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Our Path Forward: FAQs for 2020-2021

The following FAQs have been updated with new information about summer term.

For more information regarding the required twice-weekly testing for undergraduates accessing campus, please refer to our testing website.

Summer 2021

Housing

If I enroll in less than 6 credits, am I eligible for summer housing?

Students who take less than 6 credits will not be eligible for priority housing. However, if space permits, Columbia Housing may be able to offer summer housing to students who are not registered full-time and/or have an on-campus job or research opportunity. Students interested in signing up for a waitlist should complete the Summer Housing Waitlist Form. If space becomes available, students will be contacted at a later date.

If I enroll for 6 credits this summer, I will exceed the 40 credit cap. Does this mean that I will not be eligible for summer housing?

Students who enroll in more than 40 credits total should still complete the Summer Housing form and provide details of their academic or personal circumstances.

I am currently living on campus in the spring term. If I am approved for summer housing, will I be required to move?

Yes. Students currently living on campus during the spring term who are approved for summer housing will be assigned a new room for summer term. Students will not remain in their current room assignment.

I am participating in a Columbia-sponsored scholars program that provides summer housing. Should I apply for summer housing?

Scholars should also complete the Summer Housing Request Form, noting their engagement in a scholars program. Scholar program status will be confirmed prior to summer housing approval.

I have secured an on-campus job or research opportunity. Can I apply for summer housing?

Priority housing will be for students who are enrolled full-time in summer courses. Columbia Housing may be able to offer summer housing to students who are not registered full-time and/or have an on-campus job or research opportunity. Students interested in signing up for a waitlist should complete the Summer Housing Waitlist Form. If space becomes available, students will be contacted at a later date.

If I plan to do an internship in New York City, can I apply for summer housing if there is space?

Due to public health guidelines that require density limits for on-campus housing, we are not able to provide housing for students who are not engaged in courses or an on-campus opportunity this summer.

I do not have guaranteed housing but would like to enroll in summer courses. Can I apply for summer housing if there is space?

Unfortunately, due to the public health guidelines that require density limits for on-campus housing, summer housing this year will only be open to students with guaranteed housing status.

What will be the move-in and move-out dates for Summer A and Summer B enrollees who are approved for summer housing?

Dates for summer housing can be found on Columbia Housing’s website.

If I enroll full-time in Summer A with 6 credits, can I stay in summer housing even if I do not enroll in Summer B?

No, students may only live in on-campus housing for the duration of their enrollment in summer coursework

How much will summer housing cost?

Rates for summer housing can be found on Columbia Housing’s website.

Financial Aid

If I enroll for less than 6 credits, will I be eligible for summer financial aid?

As in Fall and Spring terms, Columbia University grants are only available for eligible students who are enrolled full-time. Full-time status in the summer requires at least 6 credits per summer session.

Will there be any financial support for students on aid who enroll in summer courses but are not living on campus?

For students eligible for aid who are enrolled full-time (at least 6 credits) but living off-campus, there will be an opportunity to apply for a special grant to support expenses during this unique summer. More information will be provided soon.

For students who qualify for financial aid, what will summer financial aid cover?

For students who are eligible for financial aid, living on-campus and are enrolled full-time (at least 6 credits), your on-campus housing and dining costs will be included in your cost of attendance which will be used to determine your financial aid award. More details will be shared directly from the Financial Aid office shortly.

Will there be any summer earnings grant or waiver?

Columbia is assessing the possibility of offering a special grant process to address summer work expectations. A decision will be announced soon.

Academics

What is the academic calendar for this year?

The 2020-2021 academic calendar can be viewed on the Columbia College bulletin.

What will students have access to in the summer term?

Summer term is an official part of the 2020-2021 academic year, but it is still optional for students (i.e., students are not required to enroll in Summer 2021) and the policies that usually apply to summer terms in any year — which are different from those policies that apply to Fall and Spring semesters — will apply this year as well. While students can take as few summer credits as they like, students can earn a maximum of 8 points of credit in Summer A and a maximum of 8 points of credit in Summer B, for a maximum of 16 points of summer credit in Summer.

Students enrolled in fall and spring terms, may enroll in summer term coursework at Columbia for tuition-free credits for the amount of credits that bring the student to 40 points of credit for the academic year. For example, if a student completes 13 credits in fall and 16 credits in spring, that student would be eligible to take up to 11 credits of summer coursework tuition-free to reach the 40 credits covered in the year’s tuition. Students may exceed 40 credits for the year through Summer coursework, but will be charged tuition for each point of credit beyond the year’s maximum total of 40 points.

