Officers - Reduced Employee Rate on Tuition Exemption

Savings jar - reduced tuition

As a supplement to the Tuition Exemption Benefit, a reduced Employee Rate for tuition costs may be available, depending on your eligibility, for undergraduate and graduate courses at Columbia University. This employee tuition rate is available before waiting periods for Tuition Exemption are met, as well as after waiting periods for Officers taking a number of courses that exceeds the Tuition Exemption course limits.

This is not a reimbursement or remission program; a portion of your tuition (35%) is simply exempted. However, you are responsible for the remaining tuition (65%) and all fees — course fees, textbooks and housing fees, etc., where applicable.

Eligibility For You

Most regular, full-time, salaried Officers are eligible for this Employee Rate of 65% of tuition costs. The reduced rate is available in two instances:

  • Before the two (2) year Tuition Exemption Benefit waiting period is met, the 65% Employee Rate can help cover the cost of courses outside Tuition Exemption.
  • After the waiting period is met, the 65% Employee Rate can help cover the cost of courses over the Tuition Exemption Benefit limit.

Those officers who are ineligible include:

  • Visiting Officers of Instruction or Research
  • Part-Time Officers
  • Officers not on Columbia's United States payroll

The Reduced Employee Tuition Rates Program pays 35% of the undergraduate or graduate tuition costs, at Columbia only, for Officers each term. This means the Officer is responsible for 65% of the tuition costs. Post-baccalaureate certificate programs at Columbia University are considered graduate degree programs for Tuition Exemption Benefit purposes. The Program does not cover non-credit courses; course, lab or other school-specific fees; textbooks; housing fees; or tuition charged for auditing courses.

    Important Note About Summer Term

    Summer Term comprises several overlapping sessions. Individual summer sessions do not count as “terms.” The reduced Employee Tuition rate covers the available amount spread over the entire Summer Term, not the available amount for each session. For example, an Officer who is in a category eligible for the reduced Employee Tuition rate for one course would be able to receive the reduced Employee Tuition rate for one course during all the summer sessions.

    Courses Not Covered

    The following courses are not covered for any Officer by the Tuition Exemption Benefit OR by the 65% Employee Rate Program:

    • Non-credit courses
    • All courses at Teachers College or Barnard College
    • Courses with no point/credit value
    • Applied music courses (i.e., musical instrument instruction)
    • Courses whose course number begins with the letter “Q” or “N,” unless such a course is taken to fulfill a degree requirement
    • Any courses you audit
    • All doctoral courses

    How to Apply

    You must complete the application process for the reduced Employee Tuition rates at the beginning of each term. This means your Tuition Benefit Eligibility Form and other materials must be submitted to the appropriate office at your school during the Change of Program Period (see the Academic Calendar for details).

    If your application is not approved, you will be responsible for any tuition for courses you keep. Columbia University does not accept responsibility for denied coverage if you are found to be ineligible for the reduced Employee Tuition rate.

      After you have been accepted as a student and registered for classes, apply for the reduced Employee Tuition Rate each term by completing the following steps:

      You will need to print, complete and sign your Tuition Benefit Eligibility Form in CUBES.

      Every Term:

      1. Log in to CUBES with your UNI and password to print your Tuition Benefit Eligibility.
      2. If you are a graduate student taking courses related to your work, complete a Job-Related Graduate Course Certification form.  

        This form must be completed by you and your supervisor signed in ink and dated by you and your supervisor. Attach the form to your Tuition Benefit Eligibility form.

        See information on Tax Treatment and Withholding
      3. During the Change of Program Period each academic term, please submit the completed and signed Tuition Exemption form and your signed original Job-Related Graduate Education Certification form (if it applies) to: [email protected].

        In person drop off to:
        • Morningside: Student Service Center in 205 Kent Hall
        • CUIMC: Registration & Financial Services @ CUMC in 1-141 Black Building 

      If you do not want to continue a course, you should arrange with the appropriate School and the Registrar to drop it by the end of the first week of classes to avoid any possibility of financial responsibility.

      Note: Dropping all of your courses means withdrawing from the University. The University charges a $75 fee for all withdrawals from the University, and this fee is not covered under this Tuition Exemption Benefit Program.