Fees and Expenses

Fees and Expenses

Estimated Expenses for the Academic Year

An itemized estimate of the cost of attending Columbia College for the 2013–2014 academic year of nine months is as follows:




Mandatory Fees

$  2,292

Average Room and Board Cost


Books and Personal Expenses

$  3,028




$64,144 + Travel

There is an additional charge of $416 for new students who are required to attend Orientation.

Information on planning and managing educational expenses is contained at


The following fees, prescribed by statute for each fall or spring term, are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the Trustees. The fees shown are those in effect during the 2013–2014 academic year.

University charges such as tuition and fees, residence halls, and dining plans are due and payable in full by the date announced before the beginning of each term. To check on an account balance, log in to Student Services Online (SSOL) or call 212-854-4400. A late payment penalty is assessed on payments received after the due date.

It is the policy of the University to withhold all University services including registration, diplomas, and official transcripts until all financial obligations have been met.

Tuition 2013–2014

There is a flat tuition charge for all Columbia College students, including visitors, regardless of the number of credits a student is taking. Students who are enrolled for eight terms must pay the flat tuition, regardless of the number of credits they are taking. The charge for 2013–2014 is $23,423 a term.

Postgraduate special students and degree candidates enrolled for a ninth term are billed according to the per-point system; the per-point cost is $1,564.

Late Registration Fee

Students who register after the scheduled period (see Academic Calendar) are charged a late registration fee of $100.

Mandatory Fees

Student Life Fee


Columbia Health Fee

$   858



Transcript Fee

All first-time registrants at Columbia University are charged a one-time fee of $105, which thereafter allows them to order transcripts without charge. This fee appears on the first Student Account Statement of the fall term.

International Services Charge

All students holding a non-resident visa are charged an international services charge of $50 each term, totaling $100 for academic year 2013-2014. This fee supports the University's services to international students.

Columbia Health Fee and Student Medical Insurance Premiums

Columbia Health Fee

Columbia Health services and programs are supported by the Columbia Health Fee. Students who pay the fee can access the on-campus services provided by the five departments of Columbia Health: Alice! Health Promotion, Counseling and Psychological Services, Disability Services, Medical Services, and Sexual Violence Response.

Students who pay the Columbia Heath Fee pay no additional charges for most on-campus services. Enrollment in Columbia Health is required for all full-time students. Half-time or part-time students may elect to pay the fee to have access to the full range of on-campus programs and services.

The Columbia Heath Fee is billed separately for each term. The periods of coverage and fees for 2013–2014 are as follows:

Fall Term: September 1, 2013–January 20, 2014


Spring Term: January 21, 2014–August 31, 2014


Student Medical Insurance Premiums

The University policy also requires all registered full-time students to have acceptable health insurance coverage in addition to on-campus programs and services provided by Columbia Health. Columbia University offers the Student Medical Insurance Plan (Columbia Plan), which provides both the Basic and Comprehensive Levels for off-campus health care. The Columbia Plan is administered and underwritten by Aetna Student Health. As with all health insurance programs, there are limits and restrictions to the coverge provided by the Columbia Plan. 

Full-time students are automatically enrolled in the Basic Level of the Columbia Plan and billed for the insurance premium as well as the Columbia Health Program Fee. Half-time and part-time students may elect enrollment in the Columbia Plan, which initiates enrollment in and payment for Columbia Health, described above.

Students who already have an alternate insurance plan may request a waiver from automatic enrollment through Student Services Online (SSOL) before the deadline (September 30 for Fall enrollment; February 1 for new Spring enrollment; or June 14 for Summer enrollment). All waiver requests are considered, but approval is not guaranteed.

The following rates are for the 2013–2014 plan year. Columbia Plan rates and benefits change annually.

Fall Term: September 1, 2013–January 20, 2014

Basic level

$   892

Comprehensive level



Spring Term and Summer Session: January 21, 2014–August 31, 2014

Basic level


Comprehensive level


Students who wish to enroll in the Columbia Plan should make an on-line enrollment selection on SSOL between June 25 and September 30 of each year.

Students who do not make a selection and drop below full-time status during the change of program period will have their Columbia Health Fee and Columbia Plan premiums automatically reversed.

For detailed information about the Columbia Health Program, the student insurance plan, or submitting a waiver request, visit or call 212-854-3286.

Withdrawal and Adjustment of Fees

Withdrawal is defined as the dropping of one’s entire program in a given term as opposed to dropping a portion of one’s program (see College and University Policies). Any student withdrawing from the College must notify the Center for Student Advising in writing; notification to instructors or failure to attend classes does not constitute a formal withdrawal and results in failing grades in all courses.

A student who withdraws is charged a withdrawal fee of $75. In addition, the Columbia Health Program fees, the Columbia Medical Insurance Plan premium, and all application fees, late fees, and other special fees are not refundable if the student withdraws after the first 30 days of classes, and any coverage remains in effect until the end of the term.

Any adjustment to the tuition that the student has paid is determined by the date of withdrawal. Students receiving financial aid are not entitled to any portion of a refund until all Title IV financial aid programs are credited and all outstanding charges have been paid.

Fall and Spring Term Tuition Refund Schedule

For the purposes of tuition proration, a week is defined as beginning on Monday and ending on Sunday. Also note that the official change of program period normally ends on a Friday.


Charge Assessed

No Registration


1st and 2nd week

Transcript fee for new students only, plus
$75 Withdrawal fee

3rd week

10% tuition, fees, plus $75 Withdrawal fee

4th week

20% tuition, fees, plus $75 Withdrawal fee

5th week

30% tuition, fees, plus $75 Withdrawal fee

6th week

40% tuition, fees, plus $75 Withdrawal fee

7th week

50% tuition, fees, plus $75 Withdrawal fee

8th week

60% tuition, fees, plus $75 Withdrawal fee

9th week and after

100% tuition, fees, plus $75 Withdrawal fee

There is no difference in the proration schedule of a school or program charging per point or flat rate tuition.