University Statement in Response to the Wall Street Journal Story Featuring Columbia Graduate Students

July 08, 2021

We at Columbia University are always deeply concerned when students incur substantial debt in order to pursue their education and life ambitions. That is why we launched this spring the $1.4 billion Student Support Initiative campaign, the latest in a series of efforts designed to respond to our students’ need for financial support.

The Scorecard data used in the Wall Street Journal article examines graduates from 2015-2016 and does not account for the significant progress Columbia has made in expanding need-based aid across the institution in recent years, and making additional tools available to students for evaluating and managing the financing of their education. In fiscal year 2020, Columbia University spent $492 million on financial aid, the majority of which was granted to its graduate students. This sum does not include additional support in the form of stipends and payments to graduate students for teaching.

The schools featured in the Wall Street Journal article represent Columbia’s unsurpassed dedication to preparing the next generation of leadership in public interest and the arts. The university has more graduate programs in public interest-focused and arts fields than virtually any other institution in the country. We remain committed to helping our graduates achieve their professional and academic goals without a difficult financial burden.