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Leaving Columbia in Good Standing

Whether you've reached commencement and are preparing to start a new journey in your career, or you have decided to take some time off temporarily, there are several steps to complete before you leave Columbia College Chicago.

This page provides an outline to guide you on your path to leaving in good standing and also begin your federal student loan repayment.

Leaving Columbia College Chicago in Good Standing

Apply for Graduation
Confirm your intended graduation date by completing a graduation application.

Log into OASIS

Beginning Your Federal Student Loan Repayment

We encourage you to read the "Repaying Your Loans" brochure from Federal Student Aid.  It highlights information about the loan repayment process and gives you a helpful to-do list to get started.

Complete Online Exit Counseling
Exit Counseling is required for all students who borrow Federal Student Direct Loans and have graduated, left school, or dropped below six credit hours.  A financial hold will be placed on your account if you fall under any of the previous mentioned statuses until you successfully complete Exit Counseling.  Visit to log in, then click on Complete Counseling to select and complete Exit Counseling.

Retrieve Your Financial Aid History
The Federal Student Aid website StudentAid.Gov now allows federal financial aid recipients to access their financial aid history from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) through StudentAid.Gov. This website’s new feature allows students, parents and borrowers to access their loan history detail, view their loan servicer’s contact information, and review grant detail including Pell eligibility remaining. You will need your social security number and your Federal PIN to access your information on StudentAid.Gov.

Get to Know Your Loan Servicer
Staying in touch with your Loan Servicer is the best way to avoid default.  Keep them informed of any address change, phone number change, or any other change in your information.  If you're not sure who your loan servicer is, you can look it up at or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY 1-800-730-8913). To see a list of Federal Student Aid servicers for the Direct Loan Program and for FFEL Program Loans purchased by the U.S. Department of Education, visit the Loan Servicer page.

Review Federal Direct Loan Repayment Information
Click here, to learn about your grace period, repayment plans, interest rate, and repayment options. Use the following chart  to learn more (in English and Spanish).

Create a Budget for Repayment
Use the time allowed by your Grace Period to create a budget which will help you make your payments and achieve your plan. You may use this online budget calculator to assist you in this process.

Tax benefits are available for certain higher education expenses, including a deduction for student loan interest for certain borrowers and may save you money. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Higher Education, explains these credits and other tax benefits. You can get more information online at or by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

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