College Tuition Scholarship

For eligible dependent children of full-time regular salaried Officers, a College Tuition Scholarship (CTS) pays 50% of a student’s undergraduate tuition at accredited higher education institutions outside Columbia (up to an annually defined limit), for up to eight semesters (or the equivalent number of trimesters or quarters). Officers hired after July 1, 2011 must meet a 4-year service requirement for eligibility. After the service requirement is met, eligibility begins the start of the next full term after the eligibility date. To receive this benefit, Officers must submit the application paperwork each term. Columbia University reserves the right to change or terminate the CTS Benefit Program at any time. In the event that the information contained in this policy conflicts with any other published information, this policy prevails.

For Full-Time Faculty and Other Officers of the University (includes Officers of Instruction, Administration, the Libraries, and Research) and their Eligible Children:

Officers are Eligible if:

  • You are a full-time salaried Officer of administration, instruction, the libraries, or 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, or you are a 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 the Officer’s hire date and years of service.

For Officers who were hired, rehired, appointed or 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 who were 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.

For eligible Officers hired, rehired, appointed, or promoted after 7/1/2011, or with a break in service of more than 31 days after 7/1/2011:

A College Tuition Scholarship (CTS) pays, at an accredited* undergraduate academic institution outside Columbia or Barnard College, the lesser of 50% of the external institution’s tuition or 50% of the current year’s Columbia College tuition, for eight (8) semesters (or the equivalent number of trimesters or quarters). If the tuition at your child’s college exceeds the tuition rate for Columbia College, the maximum award you will receive is 50% of the current Columbia College rate. If both parents are eligible Officers hired after 7/1/2011, a CTS pays the lesser of 50% of the external institution’s tuition, or 50% of the current year’s Columbia College tuition. There is only one CTS benefit available per child.

For eligible Officers hired, rehired, appointed, or promoted on or before 7/1/2011, and without a break in service of more than 31 days after 7/1/2011:

A College Tuition Scholarship (CTS) pays, at an accredited* undergraduate academic institution outside Columbia or Barnard College, the lesser of 50% of the external institution’s tuition or 50% of the current year’s Columbia College tuition, for eight (8) semesters (or the equivalent number of trimesters or quarters). If the tuition at your child’s college exceeds the tuition rate for Columbia College, the maximum award you will receive is 50% of the current Columbia College rate. If a student has two parents eligible for the benefit, and both parents were hired, appointed, or promoted on or before 7/1/2011, and have not had a break in service after 7/1/2011 of more than 31 days, the CTS will add both parents’ benefits to pay 100% of the lesser of the external institution’s tuition, or the current year’s Columbia College undergraduate tuition rate. Both parents need to apply for the benefit.

CTS covers tuition costs only. Fees such as health service fees, housing fees, student activity fees, laboratory fees, or books are not covered, even if the bill from the college combines them with “tuition.” If your dependent child receives awards and scholarships from other sources, the amount of the CTS will be capped at your tuition liability at the school your child attends. A CTS will never cover more than either the maximum CTS award, or what you need to cover your actual tuition costs after awards and scholarships, whichever is less.

EXAMPLE: If the tuition at both Columbia College and your child’s college is $10,000 per term, a student who has $5,000 per term in non-CTS awards and scholarships will still receive a $5,000 CTS to attend the other college; a student who has $8,000 in awards and scholarships, however, will only receive a $2,000 CTS.

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. 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.

Summer Terms at Columbia

In addition to College Tuition Scholarships, 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. To qualify, the child must provide written proof from their accredited* college or university, on their institution’s letterhead, that they are a student in good standing at the external institution, and that the courses are required as part of his or her academic program. The child may also receive Tuition Exemption if accepted as a Visiting Student in the Special Students Program during the Fall and Spring terms at Columbia. 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 College Tuition Scholarship Program.

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 their undergraduate degree that they started on or prior to age 26 to be eligible for CTS.

Layoff

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 below. 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 accompanying tables tell you what portion of your CTS you are entitled to retain if you leave in a given month. Note that it does not matter which day of the month marks the end of your eligibility; only the month matters. (Eligibility officially ends at the close of business on the last day of your active, full-time employment with the University.)

