For Tutors

Becoming a Tutor
Required Documentation

Becoming a Tutor

Are you interested in becoming an LMT tutor? You’ll find everything you need to know, such as information regarding eligibility, payment, and the registration process, right here on this page. 

First off, if you haven’t done so already, visit our home page [LINK] and familiarize yourself with what the Language Maintenance Tutorials are all about. 

I’d like to be a tutor. What are tutors responsible for?

Many things. First, our tutors ought to be masters of the language they wish to teach. Second, our tutors should know how to teach. Anyone who has ever taught a language before knows that fluency in a language does not automatically confer the ability to teach that language. All applicants will be vetted by the coordinator based on these two criteria.

Tutors are also responsible for providing their own teaching materials, as well as adapting their lesson plans to the needs of their student. It is not uncommon, for instance, to have a student with a highly specialized interest. A student wishing to improve her Russian business vocabulary will require a lesson plan distinct from a student, say, who wants to learn Russian for use in a medical setting. If, as a tutor, you feel lost at any time, don’t hesitate to contact the coordinator for advice.   

And one more thing: tutors are always expected to be punctual for and courteous to their students. That should go without saying.

This all sounds reasonable, but am I eligible? Can anyone be a tutor? 

Not exactly. Currently we are only permitted to accept applicants who are full-time graduate students of Columbia University, Barnard, or Teachers College. Unfortunately, we are unable to hire students who are not full-time. If you are chosen, you will be asked to complete documentation confirming your status as a full-time graduate student of the University. (More on documentation to follow.)  

I’m not a citizen of the United States. Am I still eligible?

Yes! Many of our tutors are not American citizens. You will simply be asked to submit a few additional documents as part of your paperwork. 

How much are tutors paid? 

All tutors are paid the same amount: $500 per tutorial. You will receive this sum in two (2) payments of $250, to be dispersed approximately one month after the end of the registration period, and once again toward the end of this same month. For instance, if you are a tutor during the Fall semester, and registration closes around the first of October, you will receive one payment during the first week of November, and a second payment during the last week of November. Very rarely will a tutor teach multiple tutorials, although they are, of course, paid accordingly. 

What’s this I hear about paperwork? What kind of paperwork?

Glad you asked. Let me tell you all about it. 

Required Documentation

If you are selected to be a tutor, you will need to complete paperwork so that you can be officially paid. Again: you cannot be legally paid without completing all applicable paperwork. Depending upon a few factors, you will have to submit more or less documentation. These factors are:


  1. Your employment history with Columbia
  2. Your citizenship status
  3. Your teaching fellowships or research assistantships
I’m currently working (or have worked in the past) for a department of Columbia.  

You will need to submit items 1-5, and possibly item 6. 

I receive a teaching fellowship/research assistantship from another department. I am paid regularly.

You will need to submit items 1-5, and possibly items 6.

I have never worked for Columbia, in any capacity. I am a US citizen.

You will need to submit items 1-7.

I have never worked for Columbia, in any capacity. I am NOT a US citizen.

You will need to submit items 1-12. 

You will find these documents below. Note that some of these documents can be completed at home, or online, while others must be filled out in person at the LRC, or even at other departments. Inevitably, ALL applicants must stop by the LRC at some point to turn in the paperwork. Some of these forms can be confusing, especially tax forms. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. We will assist you to the best of our ability.  

[Collapsible items]
1.    Verification of Enrollment Form

All tutors must prove their full-time student status at Columbia University. This academic certificate is free to request. 

Columbia University students: You may request the certificate by going to the SSOL portal (under "Academic Records," click "Certification Request"). 

Barnard College students: You can request the certificate through eBear. Complete instructions can be found on the Registrar’s website (under “Request a Transcript or other Document,” click “Verification of Enrollment”). Or you can follow this link.

Teachers College students: You can request the certificate by visiting the Registrar’s website (under “Registration Tools,” click “Registration Policy,” and then “Enrollment Verification”). Click here for the link. 

