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Financial Aid Problems @ Columbia

student680student680 14 replies5 postsRegistered User Junior Member
I've heard from many people that financial aid for international students is hard but that's okay since if we get it we will get it and if we don't we won't attend. I also heard that the financial aid office is prone to miscommunication but everything works out in the end even if that's a painful process. What makes me worried is that I've heard from one person that the financial aid package he received decreased over the years even though there was no change in family income. Does this happen commonly at Columbia?
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Replies to: Financial Aid Problems @ Columbia

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28777 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I don’t know where you got your information. ANY time you are dependent on others for something, there is a risk, and when it involves money, it’s akways an issue

    Columbia is among the top schools for giving financial aid, but yes, even st the very top schools, issues arise.

    The way financial aid works pretty much at EVERY school is that the student is expected to take on a larger part of the cost each year So, yes, you will almost certainly have to pay more each year. For Americans, some of that is mitigated with the increased Direct Loan limits. Kids can borrow more when they become upperclassmen. They are also expected to work and contribute to the college costs.

    These rules and customs are particular to the US and may not translate well into other cultures. But how much accommodation a college will give to international students varies. It’s much more difficult for those who are not intended to be part of a system to be covered— needy international students are a very tiny part of the student body and not given a whole lot of consideration. That they get any, is an attempt to some the attempt to address social issues.

    So, yes, you will most likely, almost certainly get increased costs you have to meet. This will happen in practically any college here in US. Unless you get a specified full ride scholarship that is guaranteed to go up with increased cost, that’s what tends to happen to everyone. The top schools like Columbia tend to give the best financial aid but little or zero scholarships.
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  • student680student680 14 replies5 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Okay so if they are giving you a fixed amount for all four years, they would never take away from that amount, only the cost of the college increases, right? Or if it is guaranteed to go up with increased cost they would not change it in the later years. I've heard this happening more commonly in some other colleges but only once at Columbia so I felt the need to ask.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28777 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    No, it’s not usually a fixed amount for 4 years. It usually goes down a bit, depending on the increase. You are increasingly responsible for your portion of the cost.
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