Graduate Bulletin 2020 -2021 
    
    May 17, 2021  
Graduate Bulletin 2020 -2021

Financial Information



Tuition

  • For all graduate courses: $480 per semester hour
  • The audit fee is also $480 per semester hour. Students who audit a class receive no credit for the class, but they do receive a grade of NC (no credit).

All tuition is due 10 days before the class start-date.

Tuition Refund

Refund of tuition will be made only in the case of official withdrawal from the College through the Graduate School and the Office of the Registrar. The following refund policies are in effect for the Graduate School and apply to both degree status and non-program status students:

When the student has been enrolled Percentage of tuition refunded:
through the end of add/drop
(This date is found in the current year’s Academic Calendar online.)
100 percent
through the next three calendar days
(does not apply to Online programs)
50 percent
after three calendar days
(does not apply to Online programs)
No Refund

If a student drops an individual course after the beginning date of the semester but before the end of the add/drop period, then the student is entitled to a full refund of tuition for that course. No refunds are authorized for individual course withdrawals after the end of add/drop.

The student is reminded that a program or individual course withdrawal decision should be made in consultation with the student’s academic advisor. Before finalizing a withdrawal decision, the student should contact the Office of Financial Aid: fa@columbiasc.edu. Course credit load influences financial aid eligibility and amount of award, and the student should understand the impact of academic load reductions on financial aid status.

Also note that in accordance with federal regulations, students receiving federal financial aid are also subject to a Return of the Title IV Funds Policy depending on the date of their withdrawal petition. For more information, please contact the Tuition Accounts Office: ta@columbiasc.edu.

Financial Assistance

The Columbia College Office of Financial Aid administers the Federal Stafford Loan Program, Subsidized and Unsubsidized, for graduate students. These loans are available to students who are enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program. Repayment begins six months after a student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. Students should begin the financial assistance process as early as possible following the initial application to the Graduate Program. The procedures are as follows:

  1. The student completes and files the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible after October 1 of the year prior to which the financial assistance is requested. A new FAFSA or renewal FAFSA must be completed for each academic year. The FAFSA may be completed online at www.FAFSA.ed.gov.
  2. Following the submission of the FAFSA, the student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). The College will receive the same data electronically from the U.S. Department of Education. Upon receipt of the SAR and other pertinent information, a financial aid award offer will be tendered to the student.
  3. The student must sign and return the award notification only if changes to the award need to take place. If the student fails to return the award notification with requested changes, the Office of Financial Aid will process all awards as listed on the award notification.
  4. Additional paperwork is necessary to finalize Federal Stafford Loans. All students must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling in order to receive loans. Instructions are sent to the student from the Office of Financial Aid. Failure to complete all steps will result in loan cancellation. If loans are cancelled due to lack of student response, the student is responsible for any resulting account balance and will be required to pay in full.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Pursuant to Federal Regulations, the Columbia College Financial Aid Office is required to monitor the academic progress of all students who apply for federal financial aid. Financial aid funds can only be awarded to students who are completing a minimum percentage of hours attempted, maintain a specific GPA, and who meet the college’s standards for continued enrollment as defined in the “Academic Standing ” section of the Columbia College Bulletin. If a student fails to meet any particular standard or combination of standards, he/she will become ineligible for federal financial aid. A student is considered making Satisfactory Academic Progress and eligible for financial aid if he/she:

  1. Is admitted and enrolled as a degree-seeking student.
  2. Meets Columbia College’s standards for continued enrollment (See the “Academic Standing ” section of Columbia College’s Bulletin.)
  3. Maintains a 3.0 Cumulative GPA for Graduate Studies.
  4. Passes 67% of all attempted hours (includes all transferred credits).
  5. Graduate students have not exceeded 54 attempted hours.

Full-time/Part-time

For the purposes of Satisfactory Academic Progress, Columbia College does not distinguish between full-time and part-time enrollment. Students’ progress is accessed on both a qualitative (GPA) and quantitative scale (percentage of hours completed). Basing the qualitative measure on percentage of hours completed negates any differences in enrollment status.

Student Eligibility

Graduate students must meet the Graduate Program’s standards for continued enrollment. They must also complete at least 67% of the credits for which they were registered during the past academic year and must complete 67% of all hours attempted in graduate school. No graduate student exceeding 54 attempted hours is eligible for Title IV Federal aid, state aid, or institutional aid.

