Refunds

Refunds are processed automatically, generally within 48 hours of a valid credit appearing on the Student Account. 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.

Please note: 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 SSOL and select "Refunds" from the menu and follow the instructions.

General Studies and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences students are not currently eligible for automatic refunds. These students should refer to the "Automatic Refund Options" page of Student Services Online.

Receiving a Refund

The University's preferred method of refund distribution is through direct deposit.  Direct deposit is the fastest and most convenient way to receive a refund. 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 verify this address, students should log in to SSOL and click on "Addresses."

Summer 2014 Term Participation Schedule for the Automatic Refund Process
School Disbursement Participation
Architecture - AC 6/4/14 6/4/14
Business - BU 5/27/14 5/28/14
Columbia College - CC 5/27/14 6/12/14
Engineering - EN 5/27/14 6/12/14
GradEngineering - EP 5/27/14 6/12/14
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences - GG/GF 5/27/14 Non-participating school. Request a refund at the Office of Financial Aid at GSAS
General Studies/Post Bach - GS/GN 5/27/14 Non-participating school. Request a refund at the Office of Financial Aid at GSAS
SIPA - IA 5/27/14 5/28/14
Journalism - JN 5/24/14 5/28/14
Continuing Education (Special Programs) - SP 5/27/14 6/13/14

Note Regarding Federal Financial Aid (Title IV)

If a credit balance is due to an excess of federal financial aid such as Pell, SEOG, Stafford and Perkins loans, the opt-out process described above does not apply. In accordance with federal law, all excess Title IV funds will be returned to the student within 14 days. If the student wants any excess Title IV aid to remain on the student account, the student must provide written authorization to the University. Please send an email to the Student Service Center clearly stating that any excess Title IV funding should remain on the student account. This request will be granted for any current or future Title IV excess at the time of the request and will be good for the remainder of the academic year in which the request was made. The authorization to retain Title IV funding on the student account is voluntary, and a student has the right to rescind the authorization at any time and request the credit balance be refunded.

Policy Statement and Further Information

For more information on refunds, please see the Policy on Student Account Credit Balances and Refunds, visit AskUs for answers to frequently asked questions, or email sfs@columbia.edu.