All tutors should request that their certificate be mailed directly to the Language Resource Center at the following address: 

Language Resource Center , LMT
353C International Affairs Building
MC 3380 420 
W 118th Street
New York, NY 10027

2.    Casual Employment Form

All tutors must submit a casual employment form. The link to this form can be found HERE (LINK TO FORM. NO LINK ON WEBSITE CURRENTLY.) Once the form is completed, please submit it in paper form to the LRC with your other documents.

Some important notes about this form:
•    Fill in all boxes highlighted in yellow.
•    Leave blank “Start Date” and “Support Staff Level/Officer of Administration Level.”

3. Personnel Action Form (PAF)

All tutors must submit a PAF form. Depending on your work history with Columbia, you can obtain (or complete) a PAF form in a few different ways.

I have never worked for Columbia in any capacity.

You can request a PAF in person at the LRC reception desk. 

I have worked/am working in another department. 

Ask an administrator from your department to supply a PAF, since this means you have already completed one. 

I have already worked as an LMT tutor. Do I need to fill this out again?

No. Just remind us that you’ve been employed by us before. 

4.    NY State Labor Law Form

All tutors must submit a NY State Labor Law 195(1) form. The link to this form can be found here.  Once you enter your contact information, you need only sign and date the bottom of the page. The LRC will complete the fields regarding payment rates.

5.    (Optional) Voluntary Self-Identification of Race and Ethnicity Form

Tutors with the interest may submit the Voluntary Self-Identification of Race and Ethnicity form in person. 

6.    W-4 Tax Form and/or IT-2104 Tax Form

Some tutors may need to submit a W-4 and IT-2104 tax form as well. The links to these forms can be found below. You can also fill them out in person at the LRC reception desk.

About the W-4. You should submit a W-4 only if you have not previously filled out a W-4 for another job at Columbia, or if you have changed your legal status or taxpayer’s address. 

About the IT-2104. You should submit an IT-2104 if you are a new hire of the University. Please note that there are three (3) versions of this form. 


Category Tax Forms Required
Employees residing in NYC or Yonkers

W4 & IT-2104


Employees residing outside of NYC or Yonkers 

W4 & T-2104.1

(NJ or CT State Form is optional for NJ or CT Residents)

Employees claiming exemption

W4 & IT-2104-E

(Must meet all requirements listed on tax forms)

Employees moving outside of NYC or Yonkers Form IT-2104.1
Employees moving into NYC or Yonkers Form IT-2104
Employees claiming exemption based on a tax treaty Form 8233


7.    I-9 Online Form

All new hires of Columbia must submit an I-9 form. If you have been employed, or are currently employed, by the University, you do not need to fill out an I-9.

The I-9 is complicated in that one half must be completed online, while the second half must be completed in person at the service center in Kent. So:


  1. Fill out Section 1 of the form on the New Hire page
  2. Go in person to the service center at 210 Kent Hall to fill out Section 2. 

8. I-94 Form

If the tutor is a non-resident alien, then he/she will need to complete an I-94 form in tandem with the I-9 form. This form is available online and must printed out and passed in along with Section 2 of the I-9. You can also retrieve a paper copy of the form at the LRC reception desk.

9.    Social Security Number Verification

If you are a non-citizen and you do not already have a Social Security Number (SSN), you will need to obtain one. You are not legally allowed to work without a SSN. The process has three steps:


  1. Come to the LRC and request a Social Security Verification form. Fill it out.
  2. Take the completed form to the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). They will sign the bottom and return it to you.
  3. Take the fully completed form to the Social Security Card Center in downtown Manhattan at 123 Williams St. The office is open Monday through Friday, 7:00am to 4:00pm. 
  4. You will receive a letter confirming that you have applied for a SSN. Bring this letter to the LRC. We will make a copy then return it to you. When you receive your Social Security card, bring this to us as well, and we will make a copy.

10.    Copy of Passport

Just bring your passport to the LRC, where we will make a copy.

11.    Copy of Visa

Bring your visa to the LRC, and we will make a copy of this, too. 

12.    F-1 or J-1 Document

If you have an F-1 or J-1 status, you should already know. Bring proof of this status to the LRC along with your other documentation. 



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