The University uses the term withdraw to formally indicate that a student has dropped or will drop all courses for a given term. Withdrawing from the university differs from dropping one or several classes within a given semester, because as long as a student retains at least one class, he or she is still considered to be registered for that semester.

A withdrawal is done in consultation with the deans or advisors in your school, but is initiated by the student in almost all cases. A statement will be added to your transcript indicating that you have withdrawn from the University. Depending on the date of withdrawal, you may be entitled to some pro-rated refund of tuition. In most cases, ancillary fees will remain on your account, in addition to a $75 withdrawal fee.

View Refund Rates for Withdrawals

Financial aid applied to the student account may also be adjusted as a result of withdrawal; see the SFS Financial Aid and Withdrawing From Columbia page for more information.

The link to the student-initiated Withdrawal Request Form is available on the Student Financial Services website.


Consider Tuition Refund Insurance

Offered by GradGuard., optional insurance can protect up to the policy coverage limits of a family’s education investment should a student withdraw for a covered medical reason up to the coverage amount. GradGuard Tuition Insurance can protect your investment by providing reimbursement when a student can’t complete an academic term due to an unforeseen, covered accident, injury, chronic illness, or mental health condition.  This coverage strengthens and broadens the scope of our existing refund policy and can provide reimbursement for tuition, room, board, and other fees. To learn more, please visit their website.

It is important to consult with your school to be informed of how the withdrawal will affect your standing, degree pursuit, privileges, and conditions for return.

Summer Term Withdrawals

Summer terms have very abbreviated withdrawal schedules based on the individual sub-terms. Professional Studies withdrawal schedules are also based on individual sub-terms. The Professional Studies Summer Bulletin is helpful when considering a summer withdrawal from the Summer Session. Students in other schools or programs should contact their school's deans or student affairs office for more information on summer term withdrawals.

See also Registration & Enrollment.