Since 1973, Columbia College has been helping military personnel, their family members, and Department of Defense civilians earn college degrees while serving their country. Columbia College awards significant transfer credits based on military transcripts; participates in the Troops to Teachers program; and accepts GI Bill® benefits for all veterans. For nine consecutive years, Columbia College has been recognized as one of the top 20 military friendly colleges in the nation. Columbia College understands the needs of today’s service members, past and present, and supports:
- Adjusting catalog year requirements for active military members and their dependents
- “Withdrawal Excused” (WE) requests for extraordinary circumstances like military deployment, extended periods of temporary duty (TDY), or an unexpected call to active duty, etc.
- Unique scholarship and grant opportunities
- VA and tuition assistance payment deferments
Principles of Excellence
Columbia College, to include all 36 locations, fully complies with Executive Order 13607 establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses and Other Family Members. We are dedicated to continuing our long-standing partnership with military and veteran communities.
- Prior to enrolling students, Columbia College works diligently to ensure the accreditation of all new academic programs.
- Columbia College offers students a customized Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, providing an overview of the total cost of a degree program.
- All Columbia College military and veteran education beneficiaries are furnished with an educational plan.
- Columbia College is aware of the unique challenges faced by service members and will make accommodations, whenever it is feasible, taking into consideration the best interest of the student.
- Columbia College identifies a point of contact for students in regard to academic and financial advising.
- Columbia College follows a refund policy that is aligned with the Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
- To maintain compliance with federal programs, Columbia College does not permit dishonest or aggressive recruiting practices.
Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) and the SOC Degree Network Systems (SOC DNS)
Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) was created in 1972 to provide educational opportunities to service members who, because they frequently moved from place to place, had trouble completing college degrees. SOC functions in cooperation with 15 higher education associations, the Department of Defense, and Active and Reserve Components of the Military Services to expand and improve voluntary post-secondary education opportunities for service members worldwide. SOC is funded by the Department of Defense (DOD) through a contract with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).
Columbia College is a current member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Degree Network System (DNS). The school participates in the DNS-2 (Associate level) and DNS-4 (Bachelor’s level) system. The DNS is a group of institutions selected to provide service members and their eligible family members the opportunity to complete college degrees without losing credit because of frequent changes in duty station. For example, many courses offered by member institutions have two way guaranteed transferability to provide more flexibility and options in order to satisfy degree requirements.
The SOC DNS Student Agreement issued to all eligible students at member institutions provides a complete evaluation of the service member’s training, including courses from other colleges and universities, military training courses, military occupational experience, nationally-recognized exams, and other non-traditional credit, as well as clearly identifying requirements for completing the degree. Current SOC Degree Network System membership and participating degree information is available at http://www.soc.aascu.org.
Admissions and Readmission Policies
Columbia College has never and will never use fraudulent and unduly aggressive recruiting techniques. We are dedicated to the pursuit of higher education and we believe in the dignity, worth and potential of each and every student. To enable all potential students to make the dream of higher education a reality, Columbia College embraces the attributes of civility and respect in all that we do. Columbia College understands and values the importance of solid academic advising and views it as a fundamental aspect of our responsibility in providing a quality academic experience for our students. Military members who apply to Columbia College will be admitted in a timely manner. Once admitted or re-admitted, military students are given priority registration status.
Students who are active duty, National Guard, or Army Reservists must apply for admission through the GoArmyEd portal. In addition to the application, all registration activity must be completed through GoArmyEd.
Students who wish to return to Columbia College after interrupting attendance for one semester (Main Campus Day) or six consecutive sessions (Main Campus Evening, Online and Nationwide) or longer, must apply for readmission. There is no fee for readmission. Official transcripts from each college attended after Columbia College will be required for readmission consideration, to include the Joint Services Transcript (JST) or Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcript.
Once admitted or re-admitted, military students are given priority registration status. Priority registration allows military students to register on the first day registration activities open.
Withdrawal and Refund Polices
Columbia College follows a refund policy that is aligned with the Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Military students who withdraw due to service obligations, such as an unexpected call to active duty or extended periods of TDY, will be given a grade of withdrawal excused (WE). The college will provide a 100% tuition reimbursement to the payee (military entity or student).
Military students may also request a withdrawal excused (WE) when extraordinary circumstances prevent them from completing a term; all courses in which the student is enrolled (both land-based and online) must be included in the request. Extraordinary circumstances are narrowly interpreted to mean the development of unforeseen, unexpected circumstances beyond a student’s control. Examples of extraordinary circumstances include serious illness, death in the immediate family, and significant change in the location and/or conditions of employment.
