Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Tuition for Columbia College Chicago is $25,580 for the 2017/2018 academic year. This is 8% cheaper than the national average private non-profit four year college tuition of $27,755. The cost is 3% more expensive than the average Illinois tuition of $24,843 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 35th in Illinois amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 37th most expensive 4 year college in the state. Price does not vary by residence.

The school charges an additional fees of $894 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $26,474.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $13,630 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Chicago should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $1,600.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $2,003 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $2,003 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The annual tuition and living expense budget to go to Columbia College-Chicago was $43,707 for the 2017/2018 academic year. The cost is the same for all students regardless of Illinois residence status as there is no in-state discount.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 IPEDS survey response for Columbia College Chicago and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for Columbia College Chicago
Estimated Budgets
Illinois Resident Total Budget $43,707
   In-State Tuition$25,580
   Other Fees$894
   Room and Board$13,630
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,003
   Books and Supplies$1,600
Non-Resident Total Budget $43,707
   Out-of-State Tuition$25,580
   Other Fees$894
   Room and Board$13,630
   On-Campus Other Budget$2,003
   Books and Supplies$1,600


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $43,707 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported Columbia College-Chicago net price for in-state students is $27,839* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

75% of Columbia College Chicago students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $11,316. 39 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,293. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend Columbia College Chicago, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for Columbia College Chicago
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$27,839*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid75%
Average Total Grant Aid$11,316
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants39%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,293

Average Net Price by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$24,913
$30,001 to $48,000$25,288
$48,001 to $75,000$28,226
$75,001 to $110,000$30,407

Average Financial Aid Mix - $43,707 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $43,707. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 27% - $11,316

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, Columbia College Chicago or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 15% - $6,187

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 58% -  $24,201

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Cost of a Degree

When considering ability to pay for college, the annual cost is often discussed but it's the "all in" multi-year degree cost which matters in the end. Let's take a look at what it could really cost for four years at Columbia College Chicago.

Estimated 4 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 4 year bachelor's degree at Columbia College-Chicago is $174,828 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 4 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $27,934 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $111,736**

If you end up on the "five year plan" and need an additional year to graduate, your five year cost could be as high as $218,535 or $139,670 using an average net price.

**Based on a 4 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Estimated Cost Per Semester

Most colleges don't charge students on an annual basis but instead require payment semester by semester. If you ever need to take an additional semester of classes to complete you degree you shouldn't have to pay for a full academic year. These our estimated costs for a semester at Columbia College Chicago.

Illinois Resident Tuition Per Semester$12,790
Illinois Resident Total Cost Per Semester$21,854

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at Columbia College Chicago are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at Columbia College Chicago
Price per credit hour$883
Cost for one class (3 credit hours)$2,649
Cost for one class (4 credit hours)$3,532


Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 69% of Columbia College Chicago students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $6,187.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for Columbia College Chicago? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $111,736, 100% of the estimated average net price for a four year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $138,638.75. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at Columbia College Chicago. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 75% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $27,934. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our Columbia College Chicago student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

Columbia College Chicago Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$1,155.32
Amount Borrowed$111,736.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$26,902.75
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$138,638.75

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend Columbia College-Chicago? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending Columbia College Chicago, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $138,638.75 would be needed to afford a $1,155.32 monthly payment in the example $111,736.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to Columbia College Chicago in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $21,200 to $25,580. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 4.1%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 4 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current 4 year cost of $174,828.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for Columbia College Chicago.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2024$60,107$240,429
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2029$76,714$306,855
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2034 $97,908$391,634
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2037 $113,341$453,365

Tuition History

What was tuition at Columbia College-Chicago five, ten, fifteen or twenty years ago? Hop into our time machine and take a look. Pay attention to how aggressive the school has been with price increases in the past as it provides indication as to how the school may raise tuition in the next few years. Historical tuition and fees for all available data years back to 1987 follows.

YearTuitionAnnual Increase

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at Columbia College Chicago to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Cinematography and Film/Video Production Bachelor's Degree 406 3% costlier
Fine and Studio Arts Management Bachelor's Degree 306 2% costlier
Marketing/Marketing Management, General Bachelor's Degree 199 20% costlier
Photography Bachelor's Degree 124 3% cheaper
Radio and Television Bachelor's Degree 123 13% costlier
Journalism Bachelor's Degree 118 13% costlier
Recording Arts Technology/Technician Bachelor's Degree 111 0% costlier
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 106 3% costlier
Creative Writing Bachelor's Degree 96 5% cheaper
Graphic Design Bachelor's Degree 90 8% costlier
Fashion/Apparel Design Bachelor's Degree 51 4% cheaper
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 41 4% costlier
Music, General Bachelor's Degree 40 6% costlier
Commercial and Advertising Art Bachelor's Degree 35 15% costlier
Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 32 4% cheaper
Fine/Studio Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 30 1% costlier
Dance, General Bachelor's Degree 28 3% cheaper
Illustration Bachelor's Degree 22 4% cheaper
Interior Design Bachelor's Degree 21 13% costlier
Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects Bachelor's Degree 19 7% costlier
Art History, Criticism and Conservation Bachelor's Degree 18 11% cheaper
Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 16 11% cheaper
Early Childhood Education and Teaching Bachelor's Degree 15 26% costlier
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies Bachelor's Degree 13 9% costlier
Industrial and Product Design Bachelor's Degree 10 2% cheaper
Intermedia/Multimedia Bachelor's Degree 9 6% cheaper
Sign Language Interpretation and Translation Bachelor's Degree 8 21% costlier
Playwriting and Screenwriting Bachelor's Degree 5 16% cheaper
Retail Management Bachelor's Degree 2 11% costlier
Web Page, Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design Bachelor's Degree 2 52% costlier


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for Columbia College Chicago or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford Columbia College Chicago in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a Columbia College Chicago student loan.

Prepayment Option

About Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago is a four year private college located in Chicago, Illinois.  Full time enrollment is 7,365 and part time is 755.  Columbia College Chicago has an open admission policy meaning that any prospective student who has completed high school or attained a GED certificate may enroll in classes.

Students attending this school may pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Columbia College Chicago
600 South Michigan
Chicago, Illinois

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

Columbia College Chicago is a private not for profit institution.

Columbia College Chicago cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=144281 IPEDS survey data.