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Policies on Payments, Credits and Refunds
When an applicant is admitted to the graduate program, the student, the parents or the guardians accept the standard payment policy of Columbia College. Students incur financial liability when they complete and sign an official Columbia College course registration form or complete online registration. Full payment is due at that time. Liability is not dependent upon a student receiving a billing statement.
Educational expenses may include tuition, textbooks, lab fees and any miscellaneous fee related to the course(s). The personal payment portion of the student’s educational expenses (educational expenses less financial aid or assistance awarded) is due in full at the time of registration (for additional information concerning financial aid, please refer to the Financial Aid section of the Graduate Catalog).
Refunds are processed weekly based on financial aid procedures or when a student has excess payments or financial aid. There are no expedited or emergency refunds.
Deferred Payment Plan
If full payment is not possible, students may be placed in a deferred payment plan. The arrangement requires payment of one half of the personal payment portion at the time of registration. The student must enroll in a deferred payment plan for the remaining half with a maturity date no later than the last day of the session before registering for a subsequent session. Deferred payment plans are valid for only one session and must be requested for each individual session.
- 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.)
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.
The personal payment portion of a student’s account that remains unpaid after the end of the session may be assessed a finance charge.
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.
Applying Federal Financial Aid
If the student has applied for and been awarded financial assistance, the aid, excluding college employment programs, is subtracted from the balance owed to determine the amount to be paid or deferred. Financial aid in the form of a Direct (subsidized and unsubsidized) Loan is considered on the deferred payment plan only if awarded by the Financial Aid Office.
Employer Tuition Assistance
Students who receive employer tuition assistance may have the costs of educational expenses paid by their employer through direct billing or through reimbursement. Students should check with their employers to determine which plan is appropriate for them.
1. Direct Billing: A student whose employer offers direct payment to the College must ensure that the College receives a letter from the employer which authorizes and describes the conditions of such an arrangement. The letter must be on file in the Registration and Financial Services Office.
2. Reimbursement: A student attending under employer reimbursement is required to follow the standard payment policy and then receive reimbursement following guidelines established by his/her employer.
Under either form of tuition assistance, students are responsible for any portion of the educational fees not paid by their employers. Students whose employers have contingencies on payments (such as attaining a certain grade) are required to pay as if they did not have employer tuition assistance and will be reimbursed after the employer makes payment.
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 they have a balance due from previous sessions. It is recommended that military students contact the appropriate educational services officer for guidance and assistance in completing MTA paperwork.
Veterans Educational Assistance
An individual who is currently serving or has served in our nation’s armed forces may be eligible for educational assistance from the Veterans Administration (VA). Eligible students must complete paperwork required to establish VA eligibility at the time of registration. The VA pays benefits directly to eligible individuals. Students receiving VA benefits are, therefore, personally responsible for payment for all of their educational fees and are required to follow the standard payment policy of the College.
Special Education Tuition Reimbursement
Pending state funding, tuition reimbursement for Missouri students may be available from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for paraprofessionals and contracted certified teachers who qualify and take courses in the area of Mild/Moderate Cross Categorical Special Education. Additional information is available from the MAT Graduate Program Coordinator.
Attendance Policy for VA Students
Students using veterans’ benefits to attend Columbia College will have attendance monitored until the time the student drops, graduates, or completes the program. Unsatisfactory attendance will be reported to the DVA even if the VA student has completed the required number of hours to complete and no refund is due the student and/or refund sources. Therefore, the attendance policy (20% of the total program and/or being absent five  consecutive days) will apply throughout the student’s stay in school. All violations of the attendance policy will be reported to DVA on VA form 22-1999b within 30 days at such time the student exceeds the allowed number of absences.
Dropping a Class
Financial liability is assessed at the completion of the drop period for each session. If students drop a class prior to the end of the drop period, no financial or academic liability is incurred. If students drop 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
After classes begin, tuition charges (if applicable) are determined by the following schedule, in the event that the student completes a total withdrawal from Columbia College:
|Time Frame (Count all days, including weekends)
|Before the 1st day through the 6th business day of term
|After the 6th business day of term
||100% of original charges
For students who are recipients of federal Title IV student aid, refunds will be made in accordance with federal regulation 34 CFR 668.22. Please contact the Enrollment Service center for a current schedule.
Students receiving financial assistance should be aware that their financial aid package could be affected should they elect to drop a course.
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.