Transfer and Visiting Students
Students admitted to the J.D. program with advanced standing (transfer students) are not considered for Columbia Law School grant assistance. Therefore, the Law School does not accept grant applications from students admitted with advanced standing in their second or third years.
Because most transfer students usually are not admitted until late in the summer, it is important that they begin the financial aid application process as soon as possible [filing the FAFSA, obtaining the appropriate federal loan (Direct Stafford, Direct Graduate PLUS) Master Promissory Note/MPN, applying for approval on private educational loans]. We ask that you complete your application for loan assistance only after accepting Columbia’s offer of admission, by submitting to our office the Financial Aid Questionnaire, applicable MPN(s) and/or private loan applications, and all required supporting documents (e.g., SAR, Verification form, taxes, etc.).
The Financial Aid Office will make every effort to expedite your loan applications so that you may have your funds early in the term and, if possible, by the start of classes.
U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents
U.S. citizens and permanent residents who plan on borrowing from the federal loan programs (Direct Stafford, Direct Graduate PLUS) or hope to qualify for federal Work-Study funding, should file their FAFSA application by no later than the date they submit their admission application to the Law School. Please refer to the Loans & Credit page of this site describing the federal loan programs and the Loan Application page of this site for the current loan procedures. Loan funds may also be available from private educational loan programs; please refer to the Private Loans section for more information.
International students (not U.S. citizens and not eligible noncitizens) are not eligible for federally guaranteed assistance programs. In addition, they need to provide a US cosigner in order to apply for private educational loan programs. Please refer to the Private Loans section and the Columbia University Student Financial Services website for additional information. We strongly advise all international students seeking educational loans to secure an eligible cosigner as early as possible.
Columbia Law School J.D. Students Approved for Study at Another U.S. Law School
Columbia Law School J.D. students who are granted permission to study at another U.S. law school for credit toward satifaction of the J.D. requirements, and who will be borrowing educational loans to meet their cost of education, must notify the Columbia Law School Financial Aid Office (FAO) as early as possible of their decision to register at their host school. Ideally, such notification should be made before the FAO has certified the student’s loan application(s).
The FAO will ask the host school to complete a Consortium Agreement that will document which school will process the student’s educational loans. Columbia Law School continues to process loan applications for students receiving its degree during their study at another U.S. law school. The host school will be asked to provide us with information regarding the student’s cost of attendance, dates of attendance, and enrollment status for the period of study at the host school. The host institution will not process any financial aid for the Columbia Law School student.
The Columbia Law School student will continue to be registered at Columbia University in the "J.D. student on leave" category, and one point of tuition will be charged for each term of residence as a visiting student at another U.S. law school. If the student is borrowing federal and/or other educational loans for this period, and the loan funds normally route through the Columbia University student account, the one point of tuition will be deducted from these proceeds and the Columbia Law School FAO will arrange to have the remaining balance forwarded to the host school as payment toward that school’s tuition and fee charges. Columbia Law School grants are not available for terms of study at other schools.
Students Visiting Columbia Law School for a Term or an Academic Year
Students from other U.S. law schools who have been accepted to take upperclass courses at Columbia Law School as non-matriculants (receiving their J.D. degree from their home institution), and who need financial aid to meet their educational costs, must arrange with their home institution for the processing of their financial aid. The home institution must forward a Consortium Agreement form to the Columbia Law School Financial Aid Office (FAO), confirming that the home institution will process all financial aid for its student. The Columbia Law School FAO will complete the Consortium Agreement and will verify the student’s cost of attendance, dates of attendance, and enrollment status for the period of study at Columbia Law School. Columbia Law School will not process any financial aid for the visiting non-matriculating student.
Generally, the student’s home institution will forward the financial aid proceeds to our FAO to be applied toward the student’s Columbia University tuition and fee charges. In some cases, the home institution will send the loan proceeds directly to the student, who then will need to apply them toward payment of the Columbia University charges.