Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Renewing your Financial Aid

Please follow the steps below to determine what materials need to be completed.

1. Aid Type Request Form

  • Complete ONLY if you are a FIRST TIME applicant for school need-based funds. The Aid Type Request Form is available on NetPartner.

2. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  • To apply for federal student aid, you must complete a FAFSA form. (Columbia FAFSA Code: 002707)
  • Federal student aid includes Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS, and Federal Work-Study.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in order to complete a FAFSA. The FAFSA became available on October 1, 2019.

3. CSS PROFILE Application

  • If you want to be considered for VP&S need-based grants, scholarships, and/or loan assistance, you must complete a CSS PROFILE form. (CSS PROFILE Code: 2148)
  • You must also complete the FAFSA (providing parental financial information as well as your own and your spouse's) and the student/spouse and parent sections of the CSS PROFILE application.
  • IF YOUR PARENTS ARE DIVORCED OR SEPARATED, information is required from both of your parents and their current spouses if applicable.
  • IF YOU ARE MARRIED or INTEND TO MARRY DURING THE ACADEMIC YEAR, your spouse's (or prospective spouse’s) financial information is required.
  • International students who want consideration for school need-based funds should also complete the CSS PROFILE. If you and/or your family file foreign tax returns, please submit them along with the Certification of Finances Form via IDOC.

For VP&S need-based aid, parent information is required unless you will be 35 years old by September 30th of the academic year.

If you do not complete a CSS PROFILE application, you will be considered only for Federal Work-Study funds or external loans such as Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS, and private loans.

4. Federal Income Tax Returns – Required If Completing the CSS PROFILE Application

  • Returning students will need to submit tax returns for you, your spouse and your parents no later than April 15th.
  • MD23 students
    • upload via IDOC complete 2018 federal returns, including W-2's and all supporting schedules
    • upload via our website complete 2019 federal returns, including W-2's and all supporting schedules
  • MD22 & MD21 upload via our website complete 2019 federal returns, including W-2's and all supporting schedules
  • If you, your spouse, or your parents did not file a 2019 tax return, you should complete our "Why I Didn't File a 2019 Tax Return" form. 

5. Request to Be Classified “Disadvantaged”

  • If you fit the criteria listed on the form, please follow all instructions and submit your completed form.

6. Interschool Scholarships

  • A number of scholarships are awarded directly by the University and are available to students who meet specific criteria. If you meet the specific criteria listed on the memo, please write to our office no later than June 1, 2020, explaining how you qualify.  Once the link to the Interschool Fellowship Application is live, you should also complete it.  You will need your Columbia UNI to apply.

7. MD Activity Questionnaire

  • All returning students applying for school financial aid must complete an MD Activity Questionnaire.

8. Students with Dependent Children

  • Students with Dependent Children should complete the Dependent Care Form and contact their financial aid officer to discuss any budgeting concerns.

9. International Students Who Do Not Hold a Permanent Resident Visa

  • If you will be using any "alternative loans", we require proof of loan approval by July 1st prior to 2nd year, and by June 1st prior to 3rd and 4th year.
  • Please let your financial aid officer know you've applied so we can certify your eligibility.

Budget Adjustments

  • Don’t incur expenses that exceed the standard budget unless: a) you can cover them with assistance from family or friends, or b) if you will need financial aid to cover them, you have first cleared them with your Financial Aid Officer. Be prepared to itemize and document any additional expenses.
  • Rents that exceed our average budgets may be approved for extra borrowing BUT only to a maximum of $1,400 a month. The Rent Adjustment Form and a copy of your lease will be required before any adjustment to your budget is made. Check with your Financial Aid Officer before committing to additional housing expenses that you cannot cover with personal funds.
  • For non-Columbia housing, we may be able to approve brokers’ fees and rent which is higher than in our standard budget. Potentially refundable deposits cannot be covered.
  • Senior Elective Travel for Required Coursework – Expenses for D&I away electives are not included in the standard budget. They may be covered by Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford, Direct Graduate PLUS, or outside “alternative” loans, BUT you should be frugal about your transportation costs as we can consider only the least costly options. Consult beforehand with your Financial Aid Officer if you have any questions about allowable expenses.
  • All requests for additional funds for elective travel should be made in writing to the Office of Student Financial Planning by January 31, 2021.
  • Limited scholarship funds may be available for MCY clerkships, "selectives" and D&I electives taken at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, New York. Requests for housing and travel costs for all students should be submitted separately from other requests.
  • Residency Interview Expenses - Some expenses related to residency interviews may be added to your financial aid budget. You will need to submit a separate itemized budget with documentation in order to add these expenses to your budget and qualify for additional loans.
  • A student's budget is computed only for enrolled periods. The summer between the first and second year is the only non-enrolled period. Once second year begins, your academic years run back-to-back.
  • If you take the CUIMC Medical Insurance, your budget will be increased by the amount of the premium and your financial aid package will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Other expenses will be considered if they are necessary and related to attendance at medical school.


Additional Information

  • Notify our office throughout the academic year should any change occur in your family's financial circumstances from those you originally reported. This includes a change in your marital status prior to or during the award period.
  • Notify us about any new income (scholarships, personal loans, etc.) that becomes available after filing your applications.
  • Reduction of Loans by External Scholarships - Recipients of either externally-awarded scholarships or loans are obligated to notify their Financial Aid Officer. You will be granted a dollar for dollar substitution of the financial aid in the standard package in an amount equal to the "external" award in the following order: Alternative loans, if taken, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS, and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford will be reduced first, then the VP&S Scholarship's , if applicable.
  • Notify us if siblings or spouse reported as expected to enroll as full-time students for either fall or spring do not do so.
  • Students interested in a Federal Work-Study award should contact us for further information.
  • Tuition Exemption - Partial tuition exemption benefits are evaluated on an individual basis and may be used to reduce outside loans for those who also qualify for need-based school funding. Students receiving full tuition exemption benefits are not eligible for need-based school funds.