Application Fee Waivers

The Graduate School will waive the application fee for US citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled in a US college or university who demonstrate financial need. You must fill out the Financial Fee Waiver Request Form through the online application and provide one of the following sources of documentation:

  • a letter verifying your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) signed by you and a financial aid officer at the institution you currently attend
  • Student Aid Report (SAR) (available from the FAFSA website)
  • a copy of your most recent US income tax return (Form 1040)

Please note that financial fee waivers are available only for US citizens or permanent residents.

Completion of a fee waiver request form does not guarantee that your application fee will be waived. You will be notified via email when your request has been reviewed. If your request is not approved, you must pay the fee via credit card before your application will be forwarded for to the department for review.

Submitting Your Fee Waiver Request

After you have submitted the application and are on the Application Status Page, there is a link to our fee waiver selections. Fee waiver requests must be submitted through the online application, and any required supporting documents should be uploaded. Documents should not be mailed to the Office of Admissions.

Once you have filled out the form and submitted the application, your application will be eligible for consideration. You will be notified via email when your request for the fee waiver has been approved or denied. Processing of fee waiver decisions may not be completed until after the application deadline has passed. However, a pending fee waiver request does not preclude the program from reviewing your application for admission.

Types of Fee Waivers

Special Programs Fee Waiver

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will waive the application fee for applicants who are currently participants in one of the programs listed below, or who have participated in one programs listed below for at least a year within the last two years. You must fill out a Special Programs Fee Waiver Request Form through the online application and upload a letter from a program official documenting the dates of your participation.

Eligible programs include:

  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
  • AmeriCorps
  • Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minorities Students (ABRCMS)
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar
  • California Pre-Doctoral Sally Casanova Scholars Program
  • Careers Opportunity Research/NIMH (COR/NIMH)
  • Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP)
  • Creating Connections Consortium (C3)
  • Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT)
  • Jackie Robinson Foundation
  • Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program
  • Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program
  • Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Program (MMUF)
  • Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC)
  • Minority Biomedical Research Support Program (RISE)
  • National Association of African American Honors Programs (NAAAHP)
  • NIH Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)
  • Peace Corps
  • Questbridge
  • Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI)
  • Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program
  • Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
  • Teach for America

If you have been offered a fee waiver after attending a recruitment event or through correspondence with a GSAS staff member, please complete a Special Programs Fee Waiver Request and include that information in the space provided on the form.

For Special Programs Requesting the Application Fee Waiver

A special program not listed above may request that Columbia GSAS add their program to the roster of Special Programs eligible for an application fee waiver for its participants by writing to gsas-diversity [at], provided that the program meets all of the following criteria:

  • Mission explicitly aligns with the Graduate School’s Statement on Diversity
  • Demonstrates a clear directive for students to enter a doctoral or research program
  • Is represented or has chapters at more than one campus
Outside Organization Fee Waiver

If you are applying to Columbia University through an outside fellowship organization, you may be eligible to have your application fee waived. You, or the organization officer submitting the application on your behalf, must fill out an Outside Organization Fee Waiver Request. 

Eligible outside organizations include:

  • Amid East
  • DAAD-German American Exchange
  • DAF – Danish American Fulbright Commission
  • Fulbright
  • IGERT – Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship
  • LASPAU – Academic and Professional Programs for the Americas
Military Fee Waivers

Fee Waivers are also granted to applicants who are currently serving in the US Military. No fee waiver request form is required.

Extenuating Circumstances Fee Waiver

If you do not meet the criteria to request a standard fee waiver (e.g., you are not a US citizen, not currently in school, or have not participated in a special program) but still wish to request that your application fee be waived, please complete the following steps:

  1. If you have not already done so, submit your application. Waiver requests cannot be considered for unsubmitted applications.
  2. After submitting the application, upload any documentation you have that can support your request, such as letters from your university, tax returns or other financial documents. (If applicable: Please make certain to redact social security numbers). To upload the documents, please log back in to your application. Upon logging in, you will be brought to the "Application Status" page. Click on "Upload Materials" (in blue font) and then select "Application Corrections/Additions" from the drop-down list.
  3. Send an email to gsas-admissions [at] with the subject line “Extenuating Circumstances Fee Waiver Request." In the body of the message, include your name, date of birth, Application Reference Number, and an explanation of why you believe you are eligible for a fee waiver. Please include a sentence confirming that you have already uploaded the required supporting documentation.

Your request will be reviewed, and you will be notified via email when a decision has been reached. If your request is not approved, you will be required to submit the $110 application fee via credit card in order for your application to be reviewed.