If at the time of the request the student has reached the 60% completion mark of the course, the total tuition costs for the course will be charged.
Calls to Active Service
Columbia College recognizes that individuals serving in either the National Guard or Reserve 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.
Educational Plans & Military Transfer Resources
Columbia College will provide an official educational plan for all students during their initial advising appointment which details the courses needed for degree completion and an anticipated graduation date. Official educational plans are created after the student has applied, been admitted to a specific program, and all prior transcripts have been evaluated.
An unofficial educational plan can be requested prior to application and admission by request at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the request, please include unofficial copies of all previous college and military coursework and the degree program you wish to pursue.
Credit for Military Service
Columbia College awards credit for military training and experience based on American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations in conjunction with SOC DNS guidelines.
Acceptable military transcripts include CCAF and JST (formerly AARTS, SMART, and CGI). Other documents may be accepted on a case-by-case basis. ACE credit recommendations are also awarded for the following:
- College-level Examination Program (CLEP)
- Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES-DSST)
- Proficiency Examination Program (PEP)
- Excelsior (formerly Regents) Exams/ACT PEP
- Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
- Defense Language Institute Exams
- Army Logistics University
- Defense Acquisition University
- Certification Exams
- Learning acquired in military life
In addition to ACE recommended credit, Columbia College awards credit for military experience, professional licensure, and credit for prior learning (CPL). As a charter member of Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) and the SOC Degree Network System (DNS), Columbia College guarantees transfer credit from other institutions in the SOC DNS. For more information, please visit the Office of the Registrar website, or e-mail email@example.com.
Military Scholarships & Financial Aid
Military Tuition Assistance (MTA)
Students receiving military tuition assistance (MTA) are required to present an approved MTA form at the time of registration. Students are personally responsible for any tuition or miscellaneous fees not paid by the military and are required to follow the standard payment policy for their portion of educational fees. Students may not register for a subsequent session if in arrears for payment of their personal share of fees for courses taken during the previous session. It is imperative that military students contact the appropriate educational services officer for guidance and assistance in completing MTA paperwork.
Colonel Charles McGee Scholarship Fund
This scholarship is awarded to Veterans and/or their dependents who wish to attend Columbia College. It is a competitive scholarship that is awarded annually. The scholarship will be available to the general population only if there are no veterans and/or dependents who qualify for the award. For more information, visit the following website at www.ccis.edu/mcgeescholarship.
George H. Ousley, Jr. & Gayleen Ousley Veterans Service Center Endowment
This scholarship is awarded to veterans attending Columbia College with first preference given to veterans of the United States Navy. Recipients must be veteran students who have exhausted their federal funding, but have not yet attained their degree. For more information, visit the following website at www.ccis.edu/military/veteranscholarships/ousley.
Colonel Mike Randerson Scholarship
Established in 2014, the Colonel Mike Randerson Scholarship is an annual endowed scholarship created to help qualified veteran students, including active duty military, Guard, Reserve and/or their dependents who wish to attend the college. The Colonel Mike Randerson Scholarship recognizes the efforts of outstanding military students who exemplify Randerson’s dedication to service and education. For more information, visit the following website at www.ccis.edu/randersonscholarship.
Military Spouse Tuition Grant
The spouse of an active duty, guard or reserve member of any U.S. military service is eligible for this 20 percent tuition discount for in-seat classes. The grant recognizes the service and sacrifice of military members and the spouses who support them. To be eligible, a student must be able to show a valid military spouse I.D. or other documentation that confirms marriage to a military member and not be eligible for tuition-assistance under another program. Application must occur prior to or at the time of registration. Eligibility must be renewed each academic year.
Military Spouse Opportunity Grant
Awarded to spouses of active service members. It provides tuition for the first in-seat course taken at Columbia College.
Military Family Member’s Opportunity Grant
Award amount is tuition for one in-seat course. Awarded to family members (dependents) of military members currently serving on active duty or in the Guard and Reserves. Student must be seeking first undergraduate degree and be enrolled in first course at Columbia College. Student must also complete the Military Grant Application and Military Status Form before registering.
Military Spouse Career Advancement Account program (MyCAA)
Columbia College is proud to be a participant in the MyCAA program. As of October 25, 2010, the MyCAA program is open to all eligible spouses under the new program guidelines. MyCAA funds may be used in conjunction with the college’s 20 percent Military Spouse Tuition Grant (in-seat courses only), thus extending the MyCAA benefit at Columbia College up to another $800. For specific details on the MyCAA program, refer to the official MyCAA website.
