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Policies on Payments, Credits and Refunds
When a student is accepted for admission, the student, parents, or guardians accept Columbia College’s payment conditions. If any part or all of a financial aid package is reduced or eliminated, the balance created by the change is payable immediately. Degrees, transcripts, and letters of honorable separation are withheld from students who have not settled their financial obligations to the College, including, if applicable, all collection fees, attorney fees, and court costs.
No student may complete registration for any subsequent session if an unpaid balance remains on account.
All students are responsible for notifying the Office of the Registrar when a change of address has occurred.
A student account that remains unpaid at the end of the term may be submitted to an outside agency or attorney for collection assistance. The standard collection charge can exceed 50% of the original amount owed. This charge will be added to the principal balance of the student’s account to cover collection agency and/or attorney fees.
Upon registration, all students are required to pay the entire balance of their accounts (after financial aid awards are considered) by either full payment or through the deferred payment plan.
Timely payment of all tuition and fees is required to continue your attendance at the College. If unforeseen circumstances occur that preclude you from paying in a timely fashion, please contact the Enrollment Service Center to see if an alternative payment agreement can be arranged.
Deferred Payment Plan
If a student needs to pay educational expenses in installments, a deferred payment plan may be arranged. The procedure for the deferred payment plan is the following: the balance owed to the College, less certain awarded financial aid, is divided into equal installments. The first payment is due when the student registers. The subsequent installments are due on or before the final class meeting as stated in the academic calendar or before registering for a subsequent session.
Missed payment plan installments may result in assessment of late payment fees for each missed payment.
Students with pending financial aid are required to enroll in a deferred payment plan. The plan will show the entire balance due by a specific date, which will be near the end of the semester. However, the plan will become paid off when financial aid is posted to the student account, and no out of pocket payment should be due from the student. (If financial aid is cancelled/reduced and no longer will cover 100 percent, then payment would be due from the student by the listed due date.)
Employer Tuition Assistance: Two payment options are available for students who receive employer tuition assistance. Students should check with their employers to determine which plan is appropriate for them.
- Direct Billing: A student may register for classes and have tuition charges billed directly to their employer if a letter from the employer authorizing such an arrangement is provided to the student’s campus.
- Reimbursement: A student is required to follow the College’s regular payment procedures and then receive reimbursement from their employer according to their employer’s guidelines.
Military Tuition Assistance (MTA): Students are required to present an approved MTA form at the time of registration. Students are personally responsible for any tuition not paid by MTA and are required to follow regular payment procedures for this portion of fees.
V.A. Vocational Rehabilitation: Students receiving these benefits must provide an authorization form at the time of registration and are required to pay only those amounts not covered by their plan.
V.A. Miscellaneous Benefits (G.I. Bill, etc.): Students are required to follow standard payment policies and then receive reimbursement from their plan.
Failure to Pay
Students are financially responsible for the payment of all fees charged to their accounts such as tuition, textbooks, lab fees, and all miscellaneous fees. Students may not register or attend future sessions if the financial obligations for which the student is responsible are not paid in full.
Failure to comply with the payment policies of the College may result in further collection activity by an outside collection agency or attorney. When this action occurs, students are responsible for paying all collection expenses which can, in some cases, exceed 50% of the original balance owed. Although every effort is made to contact a student prior to submission to a collection agency, Columbia College reserves the right to submit a student’s account for collection at any time when the student fails to remit the personal payment portion of the account balance.
Dropping a Class
Financial liability is assessed at the completion of the drop period for each session. Final dates for courses to be added or dropped are listed for each semester on the Academic Calendar. If students drop a class prior to the end of the drop period, they do not incur financial or academic liability. If students withdraw from a class after the drop period, they are financially liable for the full amount of tuition. No reduction of charges is made for laboratory/course fees, etc.
Withdrawal from College
Students who receive any form of federal Title IV assistance, and who withdraw, may be required by federal regulations to return some or all of the federal aid received. This includes the federal Pell and SEOG grants and the Federal Perkins, Stafford and PLUS loans. See the Financial Aid portion of the College catalog for additional information.
Students receiving financial assistance should be aware that their financial aid package could be affected, should the student elect to drop an individual course. For additional information, please refer to the Financial Aid portion of the catalog.
Columbia College recognizes that individuals serving in both National Guard and Reserve units may be in need of tuition refunds or credits if called to active service. Columbia College will assist students called to active military service with options regarding their registration in classes including, but not limited to, course work completion, tuition refunds or tuition credits.
A student who withdraws for extraordinary circumstances, even with the College’s concurrence, may still be required to return some or all of the federal financial assistance received for that term. The College follows the federal guidelines concerning return of Title IV funds, and does not have any authority to waive the rules regarding the return of federal assistance, even in extraordinary circumstances.
Certain courses require prepayment of a laboratory fee. Every effort is made to keep these costs as low as possible. However, due to the nature of the laboratory requirements, costs will vary by location. Before a student enrolls in a class requiring laboratory work, the student should check with the campus director about laboratory fees.
Computer Information Systems (CISS) courses will normally require use of a computer. Students should check with their campus director to determine what laboratory fee, if any, must be paid upon enrollment in a CISS course.