Columbia has announced today major changes in the financial aid it provides to students and their families. Beginning in the fall of 2008, student loans will be replaced by grants across all income bands, parental contributions for families with incomes below $60,000 will be eliminated, and families with incomes between $60,000 and $100,000 will have their parental contributions significantly reduced.
It has long been recognized at Columbia that the institution’s national standing has been firmly based upon its twin commitments to inclusiveness and excellence. Financial aid is so important because the College’s excellence derives in significant part from its inclusiveness, from the range of voices that inform academic inquiry and social exchange. In this sense, all students benefit from our financial aid programs, whether or not they receive financial support, and our enhanced financial aid program will enable us to maintain this vital tradition.
We can make these enhancements now, rather than at the end of the Campaign for Undergraduate Education only, because we are confident that alumni, parents, and friends of the College will help fund them through continued giving—both to the College Fund and toward the additional $140 million in financial aid endowment still needed to meet the College goals of the Campaign. As always, we are deeply grateful to those who help us meet the needs of each new generation of students seeking access to all that a Columbia education provides.
Austin E. Quigley
Dean of Columbia College