To the GS Community:
You most probably have heard that President Bollinger has made a change in the financial aid policies at CC and SEAS. He announced that “Beginning in the 2007-08 academic year, Columbia will eliminate the debt burden of students from families earning less than $50,000 per year attending Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.” Similar programs exist at a number of other elite universities and we are very pleased that Columbia is now able to initiate a program of its own.
The reason GS was not included in this announcement is because the full-need funding model for financial aid at CC and SEAS is very different from the predominantly merit based scholarship model at GS. However, while the planning for this change in CC and SEAS financial aid was underway, we too were engaged in a planning process with the senior administration about ways to enhance GS financial aid. The result of that process is that the overall dollar amount allocated for GS scholarships in 2006-2007 has been increased by approximately 14%. This is one of the largest increases in GS scholarship aid in the history of the school. In 2007-2008, this increased scholarship pool will be enhanced further by another 12% increase.
While I am very happy that we are able to manage these increases in scholarship assistance for GS students, I am well aware that more needs to be done. The University is about to announce a major capital campaign in which undergraduate financial aid for all of the undergraduate colleges will be a central focus. Our goal is to make a Columbia education at GS, CC, SEAS accessible to the most talented and capable individuals, regardless of economic background.
-Dean Peter Awn