Repeats, Withdrawals, and Remedial Coursework

Any academic course work including incompletes, withdrawals, and repetitions that the student begins (registers) and is charged for by Columbia College will be counted as attempted credit hours. Repeated course work that the student successfully completes will be counted toward the minimum number of credits needed to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Any incomplete grade changed to a passing grade will be counted toward the minimum hours needed if the change occurs prior to the first day of class.

Frequency of SAP Assessment

Graduate students will be evaluated at the end of each term of enrollment. Students who have not met Satisfactory Academic Progress after the designated checkpoint are placed in a Financial Aid Probationary status. Students on Probation are classified as ineligible for aid and are not eligible for Title IV federal aid programs. There is no warning period in which a student can receive aid for an additional semester if SAP requirements are not met.

Students who are determined to be ineligible for federal financial aid under the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy may appeal this determination if the student feels extenuating circumstances are major factors in his/her inability to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. Extenuating circumstances are documented conditions beyond the student’s control (i.e., injury, illness, or family crisis). Appeals governing that circumstance will only be granted once. All appeals must be in writing and mailed to the Financial Aid Office.

Financial Aid Appeals

Students who do not meet these guidelines will be sent a letter explaining that they are on financial aid probation. Students who feel there are extenuating circumstances which may affect the denial of financial aid have the right to appeal in accordance with the Financial Aid Appeal Process. In order to appeal, the student will need to submit a letter of explanation detailing the extenuating circumstance and what steps will be taken to ensure SAP requirements will be met by the end of the next term. All appeals must be submitted within 30 days from the date in which the student was notified by the Financial Aid Office that he/she is on financial aid probation. Appeal documentation will be reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid.

Appeals can only be granted if it is mathematically possible for the student to achieve both the quantitative and qualitative SAP standard by the end of the next academic semester. Any appeal that requires more than one semester to achieve SAP standards will be denied or re-evaluated under the Academic Plan process.

After a reinstatement is made, the Financial Aid Office will review the student’s grades at the end of the reinstated period. The student will be required to successfully complete each semester with a “B” or better in each course attempted. If the student fails to meet this requirement, they will be denied financial aid for the upcoming semester and appeals will not be accepted a second time. Repeated appeals are considered a violation of the intent of the satisfactory academic progress guidelines. If a student’s appeal is denied then the student will be required to successfully attain minimum SAP requirements using their own financial resources to continue enrollment. Once minimum SAP requirements have been met aid eligibility is reinstated.

Appeals for the upcoming fall semester will be reviewed after spring grades are available (if necessary) and prior to the last day of the add/drop period for the fall semester. Appeals for the upcoming spring semester will be reviewed after fall grades are available (if necessary) and prior to the last day of the add/drop period for the spring semester. Appeals for the upcoming summer sessions will be reviewed during the spring semester and prior to the last day of the add/drop period for the summer session.

Academic Plan

Students appealing their ineligibility for aid that cannot achieve minimum SAP requirements within one semester may be considered for an Academic Plan. If a student can achieve SAP minimum requirements in a reasonable amount of time, one academic year or less (3 semesters: Fall, Spring, and Summer), exhibits character consistent with the mission of Columbia College, has a balance less than $1000 owed to the college, and can satisfactorily demonstrate a willingness to do the work necessary to attain minimum SAP requirements, then an Academic Plan will be offered.

An Academic Plan will detail the specific expectations and requirements that must be met for each semester the student receives aid until SAP requirements are met. The Academic Plan will be created by the Provost’s Office and forwarded to the Office of Financial Aid. Requirements may include, but are not limited to: regular meetings with faculty, advisors, and the Academic Skills Center, presentation of progress reports to the Director of Financial Aid or other representatives, and optional sessions with the campus Counselor. A specific GPA and percentage of hours completed will be assigned for each semester to ensure that SAP requirements are met within the required time-frame. Failure to comply with any part of the Academic Plan requirements or to achieve the expected GPA and percentage will terminate the Academic Plan provision and the student will become ineligible for aid. No additional appeals will be considered.

Columbia College reserves the right to terminate an Academic Plan at any time. Any decision to terminate a plan early will be approved by the Financial Aid Committee. Academic Plans are an optional part of the appeals process and may not be offered to every student that can mathematically meet SAP requirements within 3 semesters.