Reminder: Job Related Graduate Education Certification Due 10/7/2021

September 30, 2021

Dear Colleague:

Data from Columbia’s Student Financial Services (SFS) shows that you are enrolled in graduate-level studies–either non-degree course(s) or a degree program for the Fall 2021 term. However, we do not yet have a supervisor certified Job-Related Graduate Education Certification (JRGEC) form on file for you.

In order to take advantage of the job-related tax benefits, we must have an approved certification on file. Due to Covid-19 protocols your JRGEC forms must be submitted by your supervisor via email to Student Financial Services at [email protected] to confirm the completed form has been signed and certified as job-related per IRS criteria reflected in the University policy.

According to IRS guidelines, tuition exemption benefits for graduate-level studies (course numbers 4000 & above) are exempt from taxation up to the federal limit of $5,250 in a calendar year. The value of tuition exemption benefits above the federal limit of $5,250 is treated as taxable imputed income and taxes will be withheld from your paycheck. The University will spread the tax liability of Tuition Exemption benefits for Fall classes over the October through December pay periods. 

The one exception to this IRS guideline is for graduate-level studies certified as “job-related,” per IRS-defined criteria.

For guidelines on whether you qualify for the Job-Related tax exemption, and instructions on how to complete the form and certify, go to our Job-related Graduate Education Certification page.

What You Need to Know About Job-Related Graduate Education Certification Forms

Forms must be submitted by October 7, 2021 to ensure the tax exemption is applied to your student account for:

  • Non-Degree Programs – Forms must be certified and submitted each term to SFS.
  • Degree Programs – Forms must only be certified by your supervisor once (unless you change your degree program, or job); a copy of the signed certified form must be submitted each term to SFS.

Important: If you do not submit a Job-Related Graduate Education Certification Form demonstrating these courses are related to your work at the University, taxes will be withheld from your paycheck for the tuition value of courses exceeding the annual federal limit.

To Submit Forms: Email: [email protected] 

Questions about your student account, contact SFS: Email: [email protected]