Withdrawal & Tuition Refund

Students who drop every course for which they are registered in any given term are withdrawing from the University.

Students who plan to withdraw from the University should carefully read all of the information below concerning financial considerations, the withdrawal procedure, and tuition refunds.

American Language Program students must refer to the withdrawal and tuition refund details on the ALP site.

Financial Considerations

Withdrawal Fee
All students who drop their entire academic program will be charged a $75.00 withdrawal fee, regardless of when the withdrawal takes place.

Tuition Refunds
Tuition for courses dropped during the Change of Program period is refunded in full. After the last day of the Change of Program period, the University retains a percentage of the remaining tuition (as indicated in the withdrawal schedules below) for each week, or part of a week, that the student remains registered. Bear in mind that after the last day of the Change of Program period, refunds are granted only when students withdraw by dropping all of their courses. See the Calendar for the Change of Program periods for each term.

Any adjustment of the tuition that the student has paid or still owes is reckoned from the date on which the Office of Student Affairs, 203 Lewisohn, receives the student's written notification (see How to Withdraw, below). Failure to attend classes or notification submitted only to instructors does not constitute formal withdrawal (see UW, Unofficial Withdrawal, under Grades).

Fee Refunds
Fees such as the student activities fee, University facilities fee, course fees, and late fees are not refundable if the withdrawal takes place after the Change of Program period. If the withdrawal takes place before or during the Change of Program period, these fees are refunded in full. The one-time document fee, application fee, and the Columbia Health Fee are not refundable.

Student Health Insurance
Students who withdraw from the University (except for approved Medical Leaves of Absence), or are dismissed from the University, are ineligible to remain on the Student Health Insurance Plan. Refer to the Eligibility page on the Insurance Office’s website for specific details and contact the Insurance Office with questions.

Federal Financial Aid Recipients
Students who receive federal financial aid are advised to contact the Office of Student Financial Planning with questions regarding financial aid eligibility and how a withdrawal may impact their aid.

International Students
Students who have F1 or J1 visa status must maintain their status, which includes full-time enrollment in their program of study. Refer to the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) website for specific details and contact ISSO with questions.

Military & Veteran Benefits
Students who receive military & veteran tuition benefits are advised to contact the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs with questions regarding how a withdrawal may affect eligibility for benefits.

Special Note for GSAS Students Taking Summer Term Courses
Students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences who are recipients of Columbia University fellowships are advised that if they drop any Summer Term course or withdraw from a session, fellowship funds covering the tuition for that course or courses will be canceled, and the student will be responsible for payment of tuition charges incurred, as indicated in the schedules below.

How to Withdraw

A student in good academic standing who is not subject to disciplinary action may be permitted to withdraw at any time during the term up until the last day of classes (see Calendar), by doing the following:

  1. Consult with the appropriate dean of students or class dean. A student on academic probation who does not consult with his or her dean of students or class dean before withdrawing may be subject to expulsion.
  2. Fill out a Notice of Withdrawal form.
  3. Receive confirmation email from sps-studentwithdrawals@columbia.edu.

Students under 18 years of age must submit written consent from a parent or guardian to the Office of Student Affairs with the Notice of Withdrawal form.

Students who intend to withdraw permanently from a specific program must submit written notice of their intentions along with the Notice of Withdrawal.

Withdrawal Statement on Transcript

A withdrawal statement is added to the academic transcript for each term a student withdraws from the University.

Applying for a Tuition Refund

If the withdrawing student is entitled to a refund, the refund will be issued automatically for all School of Professional Studies programs except American Language Program and Auditors/Lifelong Learners. For those who will receive an automatic refund and do not have direct deposit set up, the student may log into Student Services Online (SSOL (https://ssol.columbia.edu/) ) to see where the refund check will be mailed.

Students in the ALP or Auditing programs should log into SSOL to request a refund after the withdrawal has been processed. There must be an actual credit balance (not an anticipated credit) on the account in order for a refund to be processed. The option to request a refund will not appear if there is not an actual credit on the account. Each refund application is analyzed to determine eligibility.

Refunds sent through direct deposit will usually arrive in 3-5 business days. If you do not have a U.S. bank account or you prefer to receive a paper check, your refund will be mailed in 7-10 business days to the local address listed in your student profile in SSOL.

Fall

Full-term Sessions

Withdrawals processed

will be refunded

by week 1 & week 2

100%

by week 3

90%

by week 4

80%

by week 5

70%

by week 6

60%

by week 7

50%

by week 8

40%

by week 9

0%

 

Partial-term Sessions

Withdrawals processed

will be refunded

by week 1

100%

by week 2

60%

by week 3

50%

by week 4

30%

after 4th week

0%

Spring

12-Week Sessions

Withdrawals processed

will be refunded

by week 1 & week 2

100%

by week 3

90%

by week 4

80%

by week 5

70%

by week 6

60%

by week 7

50%

by week 8

40%

by week 9

0%

Partial-term Sessions

Withdrawals processed

will be refunded

by week 1

100%

by week 2

60%

by week 3

50%

by week 4

30%

after 4th week

0%