Bills & Payments: For Parents

On This Page:

Family Education Rights and Privacy  |  Tuition and Bills  |  Contact and Emergency Information

Photo courtesy of CU GSAS

A Checklist For Parents


The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

  1. Review FERPA

Our interactions with students and families with respect to sharing information are guided by our core belief that students are independent and developmentally mature young adults. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) also regulates our interactions with students and families.

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Tuition and Bills

  1. Consider tuition refund insurance.

Offered by A.W.G. Dewar, Inc., this elective insurance plan provides coverage for tuition, room and board should a student suffer a serious illness or accident and withdraw from classes before the semester is completed. Read details about the plan.

  1. Review student account and bill payment information with the student.

Student Account Basics and Paying Your Bill explain the student account, how and when students will be billed, and how to settle any balances. Payment is due in full by each due date unless the student is fully sponsored through participation in our third-party billing program or enrolled in a payment plan.

  1. Remind the student to set up an authorized payer.

Until a student sets his or her parent up as an Authorized Payer, the parent will not be able to review the account information or monthly E-Bill. Students should follow these instructions to authorize a parent or another family member to pay.

  1. Review payment options with the student.

Columbia bills students for tuition, fees, and other charges at the beginning of each term. The student account statement, known as the E-Bill, is accessible online to Authorized Payers through the secure E-Billing website. The University does not mail paper bills and strongly prefers that payments be made online.

You can access your statement any time using the secure E-Billing website.


Screen shot of Columbia E-Billing Login

(click or tap to zoom)


For payments drawn on foreign banks, the University recommends a wire transfer as the most efficient method of payment.

For additional payment methods, visit Other Ways to Pay.

  1. Remind student to sign up for direct deposit.

The University's preferred method of refund distribution is through direct deposit, the fastest and most convenient way to receive a refund. Students should log into Student Services Online (SSOL) and click on "Direct Deposit" to set up transfer of funds to a U.S. checking or savings account.

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Contact and Emergency Information

  1. Remind student to update local mailing address through Student Services Online (SSOL) - IMPORTANT
  2. Remind student to provide an emergency contact through Student Services Online (SSOL)

The University will not permit the release of a student’s educational records without the written consent of the student, as mandated by FERPA, except in certain situations, such as when requested through judicial order or in connection with an emergency. It is very important that the student update his or her emergency contact on file. Parents should also use the University Preparedness site.

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