Third Term

 


Summer 2021 (Third Academic Term) for Columbia College, School of Engineering Undergraduates, and School of the Arts

 

Billing for the Third Academic Term 

The University Calendar for Academic Year 2020 - 2021 for Columbia College, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and School of the Arts comprise three semesters of equal length (i.e., fall 2020, spring 2021, and summer 2021) to control density, enhance pedagogical flexibility across different schools and programs, and work to ensure that students’ plans for their education can best proceed. Students are not required to enroll in summer 2021 but may wish to spread their academic-year coursework over the three semesters. Students may register across all summer sessions (i.e., sessions A, B, and X). This policy document serves to outline the billing process and procedures for summer 2021. 

 

Billing, Payments, and Student Accounts

Student account statements are distributed electronically. All billing notifications are sent directly to students at their Columbia University email address; no other address is used. Consequently, students are required to maintain an active Columbia email account. 


The academic year tuition that was billed in fall 2020 and spring 2021 covers a credit cap of up to:

 

  • 1. 40 credits for Columbia College and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (undergraduates) taken over the fall 2020, spring 2021, and summer 2021 semesters.
  • 2. 36 credits for School of the Arts taken over fall 2020, spring 2021, and summer 2021 semesters.


For Barnard College students please refer to the Barnard policy here.


Students who are registered for the summer term will receive a bill based on the below billing cycle. The bill will assess full tuition for all registered course credits and an anticipated credit for the estimated tuition offset for courses within the School’s credit cap. 
 

StatementProduction DateEmail DatePayment Due Date
FIRST SUMMER I STATEMENTFri. May 7, 2021Mon. May 10, 2021Thurs. June 3, 2021
Second SUMMER I STATEMENTFri. June 4, 2021Mon. June 7, 2021Thurs. July 1, 2021
FIRST SUMMER II STATEMENT    Fri. July 2, 2021Mon. July 6, 2021Thurs. Aug. 12, 2021


Students may be eligible for tuition offset in the summer 2021 semester if:

  • 1. the student was enrolled full-time in both fall 2020 and spring 2021, and
  • 2. across fall 2020 and spring 2021, the student has earned fewer credits than the three-semester credit cap set by the student’s school, and
  • 3. the student is registered for credit-bearing courses for the summer semester, and
  • 4. the student does not have a financial hold on their student account.


Courses that fall within the credit cap may be taken at no additional cost (except for any supplementary course or mandatory term fees). Students who exceed the credit cap through summer course work will be responsible for paying for any course credits and fees above their school’s credit cap at their School’s per credit rate. 


After the last day to drop a course (refer to deadline dates below), a tuition offset will post on the student account for any course credits that fall within the credit cap. 


Note that the tuition offset will not be greater than the billed tuition for the summer term. Any amount exceeding the offset based on the credit cap must be paid by the student or authorized payer by the payment due date.

 

SessionDateEstimated Date of Tuition Offset reflected on the student account
Deadline to Drop Summer A CoursesMonday, May 17, 2021Monday, June 21, 2021
Deadline to Drop Summer B CourseMonday, July 12, 2021Monday, July 19, 2021

 

Payment Procedures

Students may opt for one of several payment methods. For available options, please visit sfs.columbia.edu/ways-to-pay.

For information about financial aid, please refer to your school's financial aid office

For any other information about payments, including e-billing information, contact the Student Service Center.


Student Service Center

210 Kent Hall

1140 Amsterdam Avenue, Mail Code 9202

New York, NY 10027

212-854-4400

[email protected]

ssc.columbia.edu

 

Dropping Courses

Refund Policy When Dropping Individual Courses


In any given semester, the University refunds the tuition of any course a student drops officially during the Change of Program period. There is no refund of tuition for courses dropped after that unless a student withdraws completely from the University—that is, drops all of the courses for which he or she is registered. In addition, any tuition offsets that were applied will also be adjusted.


