Special Auxiliary Grant Application for 2020-2021 Academic Year

Information regarding Special Auxiliary Grant Application for 2020-2021 Academic Year.

The Law School understands many families are experiencing additional financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also recognize the financial situations of some individuals may have significantly changed since the tax year used to determine need-based grant consideration. As resources are limited, our guiding principle is to assist students from the neediest families. Therefore, need-based Special Auxiliary Grant funds will be distributed primarily to students with limited personal and family resources. Regardless of the student’s age, marital status, or dependency status for tax purposes, our grant decision will be based on an analysis of the family’s financial strength.

Application Process

Consideration for the $1,500 need-based Special Auxiliary Grant requires complete family and parental information from both custodial and non-custodial parents. If the student’s parents have separate households (unmarried, separated, or divorced), complete financial information for both households must be provided.

The following information provides a guideline for due dates and required application materials for the Special Auxiliary Grant.

Application Deadlines

October 9, 2020

For JD students

October 9, 2020

For LLM students starting their program in the fall 2020 semester

January 30, 2021

For LLM students starting their program in the spring 2021 semester

The application review process for the need-based Special Auxiliary Grant will begin during the September/October time frame.

Required Application Materials

  • Special Auxiliary Grant Application to the Financial Aid Office
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to federal processor1
  • Columbia Law School Financial Aid Questionnaire for the 2020-2021 Academic Year2
  • 2019 Federal Income Tax Forms for student, spouse, and parent(s) to the Financial Aid Office3


Please note that in order for the Financial Aid Office to determine eligibility for a need-based Special Auxiliary Grant, students may be asked to provide additional supporting documents beyond those originally submitted.

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1
 International students (those who are not US citizens or eligible noncitizens), are not eligible for federal aid and should disregard the FAFSA requirement.
2 If you have already submitted this form, you can disregard this requirement. Otherwise, students can request our office to email it to them.
3 If 2019 tax forms are not available by September 30, please submit complete 2018 tax forms by September 30, and complete 2019 tax forms by the end of October.

The form for the Special Auxiliary Grant Application for 2020-2021 Academic Year is available here for students to complete.

Columbia Law School is committed to supporting our students in the area of financial security. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Law School has implemented several temporary policies for the 2020-2021 academic year. Please review the following Financial Aid COVID-19 FAQ regarding questions that might arise during this unprecedented time.

As always, you are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office ([email protected]) with any questions and concerns regarding financial aid. Since part of our staff is working remotely, we ask for your patience and understanding as we reply to your inquiries.

Where do I find information on tuition and fees for academic year 2020-21?
The standard cost of attendance for academic year 2020-2021 is available on the Law School’s website. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance with financial planning.

How will the Law School continue to support students, including those with financial need?
Shortly after the pandemic’s effects began to affect our operations, the Law School established an emergency relief fund to assist students experiencing financial insecurity as a result of the global health crisis. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and are facilitated through the funding request form on the Law School’s Financial Wellness page.

The Law School has also established a Student Technology Equity Fund, which will provide $1,500 in grant aid to every student during the 2020-2021 academic year

Beyond these measures, the Law School will also increase scholarship aid by $1,500 for every student during the 2020-2021 academic year who has been previously awarded institutional grant aid, including our returning 2L and 3L students. Combined with the Student Technology Equity Fund, Law students with the greatest financial need will receive $3,000 in total grant aid, which will more than fully offset tuition growth.

Are LL.M. students eligible to receive funding from the Student Technology Equity Fund?
Yes. All LL.M. students will receive $1,500 in scholarship aid as described above for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

If I am not currently receiving an institutional financial aid grant but my financial circumstances have changed, can I still be considered for additional funding?
For those currently not receiving institutional grants, a need-based process will be available to reevaluate eligibility for this supplemental award. The Office of Financial Aid will administer the reviews beginning September 8. Additional details regarding the process and required documentation is available below. 

For students currently not receiving institutional grants, what application materials will be required for consideration of the supplemental need-based Special Auxiliary Grant review process?
The Law School understands many families are experiencing additional financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also recognize the financial situations of some individuals may have significantly changed since the tax year used to determine need-based grant consideration. As resources are limited, our guiding principle is to assist students from the neediest families. Therefore, need-based Special Auxiliary Grant funds will be distributed primarily to students with limited personal and family resources. Regardless of the student’s age, marital status, or dependency status for tax purposes, our grant decision will be based on an analysis of the family’s financial strength.

