Policy and Procedure for Student Payments

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Policy: Payments to Students  |  Summer Stipends  |  The ARC Journal Common Questions

Policy and Procedure for Student Payments

Stipends are one of several types of payments to students. To help schools and departments identify payment types and process transactions appropriately, administrators must ensure they are familiar with the policy and procedures related to payments to students.

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Summer Stipends

Certain schools that award stipend funds during a term of non-enrollment, such as the summer terms, should also refer to and use the Summer Stipend Form.

To cancel a summer stipend, use the Summer Stipend Cancellation Form

Required Excel spreadsheet


For additional information about completing the form, watch the Summer Stipend Video Tutorial.



Video Tutorial.


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The ARC Journal

Effective July 1, 2019, the online ARC Journal Request Form will no longer be supported.  For all requests of departmental funding to be applied to a student’s account, please submit a request to the financial aid office of the student’s school.


Internal transfers: Used to allocate revenue and expenses from one valid chartstring to another and to execute fund transfers from one valid chartstring to another.

  • Example: A department allocates funds to students for student account fee payments. An internal transfer journal entry will be used for the allocation. The department’s account is debited, and the Student Financial Services’ dedicated account is credited.


For Departmental Administrators
  1. Complete the Excel spreadsheet to include all applicable information.
  2. Save the Excel file for your records. It will be helpful if the files are saved in the following format DDMMYY_School.
  3. Complete the online ARC Journal Request Form (link) and then upload and submit the completed Excel spreadsheet. Sign and submit the form for processing. Note: Adjustments are posted to students’ accounts (SIS) within 7-10 business days during non-peak periods. Processing times during peak period may vary. Journal entry requests are processed weekly (usually on Tuesday and Thursday).
  4. After successful submission, it is recommended that departments check student accounts for confirmation of processed adjustments.
For Financial Aid Offices

Financial Aid Office must review and confirm that the student is a financial aid recipient and has a record in the PowerFAIDS system. If not, the payment will be processed in Student Accounts via a batch post to the Student Information System (SIS) and a journal will be posted to the chartstring provided by the department.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I obtain a student’s PID or UNI?

The C-Number, also known as the Student ID number or PID, is a nine-digit identification number that is assigned to students upon admission to Columbia. The number, which is always preceded by the letter C, is used by the Registrar and other departments to keep track of enrollment and academic records. If you are a student and would like to find your C-Number, login to Student Services Online with your UNI and password, click on the “Academic Profile” link and then select “Show my name and personal data.” Departments issuing a stipend payment to a student may obtain the PID by contacting the school’s Admissions or Financial Aid Office.


What is a chartstring?

Combining a series of “chartfields” creates a “chartstring,” which is used to define, identify, categorize and sort a financial transaction. A chartstring is necessary for every procurement transaction and journal entry in ARC (Accounting and Reporting at Columbia). Please see your business office for the chartstring that should be used for your stipend payment transaction. Click this link for more information regarding chartstrings.


What is a SIS fund code?

The SIS fund or payment code is a four (4) byte code used in the Student Information System (SIS) for the purpose of mapping payments and charges to ARC (Accounting and Reporting at Columbia). Each stipend disbursement requires a SIS fund code. You may obtain an existing code by contacting your school’s Financial Aid Office.


What is a stipend payment?

Please see the Summer Stipend Instruction form for the definition of “stipend.”


Can the summer stipend process be used to pay non-Columbia students?

Stipend payments to non-Columbia students, including students attending University affiliates, should be paid through Accounts Payable for domestic students and the Payroll Office for international students.


What is an ARC Journal payment?

An ARC Journal Payment is an internal transfer used to allocate revenue and expenses from one valid chartstring to another and to execute fund transfers from one valid chartstring to another.


What happens if my chartstring is invalid?

If my chartstring is invalid the payment to the student account will not be processed until it has been resolved. This delays payment to the student account which could lead to holds and late fees. It is very important to validate your chartstrings and budget accounts.

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