Where applicable, fees such as the Health Service fee, the Student Medical Insurance Plan premium, the document fee, the University Services and Support fee, and late fees are not refundable, though certain fees may be adjusted if the student's enrollment status changes from full-time to part-time. Course fees (i.e., lab fees) for courses dropped during the change-of-program period are refunded in full. 


Important: Failure to attend classes or notification submitted only to the instructor does not constitute dropping a course and will result in a mark of UW or W (unofficial withdrawal for School of Engineering and School of the Arts OR a withdrawal for Columbia College) for the course and full tuition will be charged. Refer to your individual school for guidance on withdrawal policies.


Withdrawing students who drop all courses for which they are registered are charged a $75 withdrawal fee.


 

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.

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 if the student withdraws completely. The tuition offset, if any, will also be adjusted based on the withdrawal schedule below. 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 University 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. Refer to your individual school for guidance on withdrawal policies.

 

Fee Refunds

Fees such as the student activities fee, University Services and Support 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 their school’s financial aid office 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.

 

How to Withdraw

A student may withdraw at any time during the term, up until the last day of classes (see Calendar), in accordance with their school’s withdrawal policies, by consulting with the appropriate dean of students or advising dean.

 

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 those who will receive an automatic refund and do not have direct deposit set up, the student may log into Student Services Online (SSOL) to see where the refund check will be mailed.


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.


The refund schedule for summer 2021 can be found here.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the “third term”?

The University Calendar for Academic Year 2020-2021 for undergraduate students at Columbia College and the School of Engineering and for School of the Arts students comprises three semesters of equal length (fall 2020, spring 2021, and summer 2021) to control density, enhance pedagogical flexibility across different schools and programs, and ensure that students’ plans for their education can best proceed. 
Summer 2021 is referred to as the “third term” of the 2020-2021 academic year for eligible students.  
Students are not required to enroll in summer 2021 but may wish to spread their academic-year coursework over the three semesters. 
Courses taken in summer 2021 that are within each school’s credit cap (see Question 4) will not incur any additional tuition charges, except for any supplementary course or mandatory term fees.

Students may register across all summer sessions (i.e., sessions A, B, and X).

2. What is the tuition benefit for enrolling in courses in the third term?

The academic year tuition that was billed in fall 2020 and spring 2021 covers a credit cap of up to:

 

  • 1. 40 credits for Columbia College and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (undergraduates) taken over the fall 2020, spring 2021, and summer 2021 semesters, or
  • 2. 36 credits for School of the Arts taken over the fall 2020, spring 2021, and summer 2021 semesters.

For Barnard College students please refer to the Barnard policy here.

Courses that fall within the credit cap may be taken at no additional cost (except for any supplementary course or mandatory term fees). Students who exceed the credit cap through summer course work will be responsible for paying for any course credits above their school’s credit cap at their School’s credit rate. 

Students may register across all summer sessions (i.e., sessions A, B, and X).

Please see questions 4 and 5 below for an explanation of credit caps and examples of the tuition impact.

3. What are the eligibility requirements for the third term tuition benefit?

Columbia College and School of Engineering undergraduate students and School of the Arts students may be eligible for a tuition offset in the summer 2021 semester if:

 

  • 1. the student was enrolled full-time in both fall 2020 and spring 2021, and
  • 2. the student across fall 2020 and spring 2021, the student has earned fewer credits than the three-semester credit cap set by the student’s school, 
  • 3. the student is registered for credit-bearing courses for the summer semester, and
  • 4. the student does not have a financial hold on their student account.
  • 5. School of the Arts students who have reached the credit cap are also eligible to use the third term to take certain core courses over the summer as stipulated by the program. School of the Arts students should consult with their advisor to determine whether the core course is eligible for a tuition credit.

4. What is a credit cap, and what is the cap for each participating school?

The academic year tuition that was billed in fall 2020 and spring 2021 covers a credit cap of up to:

 

  • 1. 40 credits for Columbia College and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (undergraduates) taken over the fall 2020, spring 2021, and summer 2021 semesters, or
  • 2. 36 credits for School of the Arts taken over the fall 2020, spring 2021, and summer 2021 semesters.


