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Office of Financial Aid
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Office of Financial Aid

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Important Information

Official communication will be sent to your student G-mail account (UNI@tc.columbia.edu). You can set it up by logging into your MyTC Portal.

Office of Financial Aid Hours
Monday through Thursday -- 9 am to 6 pm
Friday -- 9 am to 5 pm
TC stained glass

Important Dates

Students interested in being considered for scholarship for the upcoming academic year should apply for scholarship via their admissions application. The scholarship application is now a lifetime application and only needs to be completed once.

The 2013-2014 FAFSA is available at fafsa.ed.gov and should be completed by those who wish to be considered for federal student aid. The 2013-2014 year includes Fall '13, Spring '14, and Summer '14. The 2014-2015 FAFSA for next year is also available now.

General Information > Accepting Your Aid

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General Information

Accepting Your Aid

  • Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 students are able to accept their aid now if they have not done so already.
  • New admits for Summer 2014: Complete the following steps on or after May 1, 2014. Continuing students for Summer 2014 should click here for information regarding summer financial aid.

  • Fall 2014 admits should not accept their aid until after July 20, 2014. Any aid change requests for 2014-2015 will not be accepted until after this date.
You can view your financial aid requirements through the TC Portal. Go to the "Courses" tab and scroll down to "Financial Aid Requirements.” Select the appropriate aid year. A red flag indicates that the item is outstanding; a green check mark indicates that the item has been satisfied. There will be no requirements related to your Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan in the TC Portal.

You can only accept the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan in the TC Portal; you cannot accept the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan in the TC Portal because it requires an approved credit check that will be completed at www.studentloans.gov.

Directions for accepting your aid can be found by scrolling down this page. Before accepting your aid, you must read the following statements carefully.

>>> TIMELINE
  • Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 students are able to accept their aid now if they have not done so already. If you plan to enroll as a new student in Summer 2014, you should accept your aid about two weeks before classes are set to begin. If you will be a continuing student in Summer 2014, please click here for information regarding summer financial aid.
  • Note that your loan requirements (MPN, Loan Entrance Counseling) will not show up as instantly completed in your TC Portal. We update the requirements screen every few days.
  • Your funds will first disburse to your TC student account and pay your outstanding charges. The first day of disbursement is generally the first day of class for the given term. If you are entitled to a refund check, it will be distributed after the end of the add/drop period for that term. The Spring 2014 add/drop period ended on Feb. 4. Contact the Office of Student Accounts to learn more. The Office of Financial Aid does not process refund checks.
>>> DISBURSEMENT SCHEDULE
  • Loans always disburse in halves. The first disbursement occurs after the start of classes in the fall, while the second disbursement happens after the start of classes in the spring.
  • If you are a single term student, your aid will still disburse in halves. It will first disburse at the beginning of the semester, and again in the middle of the semester.
  • Summer students will see two disbursements during the summer term(s). If you plan to attend in the summer, please visit our office in late April 2014 to complete a 2014 Summer Loan Application. Click here for more information.
  • Scholarships will disburse in two halves, unless a Scholarship Redistribution Form is filed to change the award portions.
  • For students who were enrolled in six or more credit hours in the fall and did not accept federal loans but now wish to accept them for the spring term, please contact our office to learn more about how your loans will disburse.
>>> LOAN INFORMATION
  • You must be enrolled in at least six credit hours per term to receive your loans. You must also meet all other requirements needed to maintain federal aid eligibility.
  • Click here for information regarding the recent changes to the federal loan interest rates.
  • One Loan Entrance Counseling session will cover you for both the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the Graduate PLUS Loan.
  • Be aware that there are origination fees associated with your loans (Stafford, 1.072% off of each disbursement; PLUS, 4.288% off of each disbursement). These funds will already be taken out by the US Department of Education before your aid disburses to your student account.
  • Any increases or decreases that you need to make to your loans after they are accepted must be communicated to our office using a Loan and Work-Study Change Form.

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>>> FEDERAL DIRECT UNSUBSIDIZED STAFFORD LOAN
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is the only form of aid you will be formally accepting via the TC Portal. Scholarships, Federal Work-Study, and other loans will have different acceptance processes. Though the button may say "Accept Full Amount of All Awards," you are still only accepting the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.

Fall 2014 admits should not accept loans until after July 20, 2014 at the earliest.

1. Log into your TC Portal. You will need your University Network Identification (UNI) and password to enter this system. If you are a newly admitted student, you cannot access the TC Portal until you submit your $300 tuition deposit. Once the deposit is received, you will be given your UNI.

2. Click on the "Courses" tab and scroll down to "Financial Aid Awards."

3. Select the appropriate aid year from the drop-down menu and click “Submit.”

4. Select the "Accept Award Offer" tab. You have three options:
  • You can choose to decline the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.
  • You can accept the full loan by selecting "Accept Full Amount of All Awards.”
  • You can choose to accept a partial amount of the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan by selecting "Accept" and keying in the amount you wish to accept in the "Accept Partial Amount" box.
NOTE: Once you have accepted an amount of your Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, you will not be able to make additional changes in the TC Portal. All changes must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid by completing the 2013-2014 Loan and Work-Study Change Form.

5. Complete Loan Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov.
  • The main welcome page that you see after you log in to www.studentloans.gov contains a menu in the center of the page. One of the options will be "Complete Counseling." Click this link, then choose the appropriate counseling.
  • Only one Loan Entrance Counseling session is required for both the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans. The requirement will renew itself from year to year and does not need to be done more than once. Please ensure that the Teachers College Federal School Code (G03979) is included when you complete Loan Entrance Counseling.

NOTE FOR CONTINUING STUDENTS: Loan Entrance Counseling only needs to be done once for the entire duration of your program at TC. If you have previously completed Loan Entrance Counseling for your current program at TC, you do not need to complete it again.

