New students who have been admitted for the following fall term will receive their award letters beginning in mid-February. Students who have been admitted to programs with a rolling admissions deadline will receive their award letters on a rolling basis. Continuing students will begin receiving aid information toward the end of the spring semester.

The scholarship application is integrated into your application for admission. Students are encouraged to complete the application by the priority deadline established by the Office of Admission. Students must answer "Yes" to the question about whether they would like to be considered for Teachers College scholarships and/or other awards. For current students, the scholarship application submitted during the admission cycle will remain active throughout the duration of your studies.


Please note that there are designated special scholarships with separate application deadlines that require supplemental documents and materials.

No. After you click "Submit," you cannot return to the application. Leaving the questions blank will not make you completely ineligible for scholarship, though your scholarship application may lack additional details that would be important in the awarding process.

If you have submitted an incomplete scholarship application, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at financialaid@tc.columbia.edu for more information.

Scholarship decisions are made on a yearly basis, so being granted a scholarship in one academic year does not guarantee that you will receive it for the next academic year. Unless you have been informed from the initial receipt of your scholarship that it is a multi-year award, you should not assume that you will receive it again.

You may adjust your scholarship award across semesters in a single academic year by using a Scholarship Redistribution Form.

You can notify our office that you are receiving an outside scholarship. The check itself should be sent to the Office of the Bursar.

Yes, you may still be considered if you completed the scholarship application when you submitted your application for admission.

If you received a scholarship and drop a course, any scholarship aid applied to the cost of that dropped course will be reversed. To learn more, please review the terms and conditions for scholarships and stipends.

Generally, full funding at TC will entail a student receiving enough scholarship funding to cover all of their tuition expenses for an academic year. In some instances, students may receive stipends to help cover additional expenses. While Teachers College considers each student for scholarship awarding based on the TC scholarship application, we cannot guarantee full funding to any student. We also cannot guarantee that if you were to be fully funded upon your initial term of entry that it would continue throughout the entire duration of your program. At the master’s level, it is unlikely that you will receive full funding.

Scholarships at TC are academic merit based. Your personal statement, letters of recommendation, and all other application materials along with your scholarship application should be outstanding documents that demonstrate your strong capabilities as a student.

An award letter is a document that we provide to students detailing their aid offers (scholarships and/or federal aid) for the year. The letter will provide you with terms and conditions of any scholarships you receive, information about the cost of attendance, and directions on how to accept or decline your offers.

Newly admitted students will receive an email once their award letter is ready to view on their TC Pathways portal. Current students will receive an email once their award letter is ready to view on their myTC portal.

Tuition, Fees and Enrollment Status

Students are welcome to contact the Office of Financial Aid via phone or email, at (212) 678-3714 or financialaid@tc.edu to learn more about the types of aid available.

Students may also enroll in a deferred payment plan to pay their balance in installments throughout the semester. To learn more about this plan, please contact the Office of the Bursar or visit their website.


There is no in-state or out-of-state tuition rate. With the exception of a few special cohort programs, every student will pay the same per-credit-hour tuition rate. The tuition rate is also the same for master's and doctoral students. All students, regardless of degree level, will be charged the same per-credit-hour tuition rate. Click here for information tuition and fees as well as the cost of attendance.

Some financial aid packages are created as early as February for the upcoming academic year. At that time, we do not know what your enrollment will be. Therefore, all students with the exception of some special cohorts are given the standard half-time (5-6.5 billable credit hours per semester) budget. We allow you to update this by completing a Repackaging Form if you are a three-quarter time (7-8.5 billable credit hours per semester) or full-time (9+ billable credit hours per semester) student. Please note that you must also update our office with the Repackaging Form if you will be enrolled in less than 5 billable credit hours per semester (ex: you have a Certificate of Equivalency/COE) because this will affect your aid eligibility.

A billable credit hour is a credit hour that you are required to pay for. It would appear as a charge on your student account.

