need of families with a combination of grant and work study aid. Parents with total incomes under $60,000 and with typical assets are not expected to contribute anything to the cost of education of their student. Parents with incomes between $60,000 and $100,000 and with typical assets have a reduced Parent Contribution towards the cost of education.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to equip the institution's faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

The Office of Multicultural Affairs conducts a variety of diversity training programs to prepare for the diverse student population they will encounter at Columbia. Trainings include, but are not limited to, Under One Roof diversity training; Safe Zone training around sexual orientation, and other diversity-related training sessions available for the Columbia community.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

The Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and the National Opportunity Program (NOP) provide academic support, tutoring, advising and a summer bridge program for low income students. In addition, all students have the opportunity to take advantage of free tutoring provided by the Academic Success Programs office as well as advising by the Office of Financial Aid and Educational Financing.

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

Institutional financial aid for Columbia College and undergraduates of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science is based entirely need based. Students with the greatest need receive the largest amounts of institutional aid.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience:

We provide information to families on the financial aid process in a variety of ways including our web site, through email and phone contact with our office, in person visits and presentations we give both on and off campus.

A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions targets high schools across the country who have a high proportion of college-bound low income students and send admissions officers to visit these schools, speaking both about Columbia and higher education in general. We also partner closely with community-based organizations and non-profits that promote college access and visit dozens of CBOs each year and host countless groups for on-campus visits. We have particularly close relationships with organizations in the greater New York City area. Columbia also partners with QuestBridge, a non-profit organization which identifies high-achieving, low-income students, assists them with the college search and application process and works to connect them to educational opportunities at 32 partner colleges. We currently has over 80 QuestBridge Scholars on campus.

A brief description of the institution’s other admissions policies and programs:

We use a holistic review process when evaluating applicants for admission. That means admission to Columbia is not based on a simple formula of grades and test scores. Instead, we consider a variety of factors: the student’s academic record, extracurricular interests, intellectual achievements and personal background.

A brief description of the institution’s other financial aid polices or programs:

The university provides financial aid for attendance at all of its graduate and professional programs. The types and amounts of aid vary by school.

A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs not covered above:

All incoming students participate in a week long New Student Orientation Program which introduces them to the many programs and resources available to them.

Additional Information:

The website URL where information about programs in each of the areas listed above is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.