For Barnard College students please refer to the Barnard policy here.

For eligible students, summer 2021 courses taken that fall within their School’s academic year credit cap will be tuition-free (except for any supplementary course or mandatory term fees).

5. What are the tuition expenses for the third term?

Courses that fall within the credit cap may be taken at no additional cost (except for any supplementary course or term fees). Students who exceed the credit cap through summer course work will be responsible for paying for any course credits above their school’s credit cap at their School’s credit rate and any supplementary course or mandatory term fees. 


Examples of third term tuition scenarios:

Columbia College student John has earned 33 credits across fall 2020 and spring 2021.  John takes an additional 6 credits in summer 2021, bringing him to a total of 39 credits in the academic year.  Because the 39 credits are within Columbia College’s credit cap of 40, John will receive a tuition offset for 6 credits and will owe no tuition for the courses. John is responsible for any supplementary course or mandatory term fees.

School of Engineering undergraduate student Laila has earned 36 credits across fall 2020 and spring 2021.  Laila takes an additional 9 credits in summer 2021, bringing her to a total of 45 credits. For the 4 credits that are within the School of Engineering’s cap of 40, Laila will receive a tuition credit.  For the 5 credits that exceed the cap, Laila will pay normal tuition of her school’s credit rate and any supplementary course or mandatory term fees.

School of the Arts student Ricardo has taken 30 credits as a full-time student across fall 2020 and spring 2021.  Ricardo will receive a tuition offset for up to 6 additional credits in summer 2021, up to the School’s cap of 36. Ricardo is responsible for any supplementary course or mandatory term fees.

School of Arts student Wynne has earned 34 credits across fall 2020 and spring 2021.  Wynne takes an additional 6 credits in summer 2021, bringing her to a total of 40 credits.   For the 2 credits that are within the School of Art’s cap of 36, Wynne will receive a tuition credit.  For the 4 credits that exceed the cap, Wynne will pay normal tuition of her school’s credit rate and any supplementary course or mandatory term fees.

6. What fees will apply to the third term?

University Services and Support Fee: Fee will apply based on your registration status (full-time vs part-time).  Refer to SFS site for fee amount.

SPS Technology Fee of $35

For classes that include a course-specific fee for materials, etc., the course fees will apply.  

International Services Charge - Foreign national students enrolled at Columbia University, except those students in the American Language Program or students registered through the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement, will be charged an International Services Charge each term. This fee supports the University’s services to international students.

Late registration and withdrawal fees will apply, where applicable.

Other fees as applicable. Please refer to the SFS website here.

7. Are there any special eligibility requirements?

As described above, undergraduate students at Columbia College and the School of Engineering, and students at the School of the Arts, are eligible for a tuition credit in the third term if:

  • They were full-time students in fall 2020 and spring 2021
  • Their total earned credits across the two terms are below their School’s credit cap

8. Is there a special registration process?


There is no special registration process; registration will work as it normally does in any summer term, through SSOL. Students are encouraged to speak with their academic adviser before they register.

9. Will I be able to register for the third term if I have an outstanding balance on my bill from a previous term(s)?

All registration holds, including an account balance hold, must be cleared before you are eligible to register for the third term.

10. How can I take advantage of my “free” courses this summer?

Based on your total earned credits in fall 2020 and spring 2021, determine how many credits you have remaining within your School’s credit cap.  You may wish to confirm the number with your advisor before making any registration decisions.

You may register for any number of credits up to your School’s term limit, and you may decide to exceed the credit cap.  For example, you may be eligible for 6 “free” credits within the credit cap, but decide to take 9 credits over the summer term.   In this example, for the 6 credits that fall within the credit cap, you will receive a tuition offset and no tuition will be due.  You will be responsible for tuition charges for the 3 credits that exceed the credit cap and any supplementary course or mandatory term fees.

