Residents in Columbia Residential are bound by the terms and conditions of their housing agreement. Residents who cancel housing before moving in or vacate before the end of their agreement may be subject to cancellation fees as outlined by our Student Housing Cancellation Guidelines and our Reservation Fee Guidelines.
Fee reversals are rare and will be considered only for extenuating circumstances wherein recent, significant, and unexpected events necessitate breaking the lease or canceling a housing offer. Situations which could have been anticipated and planned for, and cases where residents voluntarily choose to move off-campus before their agreement end date, will not be approved.
Residents who must terminate their housing agreement early for field work or participation in a Columbia affiliated exchange program or externship outside of the New York Metropolitan area during their final term may apply for a Cancellation Fee Waiver. To be approved students must move-out by the end date for their last term enrolled, May 31, August 31 or December 31.
If you believe that you are eligible for a cancellation fee waiver, you may submit a Fee Waiver Request and supporting documentation for consideration. Residents must submit a move-out notice in the Housing Portal prior to submitting the cancellation fee waiver request. The fee waiver must be submitted within ten (10) days of the vacancy for consideration. Only one (1) form request will be reviewed per resident, so please ensure that you have included all necessary information and relevant documentation prior to submission. Duplicate submissions will not be reviewed.
Supporting documentation is required:
- It is the responsibility of the resident to document proof of need. Appeal Forms submitted without supporting documentation will not be considered.
- All documentation must be in English; documentation in other language must be officially translated.
- Columbia Residential will not request nor accept additional documentation after Appeal Form has been submitted.
- Documentation submitted must be one (1) PDF, JPG or PNG file. Multiple files or other formats cannot be accepted.
Acceptable supporting documentation includes but is not limited to:
- Proof of a recent, significant and unexpected change to your financial situation (i.e. Termination of employment)
- Proof of a recent, significant and unexpected change to your life plans (i.e. Visa Status, Military Service, Death Certificate of immediate family member)
Please do not submit:
- Medical documentation cannot be accepted through this process, but students who go on an official medical leave of absence may be eligible for fee reversal. Please contact your school for information on the medical leave of absence process.
- Bank records
- Death Certificate for extended family members or non-relatives
Requests will be reviewed on case-by-case basis, and a decision will be made collectively by the committee.
Most decisions are confirmed sooner, but please allow up to 30 days to be notified of the committee's decision.
Kindly note that that all decisions are final, and there is no further process for appeal.