 

Schools with Three Terms

Schools With Three Terms

Schools with Four Terms

Schools with Four Terms

Leave of Absence


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.

Promotion to Officer


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.

Retirement


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.

Death

  • 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.

You must apply for a CTS term by term. EBPA will track the 8-semester maximum. After the initial term, which requires additional paperwork, the procedure for each term remains the same.

To apply for College Tuition Scholarship Benefit your dependent child’s name must be listed on the form. If you need to add a dependent, go to https://humanresources.columbia.edu/ and click on the CUBES logo. You will be asked to enter your UNI and password and confirm your access using multifactor authentication (DUO). Once logged in, select “Profile,” “My Dependents,” then choose "Add Dependent." Be prepared to scan and upload proof of relationship using the "Upload Documentation" link on the My Dependents screen.

If you are unable to upload documentation, you may fax your documentation to 844-301-7225. If you have additional questions, please contact the Columbia Benefits Service Center at 212-851-7000. Once the documentation is verified and your record is updated, you will be able to print the College Tuition Scholarship (CTS) Eligibility & Application.

Qualifying forms of proof include:

  • for your dependent child—birth certificate, adoption papers, or legal guardianship papers
  • for the dependent child of your spouse—birth certificate, adoption papers or legal guardianship papers, and marriage certificate  
  • for the dependent child of your same-sex domestic partner—birth certificate, adoption papers or legal guardianship papers, and evidence of partnership (in other words, either a marriage certificate issued by a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, or two pieces of documentation that show shared financial responsibilities. Acceptable documentation includes a joint lease or mortgage, joint bank account statement, joint ownership of a motor vehicle, designation of the partner as primary beneficiary in the Officer’s will, designation of the partner as beneficiary for the Officer’s life insurance or retirement benefits, assignment of power of attorney to the partner. In addition, the domestic partner must be an adult of the same gender, and not related to the Officer by blood. The Officer and domestic partner must have lived together in a committed personal relationship for at least six consecutive months before enrolling for coverage and must anticipate continuing to live together in a personal relationship in which they have joint and reciprocal financial responsibilities)

Note: The first-term process must be followed for each dependent child, even if you have received a CTS for other children in the past.

EBPA cannot process applications for the fall before July 1 each year.

You should submit the CTS application to EBPA as soon as you receive the itemized tuition bill from your child’s college or university for the upcoming term.

Print, complete and sign the Tuition Benefit Eligibility Form from CUBES.

  • Submit the completed CTS application form together with (a) a copy of the itemized annual tuition bill from the college or university; (b) information about any other awards or scholarships your child may be receiving; and (c) a copy of your child’s birth certificate (for your first CTS application only).  
  • EBPA cannot process your CTS application for the upcoming fall semester before July 1.

Complete the above steps and then submit documentation to EBPA as part of your application for the CTS Benefit.

  • Submit your application to EBPA via one of the following options:
  • Secure Document Portal: https://secure.ebpabenefits.com
  • Fax: 603-773-4425  
  • By Mail: EBPA,

         P.O. Box 1140,

         Exeter, NH 03833-1140

EBPA will send the scholarship check directly to the college or university within three weeks of receiving your completed application. For application status and payment processing questions, please go to EBPA, Contact Us, https://www.ebpabenefits.com/contact-us or call EBPA Customer Service at 1-888-456-4576.

If Your Application is Missing Required  – Your CTS application will not be processed until all required information is received. EBPA will send an email identifying the missing information. If you do not respond, the application will not be processed for payment.

CTS Payment Notification – EBPA will notify you by mail to confirm the CTS Benefit amount and payment to your child’s college or university. .

Questions: If you have any questions about these required forms or documentation, please call the Columbia Benefits Service Center at 212-851-7000 or email [email protected], Subject: “CTS Question(s).”

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. Note: If a student receives tuition exemption for a Columbia Summer Session, or for a term as a visiting student in the Special Students Program, this will also be taxable income if the student is the dependent child of a same-sex domestic partner.