Stipend and Salary Payments

Please be aware that we update this web page on a regular basis. Nevertheless, you should always refer to correspondence you received directly from GSAS via email for the most up-to-date stipend information that applies to you. Information about the graduate stipend for 2020-2021 was sent to students on February 13, 2020. Please refer to this letter if you have any questions about your package.

Below, please find information regarding stipends, including how to receive payment through direct deposit or paper checks; salary payments; additional compensation; the stipend and payroll student hotline; and tax reporting.

Stipend Payments

The standard nine-month stipend for academic year 2020-2021 is $31,140.  

The GSAS Office of Financial Aid disburses stipends to registered fellows in two payments: during the registration periods at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters (late August/early September and January). To expedite receipt of the stipend, all students are strongly encouraged to arrange for the direct deposit of their stipend payments by following the steps outlined below.

Receiving Stipend Payments: Direct Deposit & Paper Checks

Note: Due to federal regulations, entering students may not enroll in direct deposit until they have arrived on campus and registered for classes. Once on campus, students may register for direct deposit for the second semester.

DIRECT DEPOSIT: Fastest access (within 5 days of disbursement)

GSAS strongly encourages all students who receive stipends to enroll in direct deposit. Instructions for how to enroll may be found here.  

In order for a stipend payment to be disbursed via direct deposit in a particular term, students must already be registered for that term when payment is initially processed. For fall stipends, students must be registered by the first week in August, and for spring stipends, before the end of the December registration period.

PAPER CHECKS: Access 1-2 weeks after disbursement

Students who are not registered by that time will have their payment processed as a paper check, which requires waiting an additional 7-10 business days from the date of disbursement until the time that the check is available for pickup at the Payments and Deposit Office. (International students have a 10-15 day timeline because their payments must be processed through Accounts Payable.) Checks will not be released to a student who is not registered for that term.

Payments and Deposit Office
Location: 205 Kent Hall
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday – Friday

Students who are unable to pick up their paper check in person may choose one of the following options in order to receive their funds:

1)    Designate someone else to pick up the payment

Email cashiering [at] (Shewanna House) and CC ns2312 [at] (Norman Strong) in the Payments and Deposits Office, with the name of the person whom you have designated to pick up your check. Be sure also to copy your designee. The designee must bring a picture ID to verify their identity when retrieving your check from 205 Kent Hall.

2)    Arrange for the payment to be mailed

Email cashiering [at] (Shewanna House) and CC ns2312 [at] (Norman Strong) in the Payments and Deposits Office, with the complete mailing address to which the check should be mailed via USPS. The Payments and Deposits Office will confirm the estimated time of arrival of the check.

3)    Stop check payment and reissue as direct deposit

a.    Please be aware that it is a time-consuming process to stop a check and reissue the payment as a direct deposit because this process involves multiple University offices. Students should anticipate a 3-to-6-week delay before receiving the reissued payment.

b.    To initiate this process, please email the gsas-finaid [at] (GSAS Office of Financial Aid) for assistance.

Salary Payments

Students holding teaching fellow or research fellow appointments receive two-thirds of the total award as stipend (disbursed as described above) and the remainder as semi-monthly payroll (paid on the fifteenth and last day of the month, respectively). Students holding graduate research assistant appointments receive their entire stipend as semi-monthly payroll. All students may receive the payroll portion of their award via direct deposit and are strongly encouraged to do so; to enroll in direct deposit, follow the steps outlined above.

Fellows who withdraw during a semester, who resign from their appointments, or who are terminated from their appointments must return a prorated portion of the award to the university. The GSAS Office of Financial Aid determines this prorated amount.

Students may review and print their monthly salary statements through the MyColumbia portal.

Additional Compensation

Student officers may receive additional compensation (also known as "add comp") as long as the total service they are rendering the University does not interfere with their studies and the total hours associated with their fellowship and those associated with the activity for which they will receive additional compensation does not exceed twenty hours per week. Students who are nonresident aliens should check with the International Students and Scholars to determine if the additional work is permitted by the terms of their visa. The payment of additional compensation to student officers requires the prior approval of the Dean of GSAS, the department chair and/or the dean of the unit in which they are providing the additional services, the dean or vice president of the unit within which they hold an appointment, and the Provost.

Stipend & Payroll Hotline

As part of the University’s ongoing enhancement of student-service operations, Columbia’s Human Resources and Finance divisions have implemented a hotline to resolve student questions related to payroll and stipend payments and about the timing of disbursements: (212) 854-5000.

As an alternative, you may put in a ticket here.  Both options reach the same team.

This resource is meant to complement the help that you would typically seek from your departmental administrator or the GSAS Office of Financial Aid.

The Student Service Center remains available for inquiries related to student accounts, tuition and fees, refunds, and transcripts.

Tax Reporting

Information about tax reporting may be found here.