Application Fee Waivers

Columbia GSAS offers three fee-waiver options to eligible applicants. You will be able to select the appropriate option and complete the relevant Fee-Waiver Request Form after you have submitted your application. Information about fee-waiver eligibility is provided below.

Submitting Your Fee Waiver Request

After you have submitted the application and are on the Application Status Page, there is a link to the fee waiver forms. Fee waiver requests and any required supporting documents must be submitted through the online request forms. Documents should not be sent to the Office of Admissions by mail or email.

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.

Please note: 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 eligible to receive an admission decision.

Types of Fee Waivers

Financial Fee Waiver

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 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.

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 of the programs listed below for at least one year within the last two years. You must fill out a Special Programs Fee-Waiver Request Form and upload a letter from a program officer 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 & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP)
  • Creating Connections Consortium (C3)
  • Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT)
  • Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program
  • Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
  • Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Program
  • 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
  • RBSI (Ralph Bunche Summer Instituter)
  • Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program
  • Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
  • Teach for America
  • Jackie Robinson Foundation

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.

Special Note for Program Administrators: Request Fee Waiver Eligibility

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] columbia.edu, 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
Extenuating Circumstances Fee Waiver

If you do not meet the criteria to request a standard fee waiver (i.e. you are not currently enrolled in an undergraduate program, or have not participated in an eligible special program, or you are not a US citizen), you may submit the Extenuating Circumstances Fee-Waiver Request Form.

The Graduate School will consider a waiver of the application fee for applicants who demonstrate financial need, political or personal hardship, or other circumstances that make paying the application fee unduly onerous. You must fill out an Extenuating Circumstances Fee-Waiver Request, and upload materials to support your request, such as letters from your university, tax returns, or other financial documents. (Please make certain to cross out social security numbers or other sensitive data).

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. There is no separate fee waiver request form required, though the organization’s representatives are required to enter their direct contact information as part of the application.

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