For International Students

Resources for International Students

We are excited that you are considering Teachers College, Columbia University. New York City is one of the most dynamic places in the world, and we would be proud to welcome you to our campus. You may have lots of questions about how the U.S. system of college/university financial aid works at TC. To get started, please be sure to first review important admissions information for international students at Teachers College and utilize the resources below as further guidance.

As an international student, you pay the same rate for tuition as U.S. students -- there are no in-state or out-of-state tuition rates at Teachers College. Regardless of what program you choose — with the exception of a few special rate programs — Teachers College charges the same per-credit-hour tuition rate.

Please review the charts that show our tuition charges and other fees. Note that your final and true Cost of Attendance (COA) at Teachers College will vary based on your enrollment choices and if you receive financial aid. 

Most international students finance their education through personal and/or family savings, in addition to funding from a diverse array of other sources, including home-country employers, government agencies and education ministries, and public and private scholarships or organizations. Supporting the cost of a graduate education requires careful planning and we encourage you to explore all possible avenues that could help support your experience at Teachers College.

International students at Teachers College are eligible for most of our institutional aid programs. To be considered for financial aid from TC, then you must indicate this via a checkbox on the Institutional Aid Application, which is embedded in your Application for Admission. In addition, you may need to submit an additional application to qualify for some forms of financial aid. Your financial aid liaison can help you understand if there are special requirements for certain types of aid that apply to your situation. Additionally, you may qualify for external funding sources, such as employment, third-party scholarships, or private loans. It is your responsibility to explore all of your available options.

Note that as an international student, you are not eligible for U.S.-based federal student loans, grants, or work-study.

As an international student, you are eligible for most Teachers College Master’s and Doctoral aid programs. Most scholarships from Teachers College are provided to cover tuition costs only, unless otherwise noted. This means that scholarship funds can be used to pay for TC tuition but cannot be used to pay for other expenses.

Scholarships at Teachers College are merit-based and competitive, and not all students will receive institutional aid. Therefore, you should be prepared to cover all required costs (i.e., tuition, living expenses, fees, transportation, etc.) through personal, family, or outside resources, should you be admitted and decide to enroll at TC.  Please visit the main Scholarships page to learn more.

As an international student, you are eligible for most graduate assistantship opportunities at Teachers College. An assistantship can help you gain professional and academic skills, while helping to reduce your graduate school costs.

Most assistantships provide a combination of a tuition scholarship and a salaried or hourly wage. Students are responsible for securing their own assistantships. Please visit the main Assistantships page to learn more.

If you are to be sponsored by a ministry of education or other government agency, foundation, educational institution, or other third-party in support of your education at Teachers College (where your tuition and fees will be billed to that party), you will need to complete a few steps. You will need to provide a copy of your sponsorship letter along with a Third Party Billing Agreement before your tuition payment deadline. Please visit the Office of the Bursar to learn more.

As an international student, you may be eligible for endowed and special scholarships from Teachers College if you meet specific criteria related to your academic program or interests. More than 300 endowed scholarships exist across all departments, and, in most cases, our academic departments and programs independently manage their endowed or special funds. Please visit our main page for Endowed & Special Scholarships from Teachers College to learn more.

You may also be eligible for grants and other awards from Teachers College and external organizations. Some grants, which are funded by Teachers College, will require you to submit a separate application for consideration. If you do not qualify for institutional scholarships from Teachers College or did not receive enough funding to cover your cost of attendance, you may consider applying for external scholarship funding. Please visit our main page for Grants & Other Awards to learn more.

As an international student, you may use private loans to pay for your graduate school education. Private loans come with their own advantages and disadvantages. It is your responsibility to explore and vet your available options. Note that most private loan lenders will require you to have a U.S. citizen co-sign your loan. Please visit the main Private Loans page to learn more.

We encourage you to educate yourself about the rules and regulations of working in the United States as an international student. You may not be able to start a job right away because it can take extra time to process the required forms and other documentation that permit you to work in the U.S. Therefore, you should not rely on being able to support yourself with work when you first arrive.

If you have F-1 or J-1 visa status, explore the requirements for on-campus and other practical training work opportunities by visiting the Office of International Students and Scholars web pages.

Our Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) provides a range of resources to support your experience as a Teachers College student. While OISS is not involved in making decisions about your eligibility for financial aid, the Office can help you find answers to your questions about topics such as:

  • Health insurance
  • Travel
  • Relevant events and programs
  • Employment rules and options
  • Taxes
  • Legal status and self-advocacy 

Please visit the Office of International Students and Scholars to learn more.

Back to skip to quick links