Financial Aid and Student Support

The School of the Arts awards over $10 million in student aid each year in the form of tuition scholarships, paid service positions, teaching appointments and institutional loans. Over 75% of Writing students receive support from the School to help meet the cost of attendance.

In addition, the School of the Arts works closely with the University’s Office of Student Financial Planning to explore other options, including federal work-study and loans. Columbia University and the School of the Arts also offer a number of resources regarding on- and off-campus employment, and outside scholarships and grants.

For instructions regarding financial aid applications and deadlines, along with more information about funding your education, please visit the Financing Your Degree page.

Teaching Opportunities

All students in the Writing Program are given opportunities to teach both at the high school and college level through Columbia Artists/Teachers (CA/T) program, directed by Alan Ziegler. Professor Ziegler, Writers-in-the-Schools veteran and author of The Writing Workshop, also offers a course each semester, “Writer as Teacher,” offering training for those who want to teach creative writing.

There are also a limited number of Teaching Assistantships available through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; these appointments offer two-year positions with full tuition remission and additional compensation totaling over $24,000. On average, 10 Writing Program students have received these appointments each year.  Information sessions regarding these positions typically take place during Fall semester.

Students who opt to take a third year after coursework to complete their thesis are eligible to apply to teach a beginning workshop for one semester in the Undergraduate Writing Program. This coming year, 15 third-year student awarded Teaching fellowships will receive $11,878 each in compensation.

In addition, during the summer, Columbia offers writing workshops and seminars for high school students, taught by Writing Program students and alumni.  Between ten and twenty rising second-year students are hired to teach each summer, and are generally invited back to teach again the following summer.  Sessions last three weeks: seminar instructors are paid $1,250, and workshop instructors are paid $2,250.

Student Service Positions and Special Fellowships

Each year, twelve 2nd-year students are appointed as Chair’s Fellows, who assist in the administration of the Writing Program. There are also three positions for 2nd-year students to help in administering the CA/T program, and approximately five service positions assigned to work in various areas of the Dean’s Office and Office of Communications. Students appointed to these service positions receive between $7,500 and $18,000 in additional support.

In addition, each year, the two students appointed co-presidents of the Our Word student group receive $5,000 each in scholarship support, and the four senior positions on the Columbia Journal staff receive $7,200 salaries for the academic year.

2nd-Year students in Fiction are eligible to receive Felipe De Alba Fellowships of up to $15,000 each on supplemental scholarship support.  These fellowships are awarded by the Fiction faculty in recognition of the excellence of student work submitted in the first year.  Normally, four students a year receive De Alba Fellowships.  

On a similar basis, each year, one student is selected by faculty to receive the Linda Corrente Fellowship, awarding $3,500 to $5,000 in additional support to a second-year Poetry student, and one 2nd-year Fiction student is selected by faculty to receive the $10,000 Henfield Prize.
Writing Program
415 Dodge Hall
Mail Code 1804
2960 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 854-4391

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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.