Student Account Refunds

Student Account Refunds

Refunds Defined

Student account refunds can occur when financial aid disbursements and/or personal payments exceed your cost of tuition and fees. When this occurs, students are entitled to a refund of that credit balance. Students can determine if such a credit exists and if they are eligible for a student account refund by reviewing the account detail section of their student account in SSOL.

Note: Anticipated Activity (i.e. pending Pell Grant Disbursement, etc.) listed on your student account detail will not count towards a refund. 

Refund Requests

All student account refund requests must be reviewed by the GS Office of Educational Financing. This is necessary to ensure that all financial aid is correct based on the enrollment of the student with the credit balance. If a refund were to be released before required adjustments were in place a student could very likely have a balance due to the school. Therefore even if a student were to request a refund through SSOL, GS must review each request.

While SSOL indicates a process for requesting the balance to be refunded, students should request the refund online at by filling out a Student Account Refund Request

While the online request is the preferred way for a student to request a refund students may request a refund by visiting 408 Lewisohn Hall, by calling (212) 854-5410, or emailing gs_financial_aid@columbia.edu.

Refund requests through SSOL might not be quickly forwarded to the GS Office of Educational Financing. Students are encouraged to follow the above instructions to assure timely processing of their student account refund requests.

Note: Students are not required to request a refund of a student account credits and may decide to leave the credit on their student accounts.

Federal Student Aid Credit Balance (also known as Title IV refunds)

In certain circumstances when total federal financial aid (known at Title IV aid) exceeds tuition and fees (also known as allowable charges), the excess funds must be returned to the student even if the student does not request a student account refund. Students will be notified by Columbia University Student Financial Services when such a student account refund occurs.

Direct Deposit

Students are encouraged to have direct deposit as this avoids a paper check process, which builds in a lag time for receiving a refund. Students can register for direct deposit for student account refunds in SSOL.