The Columbia College Coast Guard Spouse Grant
To mirror the MyCAA program for Coast Guard spouses, Columbia College offers a 50% tuition grant for all courses, for a lifetime maximum of $4,000, for degree seeking students.
Former U.S. military personnel are eligible for this need-based, non-renewable grant. The award provides $200 for every six months of active service and is worth a maximum of $800. This is a one-time grant and is not renewable. This grant is only available to Main Campus Day students.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
This is a grant for post-baccalaureate students whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11/01. Students who, at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death, were less than 24 years old or were enrolled at least part-time at an institution of higher education. This amount is the same as a Pell Grant amount and is adjusted for less than full-time enrollment.
ROTC scholarship recipients are eligible for 100% of basic room charges. Ten awards are available each year. Submit the ROTC scholarship award letter with the Columbia College Financial Assistance Application to the Enrollment Services Center Office. Recipients must reapply annually to receive this award.
VA Educational Benefits
Columbia College is approved for enrollment certification of students eligible to receive educational assistance (GI Bill®) from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Eligibility requirements vary for veteran’s education benefits programs. Students receiving VA educational benefits are required to make satisfactory progress toward their educational goal and the school will report to the VA any changes in enrollment status or lack of academic progress. For additional information and application materials contact the local nationwide location Veterans Certifying Official or the main campus Veterans Certifying Official: (573) 875-7504, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veterans Educational Assistance
Any student utilizing GI Bill Benefits from the Veterans Administration must present evidence of GI Bill eligibility at the time of registration. It is required that VA eligible students produce a Certificate of Eligibility or proof of eligibility no later than the first day of class. Students are required to submit a Veterans request for certification to the institution for each session they plan to utilize GI Bill entitlements. Students utilizing the above benefits are required to be in a VA payment plan established by Columbia College which meets the requirements outlined in Title 38 US Code 3679. This plan delays payment for 90 days after the first day of class, allowing appropriate payment processing by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Students are personally responsible for any portion of their balance that is not covered by VA benefits.
Certification can be processed only for coursework in which the student is enrolled and which applies to the student’s declared major (with the VA). It is the veteran’s responsibility to notify the Columbia College Certifying Official each term that he/she is enrolled and wishes to be certified. The student must also notify the Certifying Official of any change in enrollment including add, drop, withdraw, or if s/he otherwise stops attending any class. If a student using GI Bill® benefits is withdrawn from a program their certification with the VA will either be adjusted or terminated as appropriate and may result in a debt to the VA.
Veterans are required to make satisfactory progress toward their educational goal and the school will report to the VA within 30 days any changes in enrollment status or lack of academic progress. For further information call (573) 875-7504 or (800) 231-2391 extension 7504. E-mail inquiries should be sent to email@example.com.
GI Bill® Chapters
Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill®-Active Duty (MGIBAD)
Persons who entered active duty after July 1, 1985, and had their military pay reduced by $100 per month for 12 months qualify for this program. This is a non-refundable contribution. These persons also must have served a minimum of two years, earned a high school diploma or its equivalent either prior to or during the qualifying enlistment and must have an honorable discharge.
Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation Program
The DVA determines eligibility for this program. This program provides payment of required fees and a monthly allotment.
Chapter 32 Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
This program provides benefits to persons who initially entered the service after Dec. 31, 1976, and before July 1, 1985. These persons volunteered to contribute money to the Post-Vietnam Era Veteran Educational Assistance Program. Participants receive monthly payments for the number of months they contributed or for 36 months, whichever is less.
Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill® (Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008)
This program provides benefits for “individuals who have at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September, 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. For detailed information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, please go to www.gibill.va.gov.
Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship
Spouses and children of an active duty member of the Armed Forces who has died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, may be eligible for up to 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits.
Chapter 35 Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA)
This program provides benefits for dependents and spouses of veterans who died or are 100 percent permanently disabled due to service-connected causes.
Chapter 1606 Montgomery GI Bill® - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
This program provides benefits for members of the Reserve/National Guard who enlisted, re-enlisted or extended their enlistment for a period of six years after July 1, 1985.
Chapter 1607 Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP)
This program is for members of a reserve component who serve on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, and who serve at least 90 consecutive days or more. National Guard members also may be eligible. Individuals are eligible as soon as they reach the 90-day point whether or not they are currently on active duty. Disabled members who are injured or have an illness or disease incurred or aggravated in the line of duty and are released from active duty before completing 90 consecutive days also are eligible.