11. What is the summer billing process? When is my summer bill due?

Please see the latest billing statement and due date schedule below.  

Qualifying students who take summer credits within their School’s credit cap will receive a tuition credit to offset course tuition.  Qualifying students who exceed their School’s credit cap will receive a tuition offset up to the cap, and will pay for each credit beyond the cap based on your School’s credit rate.

Preliminary billing statement schedule:

StatementProduction DateEmail DatePayment Due Date
FIRST SUMMER I STATEMENTFri. May 7, 2021 Mon. May 10, 2021Thurs. June 3, 2021
SECOND SUMMER I STATEMENTFri. June 4, 2021Mon. June 7, 2021Thurs. July 1, 2021
FIRST SUMMER II STATEMENTFri. July 2, 2021Mon. July 6, 2021Thurs. Aug. 12, 2021

Students who are registered for the summer term will receive a bill based on the above billing cycle. The first statement bill will assess full tuition for all registered course credits and will include an anticipated tuition offset based on your enrollment within your School’s credit cap.
After the last day to drop a course (refer to deadline dates below), a revised tuition offset will post for any course credits that fall within the credit cap. 
Note that the tuition offset will not be greater than the billed tuition for the summer term. Any amount exceeding the offset must be paid by the student or authorized payer by the payment due date.

SessionDateEstimated Date of Tuition Offset reflected on the student account
Deadline to Drop Summer A Courses Monday, May 17, 2021Monday, June 21, 2021
Deadline to Drop Summer B Course Monday, July 12, 2021Monday, July 19, 2021


If you have a dispute regarding the tuition offset, please consult with your School advisor.  
 

12. What is a tuition offset?

Tuition offset represents the credit that will be applied to your bill associated with your summer courses that fall within the credit cap for your school.  

13. I got my bill, why am I being charged tuition and fees?

Students who are registered for the summer term will receive a bill based on the above billing cycle in question 11. The first statement bill will assess full tuition for all registered course credits  and will include an anticipated tuition offset based on your enrollment within your School’s credit cap.

After the last day to drop a course (refer to deadline dates in question 11), a revised tuition offset will post for any course credits that fall within the credit cap. Note that the tuition offset will not be greater than the billed tuition for the summer term. Any amount exceeding the offset based on credit cap must be paid by the student or authorized payer by the payment due date.

Students who exceed the credit cap through summer course work will be responsible for paying for any course credits above their school’s credit cap at their School’s credit rate and any supplementary course or mandatory term fees. 
 

14. What if I withdraw from a class?

Depending on the timing of your withdrawal from the class, you may receive a full, partial, or no refund on tuition, and fees may be adjusted.  

The refund schedule for summer 2021 can be found here.  

If you have already received a tuition offset for the course, the offset will be adjusted to reflect the withdrawal.
 

16. Who do I go to with questions about registration?

For academic advising and registration advising, please contact your academic advisor for your school.

17. Who do I go to with questions about my bill or finacial aid?

For questions about your bill, contact the Student Service Center at [email protected].

For questions about financial aid, please refer to your school's financial aid office

18. Who do I go to with questions about my tuition offset or the number of credits I am eligible to take for free during the summer term?

For questions about the number of credits you are eligible for below your School’s credit cap, please contact your School advisor.

19. May I register for summer 2021 courses if I don’t qualify for the third term tuition benefit?

Yes, all students may register for summer 2021 courses.  If you don’t qualify for the third term tuition benefit you will be billed at your School’s per credit rate, and normal fees will apply. Students are encouraged to speak with their academic adviser before they register.

20. Is the “third term” tuition benefit applicable to summer 2022?

The third term tuition benefit was designed to provide additional flexibility to students during the pandemic and to enable reduced classroom and campus density for the academic year 2020 - 2021.  We do not currently expect the third term structure or tuition benefit to apply to summer 2022.