We encourage students to contact the Office of Financial Aid before dropping a course to verify the implications this may have on their financial aid awards. For example, students who fully withdraw from all courses in a given semester may have some or all awards (scholarships and/or federal aid) reversed based on institutional or federal policies.

Students may take courses at Columbia or Barnard. However, students cannot use federal student aid toward the cost of those courses unless those courses are required to complete their program of study. For students receiving scholarship aid at TC, the scholarship can only be applied toward the cost of tuition at the TC tuition rate. Therefore, the tuition differential would need to be covered by another resource.

No. If you are to receive financial aid of any kind (ie: scholarship or federal aid), we will send it to you via an award letter regardless of whether or not you have accepted your admission offer. We only create award packages for admitted students, so if you have not received an admission offer, no financial aid award will be available for you.

A revised award letter is sent when a change is made to your original aid package. This may mean that an additional scholarship, federal aid award, or other forms of financial aid offers have been offered to you after an initial award letter notification.

Because the financial aid process is performed on a rolling basis each year, students will receive revisions to their award letters if a new financial aid award is added to their existing record. This will be sent via an e-mail notification.

Newly admitted students for the Fall semester will receive their award letters beginning in mid-February. An email notification will be sent once the offer is ready to view on their TC Pathways portal. Please note that an award letter will only be available if you are the recipient of a scholarship and/or federal student aid.

Continuing students will begin receiving their award letters mid-to-late Spring. Students will be notified via email once their award offer is ready to view on their myTC portal. Award letters will continue to be sent throughout the spring and summer in anticipation of the upcoming year as any financial aid award is generated or updated through an institutional/departmental scholarship and/or the FAFSA. Please note, however, that scholarship awards are not guaranteed from one academic year to the next and do not renew unless otherwise noted in the award terms and conditions.

An award letter is only available if you are the recipient of any scholarships, stipends, or other fellowship awards. Therefore, an email notification will be sent if an offer is ready to be viewed on your portal. This would be the TC Pathways portal for newly admitted students or the myTC portal for current students. Please be mindful that international students are not eligible for federal student aid.


The TC Federal School Code is G03979. While we are affiliated with Columbia University, we operate independently and therefore have our own school code. Any FAFSA that does not have TC's school code included will not be downloaded or processed.

The summer term is the end of an academic year at TC. If you will be starting your program in Summer 2023, please complete the 2022-2023 FAFSA Application. For students enrolling in Summer Session A, please submit your FAFSA no later than June 9th, 2023. For students enrolling in Summer Session B, please submit your FAFSA no later than June 30th, 2023.

To plan ahead for the 2023-2024 academic year (begins Fall 2023), please complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA Application as soon as possible. 

If you indicated on the FAFSA that you "will file" taxes and estimated your income for the previous year, the tax filing status update requirement may appear on your requirements screen. This requirement serves as a reminder for you to update your FAFSA when you complete your taxes. Although your federal loan processing will not be canceled or delayed due to this requirement, you may not be eligible for need-based federal aid programs such as Federal Work Study without up-to-date financial information.

You should use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your financial information onto your FAFSA if possible.

The FAFSA Application for the upcoming academic year opens on October 1st. Students who wish to be considered for federal aid must submit the FAFSA application before the close of the respective academic year or the last term of enrollment (whichever ends the earliest). Please be sure to include the TC Federal School Code (G03979) on the FAFSA.

For new students, we encourage you to complete your FAFSA application during your admission cycle, so that you can receive an award letter shortly after receiving your admission decision. 

For continuing students, we encourage you to complete your FAFSA application for the upcoming year beginning October 1st, but the Office of Financial Aid will begin notifying you of your federal aid offer mid-to-late Spring.

There is no way to alter the information found on your previous year’s tax returns, so it is not possible to change your EFC. If you believe you have extenuating circumstances, you may come into our office to speak with a counselor. Because there is limited need-based funding for graduate students, a change in the EFC does not usually have an impact on your financial aid.

No. Graduate students are considered independent, regardless of age. You should only put your (and your spouse’s, if married) information on the FAFSA.

