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For a full listing of eligibility criteria, please visit the University Financial Aid office's page: http://sfs.columbia.edu/content/federal-loans. The requirements include but are not limited to:
Be a US citizen or permanent resident (with a green card)
Have a valid Social Security Number
File a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each academic year
Be enrolled at least half time (a minimum of six credits per semester) and those credits must be required to complete your degree. Additionally,
if you take fewer than six credits, you will not be eligible to receive federal loans and additionally, any previous loans you borrowed will be placed into their grace period.
courses that exceed the 60 credits needed to complete the MBA cannot count toward federal loan eligibility. Therefore, please ensure your cumulative credits at the end of the penultimate semester do not exceed 54 if you would like to retain eligibility for your final semester's federal loans.
free credits in the EMBA program, and credits in excess of 60 in MBA program will not count towards Federal Loan eligibility.
Be below the aggregate borrowing limit ($138,500 including undergraduate loans)
Meet satisfactory academic progress as defined in the Policies section of our site
Must not be in default on a federal student loan
Comply with Selective Service Registration, if required. For more information, please visit: http://sfs.columbia.edu/financial-aid/eligibility-federal-aid#selective_service. Selective Service registration is a requirement for federal aid. It is a way for the US government to keep a list of names of men from which to draw in case of a national emergency requiring rapid expansion of our Armed Forces. All male US citizens, and male aliens living in the US, who are 18 through 25, are required to register with selective service. If you have been asked by FAFSA to provide proof of registration (or exemption), please visit www.sss.gov to apply for a Status Information Letter. Be sure to include your name, date of birth, Social Security Number, and current mailing address. As you await the arrival of the Status Information Letter, please submit the following to our office: 1) A copy of your green card (front and back) if you are a permanent resident. 2) Evidence of when you first entered the United States (usually demonstrated with a copy of visa stamp in passport) and 3) Written explanation of your status from the time you entered the United States until you became a permanent resident.
For the Direct Graduate PLUS loan, you must also pass a credit check with none of the following issues: Bankruptcy (Chapters 7, 11, or 12 within the past 5 years). Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not defined as being adverse, Voluntary surrender within the past 5 years, Repossession within the past 5 years, Foreclosure proceedings started and foreclosure within past 5 years, Deed in lieu of foreclosure, Delinquent Accounts (must be delinquent for 90 days or more), Unpaid (with a balance greater than zero) collection accounts and charged-off accounts, Wage garnishment within the past 5 years, Defaulted loans that have been claimed "paid", Lease or contract terminated by default, County/State/Federal tax lien within the past 5 years. You may add a credit-worthy endorser (cosigner) to your Graduate PLUS Loan, if needed. After requesting a Graduate PLUS Loan, the loan will be originated and the Department of Education will check your credit to confirm approval. However, we advise you to review the credit resources available on the University’s Student Financial Services site and to check your credit history prior to applying for a Graduate PLUS Loan. If there is any incorrect information on your credit report, be sure to rectify the issue(s).