Student Financial Services
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2013-2014 Cost and Resource Comparison Calculator

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This calculator will help you answer the following questions:

* The figures calculated here are estimates and are subject to change.


Looking for a different academic year? Visit the 2012-2013 Cost Resource Comparison Calculator or use this worksheet.

Step A: Estimate Your Direct Educational Costs 

Direct costs are costs you will be billed for by Columbia.

    • 1a Are you an undergraduate or graduate student?
    • 1b New student or continuing student?
  1. The number of hours enrolled affect your tuition charges, cost of attendance budget, and financial aid eligibility. Undergraduate students need 12 or more credits per semester to be considered full-time and 6 hours to be considered part-time. Graduate students need 9 or more credits per semester to be considered full-time and at least 6 hours to be considered part-time. If you will be enrolling less than part-time please contact Student Financial Services for a more accurate estimate.

    • 3a Will you live on campus?
    • 3b Will you rent or live with a parent?
    • 3d Include a meal plan?

      Meal plan is mandatory for your chosen housing options

      For more information on housing rates and meal plans: Residence Life

Step B: Estimate Your Indirect Educational Costs

Indirect Educational Costs are not directly billed by Columbia but are considered additional expenses you will incur as a student.

All estimates are per semester.

  1. $ (Max: $800)
  2. $ (Max: $800)

    If you're living on campus, the MAX figure only includes Board paid outside a meal plan

  3. $ (Max: $2700)
  4. $ (Max: $820)
  5. $ (Max: $820)

    These fees are charged by Direct Loans at the time the funds are disbursed to Columbia College. The average Federal Stafford Loan fee is: $39 for undergraduate and $96 for graduate student borrowers per semester. The average Parent PLUS Loan fee is: $416 for undergraduate parent borrowers and $264 for graduate student borrowers per semester.

Step C: Review Your Anticipated* Financial Aid Resources

Please refer to your Award Letter and Award Letter Workbook to determine your anticipated awards and learn more about each award type. Semester totals can not exceed award amounts listed on your Award Letter.

The number of hours you are planning to register for will classify you as a part time student. Please be aware that part time enrollment affects the full time awards reflected on your Award Letter. Please contact us at 1-866-705-0200 to discuss how your awards will be affected.

All estimates are per semester.

* Only include the award types you plan to secure

  1. $

    Only Undergraduate students are eligible for Pell & ISAC MAP grants.

  2. $
  3. $

    Subtract the 1.051 % origination fee charged by Direct Loans.

  4. $

    Only parents of dependent Undergraduate students and Graduate students are eligible for the PLUS loan. Subtract the 4.204% origination fee charged by Direct Loans.

Step D: Determine Your Estimated Amount Due to Columbia
One Semester Fall & Spring

Estimated Direct Costs

(Total from Step A) Edit

Anticipated Financial Aid

(Total from Step C) Edit
Total for Step D (A - C = D) Estimated amount due to Columbia** Potential Student Account Refund**

**Your plan does not include enough funding to cover your tuition and fees (direct costs). The Estimated Amount Due to Columbia is the result of the Total for Step D. Consider the following options to assist you with meeting your direct costs:

  • Do you or your parent need to secure the federal loan options listed on your Award Letter?
  • Do you or your parent need to increase the amount of federal loans you plan to borrow? Please note the amounts requested can not exceed the amounts listed on your Award Letter.
  • Did you secure a scholarship that you forgot to include in your calculations?
  • Are private educational loans an option for you? Before deciding on a private loan, learn how to compare loan options and the process involved in securing a private educational loan.
  • Will you be paying the Estimated Amount Due to Columbia out-of-pocket? If so review the Payment Agreement option available to you.

**You included more than enough funding in your plan to cover your tuition and fees (direct costs). The potential overage would be processed as a Student Account Refund which is intended to assist you with covering the indirect costs you indicated on Step B. The figures you used to calculate this amount can not exceed the awards listed on your Award Letter or your Cost of Attendance. Learn more about how to use a Student Account Refund to help you pay for indirect costs you will incur on your own here.

Step E: Determine Your Estimated Total Costs
One Semester Fall & Spring

Estimated Indirect Costs

(Total from Step B) Edit

Estimated Amount Due to Columbia

(Total from Step D)
Total for Step E (B + D = E) Estimated amount needed to cover total costs*** Potential Student Account Refund***

***Your plan does not include enough funding to cover your total direct and indirect costs to attend Columbia for a complete year. The Estimated Amount Needed to Cover Your Total Costs is the result of the Total for Step E. Consider the following options to assist you with meeting your direct costs:

  • Do you or your parent need to secure the federal loan options listed on your Award Letter?
  • Do you or your parent need to increase the amount federal loans you plan to borrow? Please note the amounts requested can not exceed the amounts listed on your Award Letter.
  • Did you secure a scholarship that you forgot to include in your calculations?
  • Are private educational loans an option for you? Before deciding on a private loan, learn how to compare loan options and the process involved in securing a private educational loan.

***You included more than enough funding in your plan to cover your tuition and fees (direct costs). The potential overage would be processed as a Student Account Refund which is intended to assist you with covering the indirect costs you indicated on Step B. The figures you used to calculate this amount can not exceed the awards listed on your Award Letter or your Cost of Attendance. Learn more about how to use a Student Account Refund to help you pay for indirect costs you will incur on your own here.

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