Yes. You should make sure that your name on the FAFSA matches what is on the TC system and vice versa. The name reported must always be your legal name. If you do not use your legal name, it can cause mismatches with other government agencies such as the Social Security Administration when your application is being processed. Also, make sure that you enter all of your information carefully and correctly to avoid delays.

Federal Requirements

To qualify for federal student aid, students must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens, enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program, and maintaining satisfactory academic progress

No. You must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program to be considered for federal aid. To apply for a degree program, contact the Teachers College Office of Admission. Non-degree certificate programs do not qualify for federal student aid at TC.

You fulfill those requirements at www.studentaid.gov. This is the same site you will use to complete the Graduate PLUS Loan request/credit check, if you plan to use that loan. You will need to include the Teachers College Federal School Code (G03979) on these documents. Note that each loan has its own MPN.

No. You do not have to do Loan Entrance Counseling again. Only one entrance counseling session is required for both the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.

If you have a PLUS loan denial, you may be required to complete a PLUS credit counseling.

No. While we recommend that you complete Financial Awareness Counseling, you are not required to do so. It will not satisfy the Loan Entrance Counseling requirement.


Scholarships and fellowships are automatically accepted for you. As of July 15th, students may begin accepting their federal aid offer for the upcoming academic year. Federal Work-Study funds cannot be accepted until you find a position via the TC HR page. Graduate assistantships are not usually awarded automatically, but you can browse the TC HR page to see available openings. Detailed directions on how to accept your aid can be found on our Accept Your Aid page.

No. You are not required to accept loans if you do not want them. You may submit a Federal Loan Change Form to our office if you want to decline your loans.

You will need to complete a Federal Loan Exit Counseling requirement if:

  • you have borrowed under any of the federal loan programs (Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, Nurse Faculty Loan) and are expecting to graduate in a given semester.
  • you drop below half-time (5 credits) of enrollment in a given semester. 

The Loan Exit Counseling session will provide you with information about repayment plans and what could happen if you do not repay your loans. If you are a doctoral student who is earning your master’s degree along the way, you will need to complete Exit Counseling when you finish your master’s degree even though you are not leaving TC. The Unsubsidized, PLUS Loan, and TEACH Grant Exit Counselings are available at studentaid.gov.

Federal student loans that have been fully accepted are disbursed to your student account after the add/drop period of each term. A fully accepted loan means the student has completed all requirements for the respective loan. Also, students must be enrolled at least half-time and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress to receive loan funds in each given semester.

Because every student is given a standard package based on an assumed half-time (billable) enrollment, you may be entitled to additional aid based on your enrollment if you are a three-quarter time student or a full-time student. To update your enrollment with us, complete a Repackaging Form so that we can make the appropriate changes to your record. A repackaging request generally will cause changes in your Cost of Attendance and will make most students eligible for additional Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan funds.

Students may submit a Federal Loan Change Form to our office to increase, decrease or decline their federal aid funding. Please feel free to contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance with your financial planning.

Please note: Students are encouraged to maximize their Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan offer first before accepting/increasing the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan generally offers a lower interest rate and origination loan fee than the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.

Yes, there is. You are eligible to request an increase on your student loans up until 1 week before the last day of classes for any given semester in which you are enrolled in. Loan increase requests must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid before the conclusion of each academic term (Fall, Spring and Summer); loan increase requests submitted after a term has concluded will not be approved. You will be eligible to return your student loans within 45 days post-disbursement. Please visit our office and meet with a counselor should you have the need to return your student loan.

The Federal Perkins Loan program has been discontinued by the U.S. Department. If you received this loan at TC in the past and have Perkins-related questions, please contact the Office of the Bursar.

Yes. Although you are not expected to repay loans borrowed at Teachers College until after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment status, we recommend students to make payments toward their interest while still at school.

There are grace periods associated with certain types of loans that you borrow or may have borrowed at TC or another institution, and it's important to contact your loan servicer to see if any documents may be required in order for you to maintain your loan deferment status while at the institution. A loan deferment or enrollment verification form can be completed by the Office of the Registrar.

