Pay by Mail

We encourage students and authorized payers to use one of our preferred methods of payment—online ACH payments or wire transfers. However, if circumstances prevent the use of online or wire transfer payments, then the university will accept checks or money orders made payable to Columbia University in U.S. dollars and drawn on U.S. bank accounts.

Please review the conditions below before attempting to make a payment with paper check or money order. 


Print and include the billing statement stub with your check or money order, or write the student’s name and their Columbia University personal identification number (a nine-digit number) on the check or money order. Failure to provide this identifying information will delay payment processing.

Processing Personal Checks and Money Orders

All physical payments mailed to Columbia University, i.e., checks and money orders, are directed to an off-site processing center. Our mail center cannot accept materials that require a signature of receipt. If you request this service, your payment will not be delivered. 

In order to avoid late payment charges, payments by mail must be received—not postmarked—by the due date. Be advised, mailed personal checks or money orders may take 10–12 business days to process and appear in a student's account. Please ensure all personal checks and money orders are signed where appropriate. Missing signatures will result in delayed processing.

Special Processing for Other Payments

Mailed scholarship payments, 529 payments, and payments from private loans may take longer than 10–12 business days.

If you are due to receive an external, third-party scholarship, double-check the fine print of the award to learn how payment is remitted to a university. Many scholarships choose to mail a paper check to the university, which may take more time than expected. 

If an expected scholarship, 529, or loan payment has not appeared on your billing statement after several weeks into a semester, you should reach out to the managers of that scholarship, savings plan, or loan to learn more. Columbia University is not responsible for contacting external, third-party paying organizations on behalf of students.

Address for Mailed Payments

Columbia University
Student Account Payments
P.O. Box 1385
New York, NY 10008-1385