Student Account Refunds

A student may request an account refund when financial aid disbursements and/or personal payments exceed the cost of tuition and fees.

Students may begin requesting account refunds as early as the first day of classes, which is when most financial aid for the semester will begin disbursement if all requirements have been met. The refund will be based on enrollment at the time of the request and will be limited to $5,000 or less depending on the actual credit on the student account. If there is a remaining credit on the account after this initial refund, an additional request may be submitted after the Change of Program Period has ended.

Students may determine if a credit exists on their account, and whether they are eligible for a student account refund, by reviewing the account detail section of their student account in SSOL. Students are not required to request a refund, and may instead decide to leave the credit on their student account.

All refund requests must be reviewed by the GS Office of Educational Financing, to ensure that a student's financial aid is correct based on enrollment.

If you believe you are eligible for a refund, please submit your request by logging into the Student Success Portal and visiting the "Forms" tab. If you have an account credit, the Student Account Refund form will be accessible for you to complete.

Do not submit your request via SSOL, as this may delay processing.

Students are encouraged to set up direct deposit in SSOL as this avoids a paper check process, and funds will be received more quickly. Note: Direct deposit can only be set up using a U.S. bank account. Additionally, the University cannot mail refund checks internationally.

Note: Anticipated activity (e.g., pending Pell Grant disbursement, etc.) listed on a student’s account detail does not count towards a refund.

If you are living in Columbia Residential, your rent will be charged to your student account in SSOL on a monthly basis. If you request a full refund of the credit balance on your account, you will need to make a rent payment each month to SSOL as your rent is billed throughout the semester.

In certain circumstances when total federal financial aid (Title IV aid) exceeds tuition and fees (also known as "allowable charges"), the excess funds must be returned to the student even if the student does not request a refund. When this occurs, the student will be notified by Columbia University Student Financial Services.

Please login to the Student Success Portal and visit the "Forms" tab to request an account refund. If you have an account credit, the Student Account Refund form will be accessible for you to complete.