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Withdrawal and Refund Policy

Registration and Refund Deadlines

Click the terms below to view the change of program dates, pass/fail, and drop deadlines.

Dropping an individual course after the change of program period

There is no refund of tuition for individual courses dropped after the last day of the change-of-program period. If you wish to drop a course during this timeframe, you must complete an add/drop form.

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 (Unofficial Withdrawal) for the course and full tuition will be charged.

Financial Considerations

Withdrawal Fee

Students who drop their entire academic program during and after the change of program period will be charged a $75 withdrawal fee. The $75 withdrawal fee is not applied to students withdrawing prior to the start of each session.

Tuition Refunds

Tuition for courses dropped during the change-of-program period is refunded in full (minus the nonrefundable deposit). After the last day of the change-of-program period, refunds are granted only when students withdraw by dropping all of their courses in a given session. When a student withdraws from all of their courses after the change-of-program period, the University retains a percentage of the remaining tuition fees (as indicated in the withdrawal schedules below) for each week, or part of a week, that the student remains registered. See the calendars for the change-of-program periods for each session.

Any adjustment of the tuition fees that the student has paid or still owes is reckoned from the date on which the Advisor of Pre-College Programs 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 and may result in the student receiving a grade of UW.

Fee Refunds 

Fees such as the Health Service fee, the 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 is not refundable after classes have begun. The application fee is not refundable.

Withdrawal Statement on Transcript

A statement will be added to your transcript indicating that you have withdrawn from the University if the withdrawal occurs after the change of program period. Please contact the University Registrar’s Office at registrar [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu for additional information regarding withdrawal statements for your student category.

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 session up until the last day of classes (see the calendars), by doing the following:

  1. Contacting collegeedge [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu if the withdrawal is taking place before classes have begun. The Advisor of Pre-College Programs will provide the student with detailed instructions on the withdrawal procedures.
  2. Coming in person to 203 Lewisohn and notifying the Advisor of Pre-College Programs. The Advisor will provide the student with detailed withdrawal procedures.

Tuition Refunds

Students must elect to participate to receive automatic refunds. Default participation status depends on a student’s school. To opt into or out of automatic refunds, a student should log in to Student Services Online (SSOL) and select “Refunds” from the menu and follow the instructions.

The University’s preferred method of refund distribution is through direct deposit. Students can log into SSOL and click on "Direct Deposit" to set up transfer of funds to a U.S. checking or savings account. Click here for more guidance on how to do this. Refund checks for students who have not signed up for direct deposit are sent to the student’s local address.

To check their student account balance, students can log into Student Services Online (SSOL) and click on “Account Detail and E-Billing” and then “View Student Account Detail.” If there is a valid credit on the account that is not based on anticipated credits, the refund will generally be processed within 48 hours of the credit appearing. If the credit is based on anticipated credits for financial aid, scholarships, or the payment plan, a refund will not be processed until the funds have actually arrived and been posted to the student account.

For additional details regarding refunds please see Policy on Student Account Credit Balances and Refunds.

Withdrawals and Tuition Refund Policy

Students who wish to drop all of their classes in a session are considered to be withdrawing from that session. If a student withdraws from a session before courses begin they are eligible for a full tuition refund, minus the nonrefundable deposit. Please review the link below for additional information on the withdrawal process and refund policies for those students that withdraw after courses begin.

The University uses the term withdraw to formally indicate that a student has dropped or will drop all courses for a given term. Withdrawing from the university differs from dropping one or several classes within a given term, because as long as a student retains at least one class, he or she is still considered to be registered for that term.

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


Refund Schedule for Courses That Are Less Than Four Weeks

In order to receive a full tuition refund, students must notify the Advisor of Pre-College Programs of their intention to withdraw by 4:00 p.m. on the day of the second class meeting. Students who withdraw after the second class meeting are not eligible for a refund and will be responsible for full tuition and fees.

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 (Unofficial Withdrawal) for the course and full tuition will be charged.