When the spouse, parent, or same-sex domestic partner of a student is an employee of the University, in some capacities the employment may carry with it a limited tuition exemption benefit. This benefit is taxable, and families should be prepared for the additional tax burden, as well as greatly increased withholding from paychecks. It is important to note that a student’s cost of attendance (COA) and, therefore, a student’s financial need, are reduced by the total amount of tuition exemption benefits received.

For specific questions about such benefits, contact Columbia’s Human Resources Office directly at 212-851-7000. Again, the tuition exemption benefits, plus any financial aid (loans, grants, and/or Federal Work-Study) cannot exceed the student’s budget each year, and may affect eligibility for federal loans (Direct Unsubsidized, Direct Graduate PLUS), institutional aid, and private educational loans.