You may log onto the National Student Loan Data System to find the contact information of your servicer.

The private loan process is an independent one. We do not have ties with any specific lenders, so there is not one lender that we recommend over another. We encourage students to do significant research to find which private loan lender works best for them. The lender will submit a certification request to our office through the Electronic Loan Management system. If you need a co-signer on your loan, you should ensure that the co-signer does not have an adverse credit history.

If you wish to inquire about an existing private loan request, please contact our office and indicate the name of the lender, amount borrowed and specify the term in which the loan request will be for.

Please visit https://studentaid.gov/ to learn more about federal loan forgiveness programs.

International students are not eligible for federal aid. International students are eligible to receive scholarships at Teachers College and you can participate in assistantships. International students can also use private scholarships and loans. Most private loan lenders will ask that you have a US citizen co-sign the loan. You may also contact the Office of International Students and Scholars, who may be able to give you guidance on ways to secure external scholarships. The Office of International Students and Scholars will also be able to provide you with additional guidance on becoming eligible for employment in the United States.

Refund Checks

A refund check is created when the aid that you accept exceeds the charges on your student account. It creates a surplus that will appear as a negative balance on your TC student account. The Office of the Bursar (not the Office of Financial Aid) will generate the refund check. We encourage you to sign up for eRefund through your TC Portal, which allows the refund to be deposited into your bank account. The contact information for the Office of the Bursar can be found here.

The Office of the Bursar processes refund checks. The Office of the Bursar will not issue refund checks until after the add/drop period is over for the given semester. We recommend that students have themselves financially established for at least one month after classes begin. Details on when to expect your refunds may be found here.

Generally, a negative balance on your student account indicates the amount that you will receive in a refund check. That number may change to a zero after the Office of the Bursar generates your refund check or eRefund.

It is up to you on how you would like to use your federal financial aid refund, but typically students will use the refund to cover any educational, personal or living expenses incurred while being a student at TC. Please note that a federal financial aid refund should not be used towards unrelated educational expenses.

If you accepted a loan amount that exceeded your charges and you choose to keep the refund check, you should do so with the knowledge that the money will be accruing interest. If you do not wish to keep the refund, you may return the full or partial amount to the Office of the Bursar, and then come to the Office of Financial Aid to do a Loan Return Form. The Loan Return Form is located in our office. Borrowers have 45 days from the time of disbursement to return money to their loan lender via our office. After 45 days, the borrower will have to contact the lender directly to discuss how to return the money.

You may be eligible for a financial aid book advance during the first two weeks of classes before the add/drop period of the Fall and Spring semester. To be eligible, you must accept a total federal aid offer in excess of your outstanding tuition balance, which will result in a future refund for the Fall and Spring semesters. In addition, you must have all loan acceptance requirements (ie: Entrace Counseling, MPN and/or Loan Application/Credit Check) completed and linked to your financial aid record prior to the first day of classes each semester, and meet all federal aid eligibility (ie: enrollment and SAP) to be eligible. Students who do not receive a book advance will receive their refund after the add/drop period each semester.

Summer Aid

Yes. Financial aid is available for summer courses as long as you are enrolled at least half-time during the summer.

Summer aid applications are available in our office and on our website in late-April. You can complete this application and tell us how many hours you plan to take during the summer. Visit our office or call us toward the end of the spring semester to discuss your options for summer aid. Most students who take summer courses pay for them with federal student loans. The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is used most often in the summer. If you have remaining Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan eligibility, you can use it during the summer.

Students enrolled solely in Summer Session A or Summer Session B (not both sessions combined) will receive their aid disbursement on the first day of classes for the respective session. Students enrolled in both Sessions A and B will receive their disbursements in two installments set for the first day of each session. If you are anticipating a refund credit, the Bursar's Office will issue the credit once all disbursements have been received.

