SIPA, like most schools at Columbia, has its own Financial Aid Office to assist our students. However, the office responsible for posting charges on student accounts, billing, collecting payments and issuing refunds or stipends, is Student Financial Services (SFS), a centralized office serving the entire University. At many colleges, this is known as the Bursar’s Office. SIPA’s Financial Aid Office does not send you your tuition bills, collect payments, or the other procedures mentioned above.
The SFS website can be found at http://sfs.columbia.edu/.
Some important information related to your bill and your student account:
- SFS will send an email to your Columbia email address (your UNI) on or about August 12 with a link to a preliminary bill, which must be paid in full by September 13.
- Accounts not paid in full by the due date are subject to late fees, which are assessed monthly.
- Interest-free monthly payment plans are available.
- Financial aid that has been fully processed is credited to your account. Please respond to all requests for documentation from the Financial Aid Office promptly, as failure to do so will prevent your aid from being credited to your account.
- The state of New York requires all full-time students to have health insurance. Your bill will include a charge for health insurance, which can be waived if you have equivalent coverage. From the link above, click on “Health Insurance Waiver.”
- If your aid in any semester exceeds your tuition and fees, you will receive a refund of that credit balance approximately one to two weeks into the semester. Please plan your non-tuition expenses (rent, food, transportation, etc) accordingly. If your aid package includes a stipend, the timing is similar to that of credit balance refunds.
- You can receive refunds or stipend payments for which you qualify by direct deposit (recommended, otherwise you’ll receive them by a hard copy check through the mail); go to Student Services Online (SSOL) at https://ssol.columbia.edu/ to set this up. This is currently only available to US citizens and permanent residents, but should be available for international students by the middle of the fall 2013 semester.
- SFS accepts electronic checks for payment via SSOL, but does not accept credit cards.
- If your bill is being paid by a sponsor or third party, please see http://sfs.columbia.edu/billing/sponsored-students for important instructions.
See SFS’s website for mailing addresses if you are paying by mail.