We assess whether international remittances affect Colombian household’s expenditure composition and demand of education. We exploit the migratory wave and institutional barriers to migration that occurred during the late 1990s, identifying the effect of remittances on expenditure composition. The findings suggest a positive effect on education, with beneficiary households spending about 10 percent more of total expenditure on education than non-beneficiary households. In contrast, no effect was found on enrolment rates. However, the analysis indicates an important effect on the probability of attending a private, rather than a public educational institution. Additionally, this study finds no effects on consumption, investment and health expenditure, although remittances do have salient effects on living standards.