With their net price calculators, many colleges and universities give an idea of what merit-based aid might accompany need-based aid. For schools that share such data, we also provide financial aid data in the Finanical Aid sections.
There are some caveats to consider when using the net price estimates:
You can get a little better guess at what you would pay by using this school's net price calculator.
It's important to remember that a school's published costs may not be indicative of what it will actually cost to attend. Time magazine wrote about this in their article Yes, you can get a college to cut its tuition price. Nonetheless, this inflation-adjusted look at the historic annual costs for tuition, fees, books, and supplies can give you an idea of the costs you might expect in the coming years. Comparing the total costs inclusive of room and board (if applicable) with the annual net price estimates in the previous tab will help you determine the financial aid package to expect.
Private and public universities' charges are difficult to compare due to the in-state and out-of-state price differences of public universities, and therefore we only compare Columbia College to other private schools within your chosen context group.
Understanding the rules and process that determine who gets financial aid can be intimidating. Here are some quick links to help:
Federal Direct PLUS
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford
Federal Pell Grants
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
Academic interest/achievement grants
Creative arts or performance grants
Special achievements or activities grants
Grants for special characteristics, such as ethnic background, religious affiliation, state residents, children of union members, etc.
Across the country, graduation rates are surprisingly low. In fact, Forbes Magazine suggests that they are unacceptably low. However, from another point of view, sometimes graduation rates simply reflect the relative preparation of the students who enter. Colleges with a mission to help people coming from less advantaged backgrounds, such as first-generation and low-income students, may have low graduation rates despite relatively strong outcomes for students who face many obstacles to success. Without the context provided in these views of completion rates, it can be tricky to separate predatory schools that take financial advantage of under-prepared students from those that are actively seeking to encourage and help those students.
For the consumer choosing a school, once you have narrowed your list to those schools that you can afford and that seem likely to admit you, consider the outcome measures in this section and choose the specific measures that best describe your plans. Very simply, schools with high graduation rates and high loan repayment rates will likely give you the best opportunity to succeed.
How might your earnings compare with other people your age? Opportunity Insights used IRS data to track almost every person born in the US in the years 1980 to 1991, and they ranked the mean (average) 2014 earnings of students who attended Columbia College in comparison to all people in the US the same age. Although this data is now a little old, the scope of this project was awesome and gives us a glimpse at alumni performance that we cannot find until a new study of this incredible magnitude is performed.
The Equality Project found that by age 34, people's relative earnings had leveled off, so it's a good assumption that approximately 50% of the population will earn less than Columbia College alumni.
You might notice a little earnings dip at young ages for some of the top bachelor's institutions. This coincides with the years that many alumni may be in graduate school and earning less.
Opportunity Insights studied groups of all children born in the US in the same year for each birth year from 1980 to 1991. This grouping included every single US child who had a valid SSN or ITIN (tax identification number) and could be linked to parents with non-negative income.
The incomes of all families in a birth year group are measured when the child is 15-19 and these incomes are averaged. The calculated incomes from all families in the group were arranged from smallest to largest, and divided into five groups of equal size. On the left of the diagram, you can see the relative distribution of Columbia College's students between the family income divided into fifths formed by looking at the entire US group.
In 2014, all people from the same birth year were divided into a new set of five groups that were determined by their individual labor earnings for that year. The students from this birth year who primarily attended Columbia College between the ages of 19 and 22 were divided into these five groups, and the percent in each group is shown on the right of the diagram.
The diagram lets you see the proportion in each original income group who travel to each earnings group, and provides some insight into the likelihood of financial success after attendance.
If you'd like to understand the nitty gritty details of this interesting data, be sure to check out the well-written Opportunity Insights report by selecting SOURCES under the figure.
Traditionally, the long-term faculty at a school are hired as Assistant Professors. After about six years, they then advance to the Associate Professor level after proving excellence in three areas: teaching, service to the institution, and significant contributions to their field of expertise. Assistant professors who are not promoted to the Associate level are usually required to leave the school. The rank of Professor is reserved for senior faculty who have demonstrated the highest standing in those three areas. The standards of excellence differ widely across institutions; nonetheless, the presence of a large proportion of faculty in the three professor ranks suggests you will be taught by faculty who are invested in their academic fields and in the school. Generally, instructors with any of the three professor titles will hold the highest possible (terminal) degree in their academic fields.
The instructor/lecturer positions are generally held by full-time faculty who are focused on teaching alone, often for lower-level classes. These positions usually require some advanced education or experience, but not the highest (terminal) degree in a given academic field. Those teaching with no academic rank may be hired to teach in mostly non-academic fields, giving skills- or vocation-based guidance.
Columbia College houses 315 undergraduate students, which is 38% of their undergraduate population.Undergraduates, including freshmen, are allowed to bring cars to campus. On-campus housing is required through the sophomore year and for other specified students.
We are able to share a few of the choices you can make when choosing dorm space, and you'll definitely want to learn more about the school's spaces from their web site.
A rigorous academic program requires that students and faculty alike are engaging in independent research, and that activity requires strong library support. You can get some useful information here:
The presence of a library in and of itself is a good thing. Increasingly, libraries are comfortable and inviting spaces for individual and group study sessions. Librarians can be incredibly friendly guides in your quest to find materials that aid your learning.
A high proportion of international and out-of-state students speaks to reputation and offers an opportunity for diverse interactions in and out of class.
Columbia College has undergraduates from 26 states or territories and 28 countries.
Columbia College is a private not-for-profit school. Along with publicly-controlled schools, not-for-profit schools do not have the goal of annual profit, but they do want to have healthy finances with adequate revenue to meet all expenses. On the other hand, private for-profit schools have creating a profit for shareholders as an annual goal.
Here we examine assets at Columbia College in context, and it seems most fair to adjust for the size of the institution. We examine the assets per full-time-equivalent student so that we level the playing field for size.
There's a catch to these assets, though. Many gifts to a school's endowment have strings attached; the money is restricted to a specific purpose. Assets shown in green below are unrestricted, and are very important to a school's ability to meet its financial obligations. Some assets are the land and buildings that a school must have in order to function, and these may appear as green (unrestricted assets) but are nonetheless less helpful in meeting annual financial commitments. This look at assets is only a piece of the puzzle as we decide if a school is stable.