These policies for summer term apply to seniors who are graduating in 2021, as well as to continuing students. There will be three degree conferral dates for seniors graduating in 2021, depending on their intent to take coursework in Summer 2021: May 2021, June 2021 or October 2021.

  • Students who apply for the May 2021 conferral date and complete all requirements by the end of spring term are not eligible for summer term courses.

  • Students who apply for the June 2021 conferral date are eligible for courses in Summer A only, whether or not they have completed all degree requirements by the end of spring term. They must complete all degree requirements by the end of Summer A.

  • Students who apply for the October 2021 conferral date are eligible for Summer A and Summer B and Summer (full) courses, whether or not they have completed all degree requirements by the end of Spring 2021 or by the end of Summer A. They must complete all degree requirements by the end of Summer B.

  • Graduating students who are international students will have special considerations due to their F-1 visa status, and they should consult their advising deans about opportunities for summer study.

  • Seniors are subject to all others policies regarding Summer coursework noted above.

Financial

How do I know if I have a Work-Study allocation?

Review your most recent Financial Aid eligibility letter. If it doesn’t list Federal Work-Study, you can reach out to the Financial Aid and Educational Financing office to see if you can be awarded Federal Work-Study by emailing ugrad-finaid@columbia.edu.

Can I appeal to get a federal Work-Study allocation?

Eligibility requirements for Federal Work-Study are set by the U.S. Department of Education. However, you can reach out to the Financial Aid and Educational Financing office at ugrad-finaid@columbia.edu to see if there may be a possibility of becoming eligible.

If I accept a Columbia casual student job will that impact my financial aid grant?

No, any earnings from casual employment do not affect your financial aid package.

My family’s financial situation has changed. Can I still apply for financial aid?

If your family’s financial situation has changed significantly from what was originally reported in your application materials, please follow the steps below:

  • If you have already received your eligibility letter for 2020-2021, please submit a financial aid appeal. Instructions for financial aid appeal are available.

  • If you have not received your eligibility letter for 2020-2021, you can submit your financial aid appeal after you receive your initial eligibility letter.

Dining

What type of dining services will remain in place for students approved to remain on campus?

Columbia Dining will continue to be open, with appropriate health and safety considerations. Dining plans remain available

Campus Access and Services

Will students have any access to campus facilities?

Six libraries are now open. Library spaces are available to students and faculty by reservation only. Seats in the study space must be reserved in advance, and students must follow all Covid-related health protocols. Books and other library materials that are available to check out will be available through the Libraries’ “pick-up service.” Library Status Updates are available on the Libraries website.

Dodge Fitness Center will remain closed until further notice.

Lerner Hall will be open from 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. during the week and is closed on weekends during the summer.

Where can I go for in-person support for undergraduate programs and services?

College or Engineering students who are on or near campus can visit the undergraduate student hub for time-sensitive, in-person support. You can stop by 403 Lerner Hall, Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Can students who are living off-campus nearby still enter campus?

All students who plan to access campus, whether living in campus residence halls or off campus, must complete all training and testing and must abide by public health protocols relative to the COVID-19 response of the University, which are outlined on the University’s COVID-19 Resource Guide for the Columbia Community. Only students who have met these requirements will have swipe access to campus facilities.

Buildings will be secured (i.e., locked) and available only by swipe access. Access to residential halls by students will be limited only to the residence hall to which a student is assigned to live. Students should have swipe access to the other buildings on campus that they can typically enter during the year, although some buildings may have limited hours in the spring term.

Many Paw Print stations will be open to students and will employ contactless stations; when students swipe their ID/badge at the station, all print jobs associated with their unis will then automatically be sent to a printer.

Will students on Columbia Health Insurance have the same coverage even while remote?

For the 2020-2021 academic year (August 15, 2020 - August 14, 2021), Columbia University is offering The Columbia Plan to meet students’ health-related needs beyond the on-campus services offered by Columbia Health. The Columbia Plan includes benefits for medical and mental health conditions including but not limited to chiropractic care, prescriptions, travel abroad benefits and more. The Columbia Plan is a worldwide plan providing access to coverage throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Health and Safety Protocols

Is the Columbia Community Health Compact still in effect for summer term?

Columbia will still uphold and enforce the Community Health Compact for any Columbia affiliate who interacts with campus, including the limited number of students who will be in Columbia Housing as well as any students who may access campus while living elsewhere.

Have the health and testing protocols changed for the limited students who will be in residence or for those off-campus who may access campus on occasion?

Columbia will continue to conduct symptom attestation for those accessing campus and testing plans for those in residence will continue as recently communicated.

Students living on or accessing campus are required to get tested twice a week. Failure to comply may result in loss of access to campus housing. Please visit our testing website for more detailed information.