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Payer Identity Plans

The office of Student Financial Services believes that paying your student account bill is a process that involves planning and your active participation.  Based on this we have created roadmaps (payer identities and plans) to assist you in paying your bill at Columbia College Chicago.  We suggest that students and their support networks approach this process in two steps: first, decide on your payer identity; second, secure your plan.

Payer Identity

A Payer Identity is the primary way students will pay their cost of attendance while attending Columbia College Chicago.  The Payer Identity illustrates the plan that will be followed and assists Student Financial Services in appropriately advising payers based on their specific identity.  Student Financial Services has outlined three payer identities:
Cash Payer
These payers pay their cost of attendance without the use of financial aid.  Cash payers can pay their tuition in full before the start of each semester or can use the Cash Payer Plan outlined below.

Financial Aid Recipient
These payers utilize financial aid to pay their cost of attendance.  Financial aid can come in the form of student loans, grants, scholarships or some combination of those resources.

Third-Party Payer
This payer will utilize the assistance of a third-party to cover their cost of attendance.  Examples of third-party payers are 529 Plans, employer tuition benefits, government agencies, etc.

Payer Identity Plans

Each Payer Identity has an outlined plan and expectations that must be met before students may register for additional classes:
Cash Payer Plan
Pay semester charges in full prior to the start of the semester or All students on the payment plan are expected to have completed three of their four payments for the current semester before they may register for additional classes. Click here for ways to make a payment.


1st Payment Due

2nd Payment Due

3rd Payment Due

4th Payment Due

FALL 2015

September 1st

October 1st

November 1st

December 1st


February 1st

March 1st

April 1st

May 1st


 June 1st

 July 1st



Financial Aid Recipient Plan 

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online for the current academic year prior to beginning school.
  2. Complete all necessary steps prior to beginning school to secure the chosen aid types that will pay their semester charges in full.
  3. Notify the Office of Student Financial Services of any external scholarships that will be used and have not been included on a Columbia College Chicago Award Letter by completing an Award Change Request form and forwarding any necessary documentation to the SFS office.
  4. Determine if there is a Balance Due After Aid and either apply for additional aid funds or remit payment in full (Students wishing to remit payment in full under a payment agreement may complete an In-School Payment Agreement after all previous steps are completed)

Third-Party Payer Plan
  1. Students whose semester charges will be paid in full or in part by a third-party (i.e. Employer, 529 Plan, Government Agency) are eligible to pay their account balance through the Third-Party Benefit Payer Type.  
  2. Complete the Third Party Benefit Release Form prior to the start of each Academic Year. Follow the direction on the form to submit this required document.
  3. Prior to the start of each Semester, submit any documentation detailing payment of tuition and billing information for the third-party to Student Financial Services Attention: Third-Party Benefits.
  4. Determine if there is a Balance Due After the Third-Party Benefit and either apply for financial aid funds or remit payment in full. (Students wishing to remit payment in full under a payment agreement may complete an In-School Payment Agreement after all previous steps are completed).

Account Maintenance Fees

If you are a student who is using financial aid as your primary funding resource and you also wish to use personal resources (cash) to pay a remaining balance, you are eligible to apply for an In-School Payment Agreement.  To be eligible for an In-School Payment Agreement you must have secured all of your chosen financial aid resources and the balance of the agreement cannot exceed $10,000 annually.

Students may apply for an In-School Payment Agreement August 1st – October 15th for Fall enrollment and January 1st – February 27th for Spring enrollment. Students will be charged a monthly $20.00 Account Maintenance Fee every month that they continue to have an account balance. An Account Placement Fee in the amount of $150 will be charged to all accounts that are not paid in full by the final due date.

Financial Holds

Students who have not secured their payer identity and plan will be required to contact Student Financial Services before they may register for additional classes.

A SFS Financial Hold will restrict you from doing the following:
  1. Making changes to your current semester registration record.
  2. Participating in future registration sessions. Visit Records Office website for future registration dates.
  3. Obtaining official copies of your academic transcript.