Yellow Ribbon Program
The Yellow Ribbon Program was established by the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows institutions of higher learning to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition and fee expenses not covered by the Post- 9/11 GI Bill®.
Columbia College proudly supports the GI Bill® Yellow Ribbon Program. Students who are 100 percent qualified for the chapter 33 Post-9/11 GI Bill® and meet the VA’s Yellow Ribbon guidelines will be allowed to participate in this program at Columbia College for the 2018-2019 school year.
Contact the Ousley Family Veterans Service Center for details at (800)231-2391, ext. 7504.
Additional information about the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and the Yellow Ribbon Program may be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Transfer of Post-9/11 GI-Bill® Benefits to Dependents (TEB)
Service members enrolled in the Post-9/11 GI Bill® program may be eligible to transfer educational benefits to their spouses or children. An eligible Service member may transfer up to the total months of unused Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits. For more information on this program visit https://www.gibill.va.gov/documents/Post-911_Transferability.pdf.
Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC): Military Science, Naval Science, and Aerospace Studies
Students attending Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri participate in ROTC through a cooperative program with the University of Missouri by attending regular classes on the Columbia College campus while completing ROTC coursework at the MU campus, just 10 blocks away. This allows students to take advantage of the small class sizes and personal attention Columbia College offers, while pursuing a commission in our Armed Forces.
The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is designed to provide men and women the opportunity to become officers in the armed forces of the United States while pursuing their college degrees in a variety of fields. ROTC scholarships are available to qualified persons to help defray the costs of a college education. Students who receive ROTC scholarships incur an obligation to serve after graduation in the branch of military service that provided the scholarship. (No obligation is incurred until the last two years; freshmen and non-scholarship sophomores may participate in ROTC without obligation.)
Columbia College students may enroll in these courses, all of which are offered on the campus of the University of Missouri - Columbia. Columbia College students earn Columbia College credit for these courses. Each branch of the armed services offers its own set of courses. The U.S. Army courses are found in this catalog in the listing of course descriptions under Military Science (MSCI) and the U.S. Air Force courses are found under Aerospace Studies (ASCI), and the U.S. Navy’s are under Naval Science (NSCI).
Columbia College students may earn a minor in ROTC by completing eighteen semester hours of courses with a field code of ASCI or NSCI or MSCI. Courses are scheduled and taught by personnel in the three respective departments of the University of Missouri - Columbia.
For more information, contact:
- Military Science (Army ROTC): 573-882-7721
- Naval Science (Navy ROTC): 573-882-6693
- Aerospace Studies (Air Force ROTC): 573-882-7621
Student Organizations and Honor Societies
Columbia College Student Veterans (CCSV)
Columbia College is proud to sponsor a chapter of the Student Veterans of America organization, called CCSV. The mission of the CCSV is to organize student veterans and other students so they can have a positive impact on their fellow members, the college and the community. Visit the website for more information at www.ccis.edu/military.
SALUTE Veterans Honor Society (Service-Academics-Leadership-Unity-Tribute-Excellence)
SALUTE is the first honor society established for student veterans and military in two-year and four-year institutions of higher education. Membership criteria at Columbia College includes: students must be degree seeking in an undergraduate program; be an honorably discharged veteran, active duty military, National Guard or reservist; have a Columbia College cumulative GPA of at least 3.0; have a minimum of 12 semester hours completed at Columbia College; be a junior or senior level in academic standing. For the purpose of Columbia College Chapter membership, differentiation of tier levels will not be made, but students wishing to be recognized by tiers may petition the chapter council. Cord colors: red, white and blue.
Ousley Family Veterans Service Center
The Ousley Family Veterans Service Center supports the educational needs and processes for the military, veteran, and dependent student. The mission of the Ousley Family Veterans Service Center is to provide a support network to facilitate the transition of veterans, military service members and dependents to Columbia College and to understand and address their unique student support needs while they are attending Columbia College.
Students planning to use VA Educational Benefits may utilize the center to assist in completing their application and other required Columbia College documents. The Ousley Family Veterans Service Center is located on the second floor of Missouri Hall, Room 226. For additional information contact the Columbia College veterans certifying official, (573) 875-7504, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ccis.edu/military/veteranscenter.
Veterans Certifying Official
Main Campus Day, Main Campus Evening and Online students should contact a veterans certifying official at the Ousley Family Veterans Service Center at (573) 875-7504 or email@example.com.
Nationwide location students should contact the veterans certifying official at their location. Contact information can be found at www.ccis.edu/nationwide/local-centers.aspx.
For additional information visit www.ccis.edu/military/veterans.aspx.