Federal Work Study

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program provides jobs for graduate students with financial need. Your total Federal Work-Study award depends on when you apply, your level of need, and the funding level provided to Teachers College. FWS jobs pay $15-$16 per hour and you cannot work more than 20 hours per week during the academic session, or 30 hours per week during breaks. The money you earn is to be used at your discretion. You will typically receive up to $9,000 per year (not per semester) in FWS funds.

No. When the Federal Work-Study funds appear on your award package, they are only in an offered status. You will not have access to begin earning from your FWS funds until you find a Federal Work-Study position and complete all the necessary on-boarding steps. Locating a position is an independent process.

No. You need to find your job through the Teachers College Human Resources page, unless a TC staff member directly offered you a job. There are a few approved off-campus Federal Work-Study sites, but generally speaking, TC students will have to use their Federal Work-Study funds to work at TC and approved off-campus sites.

No. You can work up to 20 hours per week as a Federal Work-Study student. However, there are certain times of the year (summers and between terms) when you can work up to 30 hours per week.

Possibly. You would want to make sure that you answered “Yes” to the question regarding Federal Work-
Study on the FAFSA. Federal Work-Study funds are not guaranteed to every student because the funding is limited.

For students who are not initially awarded with work study funding and subsequently updated their FAFSA to be considered, submit a Federal Work Study/TEACH Change Form waitlist request to be considered.

No. Leaving your Federal Work-Study funds in offered status will not affect the disbursement of other aid, nor will it accrue interest since it is not a loan. If you go for a full semester without using your Federal Work-Study funds, we may reduce your offered amount by half. For example, most students are offered $9,000 in Federal Work-Study funds to be used for the entire academic year (fall, spring, and if the student is enrolled, summer). If you do not use your Federal Work-Study funding at all during the fall term, we will reduce your Federal Work-Study eligibility to $4,500 to be used for the spring and/or summer term(s). If you do not use your Federal Work-Study funds, they will simply get canceled. It will not impact you negatively. You will be able to apply for Federal Work-Study funds again for the next year.

The funds will come to you in the form of a taxed, bi-weekly paycheck or a direct deposit. Your earned Federal Work-Study money will not automatically pay any charges on your student account, nor will it be used to pay your tuition. The money you earn is yours to use as you see fit.

Yes, as long as the total weekly hours worked for all Federal Work-Study jobs combined does not exceed 20 hours, or 30 hours during breaks and summers. Students can hold a maximum of 2 positions under work study.

Most students find their Federal Work-Study positions through the Teachers College Human Resources page. You may also find them through networking or through part-time job fairs held on campus.

You will need to email the financial aid office to request the Terms & Conditions and Agreement form. All hired students must complete both forms every new aid year and for every Federal Work-Study job they hold. New employees (1st job in any capacity at TC) must complete a PageUp onboarding offer and complete the I-9 employment authorization process with the Office of Human Resources. Continuing employees (had a previous job in any capacity at TC) may need to complete rehire PageUp paperwork. Please note that all onboarding steps must be completed prior to your job start date - otherwise, your position will be terminated and your check payments will be delayed.

Assistantships & Fellowships

There are four types of assistantships/fellowships here at TC: Research Assistantship (RA), Teaching Assistantship (TA), Administrative Fellowship (AF) and Doctoral Research Fellowships (DRF). Most administrative assistantships are found through the TC Human Resources page. Most research and teaching assistantships are found through networking and some programs will have program-specific assistantship/internship fairs that will help you secure an assistantship position. Doctoral Research Fellowships are typically appointed positions and may not have an open application process.

Research and Teaching Assistantships will pay with scholarship points (up to nine per year for Fall, Spring and Summer) based on semester(s) of appointment. Some assistantships will also provide you with a stipend.

Doctoral Research Fellowship offers will typically depend on the position you have been offered, but may grant up to 24 points for the duration of your appointment.

Yes, as long as the total weekly hours worked for all jobs combined does not exceed 27 hours. You cannot hold another position in such a case.

You are not able to hold two graduate assistantships at the same time.

