Officers - College Tuition Scholarship

CTS Program graduates

The College Tuition Scholarship (CTS) is available to full-time faculty and other Officers of the University (includes Officers of Instruction, Administration, the Libraries and Research) and their eligible children. Employment status may affect eligibility. There is a four-year waiting period for the benefit.

 

Eligibility

  • You are a regular, full-time, salaried Officer of Instruction, Administration, the Libraries and Research; and
  • You or your spouse/same-sex domestic partner has a dependent child—a natural child, adopted child, or stepchild, or a child for whom one of you has legal guardianship—who is a candidate for an undergraduate degree at an accredited college or university other than Columbia or Barnard College; and
  • The dependent child is age 26 or under at the time they begin matriculation* for their undergraduate degree;

AND

  • You were hired, appointed or promoted to an Officer on or before July 1, 2011, and have not had a break in service of more than 31 days after July 1, 2011,

OR

  • You were hired, appointed or promoted to an Officer after July 1, 2011, or have had a break in service of more than 31 days after July 1, 2011, and have completed four years of full-time continuous service.

Officers Are Not Eligible If:

  • You are a Visiting Officer of Instruction or Research, Postdoctoral Research Fellow or Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow
     

*Matriculation refers to being officially accepted and enrolled in a degree program. This requires a commitment to the program at the time of admission and enrolling in the correct number of courses based on the rules of the program to remain in good academic standing.

Eligibility depends on an Officer’s hire date and years of service.

For Officers hired, rehired, appointedor promoted after July 1, 2011: You are eligible to receive a CTS for the next full term following completion of four years of continuous full-time service and meeting the other eligibility requirements as detailed above.

For Officers hired, rehired, appointed or promoted on or prior to July 1, 2011: You are eligible to receive a CTS for the next full term, without regard to a service requirement, after you meet the eligibility requirements as detailed above.

Note: To be eligible, dependent children must be age 26 or under at the time they begin matriculation for their undergraduate degree. After a child attains age 26, they must maintain matriculation status for the undergraduate degree started on or prior to age 26 to be eligible for CTS.

CTS Benefits

For eligible dependent children, a CTS benefit pays 50% of a student’s undergraduate tuition at accredited institutions outside of Columbia (up to an annually-defined limit of current year’s Columbia College tuition) for up to eight semesters. The child must matriculate into their degree program by the end of the month in which they turn age 26.

If an Officer’s child is registered for an undergraduate degree at an accredited college or university other than Columbia or Barnard College and takes a term to study abroad, the courses will be eligible for coverage under the CTS if another accredited Academic institution bills the tuition costs. The term will count toward the eight-semester limit of eligibility for the CTS, unless it is a Summer Term.  

The CTS program will cover a student for summer terms. This is in addition to the eight (8) semesters (or equivalent number of trimesters or quarters) already allotted, provided that the summer courses are taken after the dependent child has matriculated for the first semester of study and the summer courses are taken during those years in which the student is eligible for the eight semesters of fall or spring term CTS.

Summer Terms at Columbia

In addition to CTS, dependent children of Officers and their spouses or same-sex domestic partners may be eligible for Tuition Exemption as non-matriculated students in Columbia’s Summer Session. The child must provide written proof from their college or university on their institution’s letterhead that they are a student in good standing, and that the courses must be taken as part of his or her academic program.

The child may also receive Tuition Exemption if accepted as a Visiting Student in Special Students Program during the Fall and Spring Terms. The student’s college need not grant point credit for the courses taken, and these terms do not count toward the eight-semester limit of eligibility for the CTS.

Summer Terms at Other Schools

The dependent child must provide written proof from their college or university on the institution’s letterhead that they are a student in good standing, and that the summer courses are required as part of his or her academic program. (See: Student in Good Standing Letter).

How to Apply

You apply for the CTS programs by following instructions in the Checklist and submitting your completed application via EBPA after July 1 for the start of a new fall term. EBPA is our third party administrator that processes CTS applications and benefits payments.

CTS Checklist

Submit application to EBPA after July 1 for the start of a new undergraduate school year.

  • Go to secure.ebpabenefits.com; click “Reimbursement Accounts”; enter information; upload documents; or
  • Send via fax: 603‐773‐4425; or
  • Send via mail: EBPA, P.O. Box 1140, Exeter, NH 03833‐1140.

For application status and payment processing questions, email EBPA at tuition@ebpabenefits.com or call EBPA customer service: 1-888-456-4576.

Employment Changes Affecting Eligibility

If you are laid off during a term, your child's CTS for that term will not be revoked. However, he or she will not be eligible for a CTS for any subsequent term.

Involuntary Termination or Involuntary Transfer to Part-Time Employment

If you are involuntarily discharged or released, or involuntarily transferred—other than for cause—from a full-time to a part-time appointment during a term, the CTS benefit for the current term will not be revoked. However, the Officer will not be granted CTS benefits for any subsequent term.

If your employment is terminated for cause, you will be required to pay back a portion of the CTS benefit for the current term, according to the tables under Voluntary Resignation. Note that the day of the month is not relevant for this purpose. (Eligibility officially ends at the close of business on the last day of your active, full-time employment with the University.)

Voluntary Resignation or Voluntary Transfer to Part-Time Employment

If you resign, are discharged or released, or switch from a full-time to a part-time appointment during a term, you must refund to Columbia a portion of any CTS benefit received for that term. The table under “Proportion of Scholarship Retained by School Terms” outlines the portion of CTS you are entitled to retain if you leave in a given month. Note that the day of the month is not relevant for this purpose. Eligibility officially ends at the close of business on the last day of your active, full-time employment with the University.

Proportion of Scholarship Retained by School Terms - School with Three Terms
Proportion of Scholarship Retained by School Terms - School with Four Terms

Officers on any paid or unpaid leave of absence are still considered to be full-time Officers and their otherwise eligible children continue to qualify for the CTS.

If a support staff employee is promoted to an Officer after July 1, 2011, eligibility for the CTS benefit will depend on whether the new Officer has met the four-year service requirement. Full-time continuous service as support staff immediately prior to promotion counts toward the four-year service requirement before Officers’ children may qualify for CTS.

Upon the Officer’s retirement, children remain eligible for CTS benefits for which they were eligible under the terms in effect (at the time the application is submitted) for active Officers with the same hire date. To retire with this benefit, an Officer must be 55 years or older and must have completed ten (10) years of continuous benefits-eligible service after age 45.

  • If a deceased Officer had completed ten (10) years of continuous benefits-eligible service at death, the otherwise eligible dependent child of the Officer, or of the Officer’s spouse or same-sex domestic partner, is eligible for a CTS under the terms in effect for active Officers at the time the application is submitted.
     
  • If a deceased Officer had completed less than ten (10) years of continuous benefits-eligible service at death, the otherwise eligible dependent child may receive a CTS only to complete a degree program started before the Officer’s death.
Reminder on Tax Treatment

Tax Treatment

Under current Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations, a CTS only counts as taxable income when it benefits the dependent child of a same-sex domestic partner.