Consideration for the $1,500 need-based Special Auxiliary Grant requires complete family and parental information from both custodial and non-custodial parents. If the student’s parents have separate households (unmarried, separated, or divorced), complete financial information for both households must be provided.

The following information provides a guideline for due dates and required application materials for the Special Auxiliary Grant.

Application Deadlines

Columbia Law School Need-Based Special Auxiliary Grant Application

October 9, 2020

For JD students

October 9, 2020

For LLM students starting their program in the fall 2020 semester

January 30, 2021

For LLM students starting their program in the spring 2021 semester

The application review process for the need-based Special Auxiliary Grant will begin during the September/October time frame.

Required Application Materials for the Need-Based Special Auxiliary Grant Consideration

Special Auxiliary Grant Application to the Financial Aid Office

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to federal processor1

Columbia Law School Financial Aid Questionnaire for the 2020-2021 Academic Year2

2019 Federal Income Tax Forms for student, spouse, and parent(s) to the Financial Aid Office3

1. International students (those who are not US citizens or eligible noncitizens), are not eligible for federal aid and should disregard the FAFSA requirement.
2. If you have already submitted this form, you can disregard this requirement. Otherwise, students can request our office to email it to them.
3. If 2019 tax forms are not available by September 30, please submit complete 2018 tax forms by September 30, and complete 2019 tax forms by the end of October.

Please note that in order for the Financial Aid Office to determine eligibility for a need-based Special Auxiliary Grant, students may be asked to provide additional supporting documents beyond those originally submitted.

How will the Technology Equity and Special Auxiliary Grant aid be disbursed? Do I need to do anything in order to ensure that I receive it?
The additional scholarship support will be directly applied to student accounts in September as a grant. For the Technology Equity Grant, students will not need to complete any paperwork to receive this award disbursement. For the Special Auxiliary Grant, please see above for necessary application materials. Students awarded the Special Auxiliary Grant will not need to complete any additional paperwork to receive this award disbursement. This aid is typically disbursed as a grant to the student account in order to reduce any outstanding balance. However, if a student's individual situation requires immediate funding or an alternative disbursement method such as a stipend, we encourage you to call our office (212-854-6522) to speak with a staff member so we can provide you with available options.

Refunds may be processed automatically, generally when a valid credit appears on the student account. Please note, however, that Law School students must elect to participate in order to receive automatic refunds at the start of each academic year. To opt into or out of automatic refunds, students should log in to SSOL (http://ssol.columbia.edu) and under the Account section select "Automatic Refund Options" from the menu and follow the instructions.

If I am a dual degree JD student enrolled at Columbia University during the 2020-2021 academic year, will I receive the Student Technology Equity Grant?
For dual degree students who have a split academic year (one semester at Columbia Law School and one semester at another Columbia University school), these students will receive the $1,500 Student Technology Equity Grant. For dual degree students who will be spending the entire 2020-2021 academic year (Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters) at another Columbia University school, these students will receive the Student Technology Equity Grant as part of the awards received at the other Columbia University school. For dual degree students who are eligible for a Special Auxiliary Grant, these awards will also be part of the aid received at the other Columbia University school. The Law School Financial Aid Office will work with the Financial Aid Office of the other Columbia University school to award the aid accordingly.

If I need to withdraw or take a leave of absence after I start my classes, how will this impact my Student Technology Equity Grant and/or the need-based Special Auxiliary Grant?
As with all Law School institutional grant funds, the Student Technology Equity Grant and the need-based Special Auxiliary Grant will be reversed on the student account if the student is eligible for a pro-rated refund of tuition for the semester. Depending on the date of withdrawal, the student may be eligible for a refund based on the University’s tuition refund schedule for withdrawals. Students may access the pro-rated refund of tuition for withdrawals on the University Registrar website (https://registrar.columbia.edu/content/withdrawal).  If a student is not eligible for any refund of tuition based on the University’s tuition refund schedule (i.e., assumes full tuition costs for the semester), then the student retains the grant funds.