No. While you will need to be an admitted student to participate in an assistantship, you must apply for assistantships separately.


Grant-in-aid applicants must demonstrate considerable loan indebtedness incurred while at Teachers College and have previously received little or no scholarship assistance from Teachers College, including tuition exemption. Faculty recommendations in support of grant-in-aid applicants are required. The application can be found here.

Yes. International students are required to seek approval from the International Student Advisor.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Beginning July 2011, federal regulations required all institutions to establish, publish, and apply standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for federal financial aid eligibility. The purpose of establishing, publishing, and applying SAP standards is to ensure that recipients of federal financial aid not only demonstrate financial need but also are making satisfactory progress toward degree completion.

Federal regulations require that Teachers College track the academic progress of all students from the first date of enrollment at Teachers College, whether or not federal aid was received. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for federal aid is evaluated at the end of each term after the grading deadline for all students.

If you do not want federal loans, Federal Work-Study, or federal grants, you are not required to go through the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid to temporarily waive the requirement. Should you want federal aid in the future, you will have to submit an appeal.

No. Outstanding Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements do not affect scholarships.

If you have a warning, your federal aid will not be affected at this time but you have one subsequent semester to rectify the situation. If it is not resolved after the semester is over, your Satisfactory Academic Progress status will become denied. Students who are denied financial aid because of their Satisfactory Academic Progress status will have to submit an appeal form to our office in an attempt to have their aid reinstated. You may contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

You will need to contact our office - we will provide you with the appeal form and instructions to complete it. Once a decision is available, you will receive appropriate e-mail notifications from our office.


There is a Satisfactory Academic Progress appeals committee that will review your appeal. The committee meets one to two times per month, depending on the volume of appeals. You will receive a decision shortly after the committee meets.

We have a comprehensive Satisfactory Academic Progress page that will cover the details for both master’s and doctoral level students.


View our Tuition and Fees page for cost of attendance and to see the tuition and fees associated with attending TC. If you are in a cohort program, you may have special tuition rates. You may contact your Financial Aid liaison or our office at financialaid@tc.edu should you have any questions regarding special cohort programs.

A financial aid package consists of any aid you are offered here at Teachers College. It may include scholarships, grants, loans, or assistantships, depending on what you have applied for and what you are eligible for.

Teachers College does not have uniform financial aid packages that go to every student who is granted admission to the school. This is true in terms of both scholarship and federal aid. Because every program and every student is different, we cannot provide an exact picture of your financial aid package before you are admitted to the institution.

Yes. For institutional aid (scholarships/stipends), students must be enrolled in at least 1-credit to receive the funds, unless the terms and conditions associated with their respective award indicate specific enrollment requirements. For federal student aid, students must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program to receive this aid.

Yes, the Office of Financial Aid does welcome walk-in visits. However, we encourage students to give us a call to schedule an appointment.

No. We cannot disburse aid from the next aid year to cover your balance for the current aid year. We recommend that you routinely check your student account on your TC Portal and thoroughly review all correspondence that comes from our office. Doing so will help keep you up to date on important dates, deadlines, processes, and changes.

Your TC ID number is assigned to you when you apply for admission to the College. It is also on any official correspondence you receive from campus offices. It can also be located through your TC Portal. When you are logged into your TC Portal, click the TC Services tab. You will see a heading entitled “Personal Information.” Under that heading is a link called “My TC ID Number.” This screen will display your TC ID Number. It is a quick, safe, and easy way to look up your information in our systems. Have your TC ID number ready when you contact our office.

No. You must contact the Office of Academic Computing. Their contact information can be found here.

We are mandated by the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to maintain student record confidentiality. We can only discuss the specifics of your financial aid account with you. However, if you would like to authorize other individuals to have access to your financial aid account details, you can submit a signed FERPA Form to our office letting us know the name(s) of the authorized person(s) and how they are related to you. This form is for our office only. Other campus offices may have their own required processes/forms needed to release your information to third parties. Contact our office to get a copy of our FERPA Form.

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