Columbia Financial Aid and Educational Financing

Leave of Absence

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As each student's financial aid situation is unique, we highly recommend that all students set up an appointment to meet with a counselor when considering a leave of absence.

Students in Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science are typically eligible to apply for eight semesters of financial aid. If you take a medical leave of absence after the start of the semester, that semester will not count toward your eight semesters of financial aid eligibility.

Taking a voluntary leave may impact financial aid eligibility. If you take a voluntary withdrawal or leave after the start of the semester, that semester may count toward your eight semesters of financial aid eligibility. You will, thus, either need to petition for an additional semester upon your return or apply for confirmation that the semester on leave did not impact your existing aid eligibility.

You are responsible for contacting your education loan servicer regarding potential loan repayment while on leave from Columbia. Please see the federal student aid website and contact us with any questions.

The tuition and fees refund rate schedule for withdrawals can be found on the Registrar's website. Please note that this only applies to tuition. Housing, dining, and health insurance (if applicable) are adjusted by the respective university offices.

Warning: If you are signed up for the Columbia University Health Insurance plan, you must contact the Columbia Health office directly regarding your options to waive the coverage while you are on leave.

You will be responsible for paying those charges if they are still on your SSOL account while on leave of absence. This applies to all students even if your insurance costs have been covered while you have been enrolled in the past.

After we have received official notification of withdrawal and your billed charges for the semester have been adjusted, we will prorate your semester financial aid accordingly and send you a revised eligibility letter.

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