Billing and Payments
Charges for tuition and fees, billing, and payments are the jurisdiction of the University Office of Student Financial Services (SFS), located in Kent Hall. The SIPA Financial Aid Office does not send bills nor collect payments. You can visit the SFS website at http://sfs.columbia.edu. Billing is by the semester, and SFS will send your bill to your Columbia email address (your UNI) a few weeks prior to the beginning of the start of the term. You must pay the term tuition and fees in full by the due date listed on your Estimated Term Invoice. A late fee of $150 will be charged if you do not pay by the due date. Finance charges are then subsequently assessed on unpaid balances at 12 percent per annum, on a monthly basis.
Please note that as of November 1, 2016, Columbia will no longer accept cash payments for tuition, fees or housing charges.
For the University's billing dates, please click here.
Financial aid will appear as an anticipated credit on your bill so long as the award has been made by the time of billing and you have completed all necessary processes. Aid will be credited to your account shortly prior to the beginning of each semester, provided all necessary documentation has been submitted and processes completed. Please keep in mind that fluctuations in enrollment can impact financial aid eligibility; most student loans require enrollment for a minimum of 6 credits per semester, while most SIPA funding requires full-time attendance (12 or more credits).
If your tuition is being paid in full or in part by a sponsor, employer, scholarship provider or other third party, and those payments are sent directly to Columbia, you will need to work with Student Financial Services to set up billing or other arrangements. Please click here to learn about required procedures about sponsored or 3rd party billing.
If a student withdraws from the program during the summer term, the tuition is subject to reduction at the following rates, based on when the withdrawal takes place. This also applies to withdrawing from individual courses billed on a per-credit basis.
Withdrawal during: Percentage of tuition refunded:
First week 100%
Second week 90%
Third week 80%
Fourth week 70%
Fifth week 60%
Sixth week 50%
Seventh week 40%
After seventh week 0%
For withdrawals that occur during the fall and spring semesters, see http://registrar.columbia.edu/content/refund-rate-withdrawals for the University-wide policy.
Most financial aid, whether they be scholarships, fellowship or loans, are first credited towards tuition and fees. If the amount of aid you receive exceeds your balance owed for tuition and fees, you will receive the credit balance as a refund that you can use for living expenses, textbooks, and other costs related to your studies. Refunds can be disbursed as checks (mailed to the address Columbia has on file — please make sure the Registrar's Office has your current/local address), or as a direct deposit into a bank account you designate. Please see the Student Financial Services Office for more information.
Please Note: Such refunds are usually issued approximately one to two weeks after the start of the semester, and never prior to registration. You should be prepared to pay living expenses from your own resources upon arrival in New York and for the first few weeks of each semester.
Students may qualify for tax credits for tuition costs or interest paid on student loans. You will receive year-end documentation such as a 1098-T from the Student Financial Services that you can use when filing your federal income tax return. The SIPA Financial Aid Office cannot offer tax assistance or advice; please visit a tax professional or the IRS website for more information.