6. Complete the Stafford Electronic Master Promissory Note (E-MPN) at www.studentloans.gov.
  • The main welcome page that you see after you log in to www.studentloans.gov contains a menu in the center of the page. One of the options will be "Complete Master Promissory Note." Click this link, then choose the appropriate MPN.
  • First-time Stafford Loan borrowers at Teachers College will need to complete a Federal Stafford E-MPN. Please ensure that the Teachers College Federal School Code (G03979) is included when you complete your Stafford E-MPN.
NOTE FOR CONTINUING STUDENTS: Once completed/satisfied, this requirement will renew itself for up to ten years. If you have previously completed a Stafford E-MPN for Teachers College, you do not need to complete another one.

7. Allow several business days for your loan requirements to show up as completed in your TC Portal.
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>>> FEDERAL DIRECT GRADUATE PLUS LOAN
If you have been offered the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, you are required to accept it BEFORE you begin the process for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. You cannot accept, decline, or make adjustments to your Graduate PLUS Loan in the TC Portal.

Fall 2014 admits should not accept loans until July 20, 2014 at the earliest.

If you would like to decline your Graduate PLUS Loan, you must do so by submitting a 2013-2014 Loan and Work-Study Change Form. The form allows you to decline all or part of your PLUS Loan.

1.
Complete the Graduate PLUS Loan Request/Credit Check at www.studentloans.gov.
  • Log in to www.studentloans.gov. Once you have logged into the system, click on the "Request Direct PLUS Loan" link (in the left column) under the “PLUS Loan Process” heading.
  • On the next page, select "Graduate PLUS" as the loan type. You should indicate the exact amount you wish to borrow for the year, keeping in mind that it will be split into halves (half fall, half spring). You may also choose to borrow the maximum amount of Graduate PLUS Loan by clicking the button next to the statement, “I want to borrow the maximum Direct PLUS Loan amount for which I am eligible, as determined by the school.”
  • There are four steps you must complete here. At the end of this process, you will receive a credit decision. You must be "Credit Approved" before we can process your Graduate PLUS Loan request. Additionally, the credit check is required for every new academic year AND for any changes to the PLUS Loan amount during a given academic year if the credit check is expired at that time. The PLUS Loan credit check expires after 90 days. If you are denied the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, please visit our Graduate PLUS Loan denials page for detailed instructions on how to proceed.
  • Loan periods are as follows: For a fall/spring Graduate PLUS Loan, your loan period will be September 2013 to May 2014. For a fall-only student, your loan period will be September 2013 to December 2013. For a spring-only student, your loan period will be January 2014 to May 2014. Summer students should not accept their Graduate PLUS Loan until after May 1, 2014. The loan period will correspond with the summer sessions in which you are enrolled (May, June, July, and/or August).
2. Complete the Graduate PLUS Electronic Master Promissory Note (E-MPN) at www.studentloans.gov.
  • The main welcome page that you see after you log in to www.studentloans.gov contains a menu in the center of the page. One of the options will be "Complete Master Promissory Note." Click this link, then choose the appropriate MPN.
  • First-time Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan borrowers at Teachers College will need to complete a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS E-MPN. Please ensure that the Teachers College Federal School Code (G03979) is included when you complete your PLUS E-MPN.
NOTE FOR CONTINUING STUDENTS: Once completed/satisfied, this requirement will renew itself for up to ten years. If you have previously completed a PLUS E-MPN for Teachers College, you do not need to complete another one. However, if you have used an endorser in the past, you will need to complete a new E-MPN.

3. Once you have completed the steps above for your PLUS Loan, the Office of Financial Aid will receive your credit decision within three to five business days from the US Department of Education. If approved, your Graduate PLUS Loan status will change from "Offered" to "Accepted." If you are denied, the status will change to "Deny." The loan status will be changed by the Office of Financial Aid.

If your credit is denied, please visit our Graduate PLUS Loan denials page to learn of your next steps.

NOTE: If you need to make changes to your Graduate PLUS Loan amount (increase, decrease, or decline), you will need to complete the 2013-2014 Loan and Work Study Change Form. If your credit check has expired, you will need to restart the Graduate PLUS Loan process by following the directions in Step 1.
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>>> FEDERAL WORK-STUDY
If you have Federal Work-Study (FWS) funding in an "Offered" status on your TC Portal, you cannot access those funds until you receive a FWS position. Note that these funds are offered, and cannot be accepted until you find a FWS position. The Office of Financial Aid does not automatically assign FWS positions; it is the student's responsibility to acquire a FWS job. You must visit the TC Human Resources website to view available positions, then come to our office to fulfill your requirements after you have been hired.

The three outstanding/unsatisfied FWS requirements you may see on your Portal will not affect the disbursement of any other aid; you are able to let them remain outstanding/unsatisfied until you secure a position.

You must leave your FWS funds in "Offered" until you find a FWS-eligible position. There is nothing you need to do on the TC Portal to formally accept those funds. Once you are hired, you will come to our office to acquire the paperwork, tax forms, and instructions necessary to commence employment. When we receive your completed documents, the FWS requirements will become satisfied and a member of our office will put your FWS funds into an "Accepted" status.

If you wish to decline your FWS funding, you can complete a 2013-2014 Loan and Work-Study Change Form.
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>>> SCHOLARSHIPS/GRANTS/STIPENDS/FELLOWSHIPS
Scholarship awards are automatically accepted. If you would like to change the distribution of scholarship points for the given terms within an academic year, you will need to submit a 2013-2014 Scholarship Redistribution Form. Please note that you cannot transfer scholarship funds from one aid year to another.

Accepting Your Aid

  • Accepting Your Aid