STUDENT FINANCIAL SERVICES

Announcement

The SFS offices, consultation line, and chat will be closed on Monday, September 3, 2018.

Changes to Your Enrollment

When a student is awarded Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds, it is based on the assumption that the student will attend classes for the entire period of enrollment. If a student drops a class, withdraws from all classes, or stops attending courses, he or she may no longer be eligible for the full amount of FSA funds originally awarded. 

Here is more information about how changes to your enrollment affect your financial aid. 

Don't forget - if you are considering making changes to your enrollment with Columbia, it is important to contact the College Advising Center as well as Student Financial Services. 

Course Drops

Students may drop coursework for the semester before the drop deadline for the term as published by the Office of the Registrar. Dropped coursework does not appear on the student’s transcript and is not calculated in the student’s satisfactory academic progress measurements.

Course drops may result in a decrease to your cost of attendance budget and financial aid eligibility. Student Financial Services will determine your eligibility based on your total number of enrolled hours and will email you a Revised Award Letter if adjustments are made to your eligibility. 

You will receive a 100% refund of tuition and fees charged for the course.

Financial Aid Census
At the end of the add/drop period for the standard semester (first two weeks in fall/spring, first week in summer), a student’s enrollment status is considered ‘locked’ for financial aid purposes. Once census occurs, financial aid and student budgets for the term are adjusted to reflect actual enrollment. If a student was previously paid financial aid as a full-time student but as of census is considered a half-time student, a student’s budget would be reduced to reflect half-time enrollment and all financial aid adjusted to reflect half-time eligibility.
Non-Attendance (No Show Grade)

Students are required to attend class to qualify for financial aid. Faculty in undergraduate courses will be taking attendance during the add/drop period for the course.

If it is reported that you failed to attend and participate in class during this period, a grade of NS (no-show) will be entered on your record for the course. Receiving a NS for a course may impact you in several ways:

  • Student Financial Services may be required to adjust your financial aid.
  • You will be responsible for the tuition and fees for the course.
  • If the NS changes your enrollment level to less than half time, this information will be reported to the National Student Clearinghouse and you may enter repayment on your federal student loans.
  • The NS grade will be treated as a withdrawal on your academic record, which will impact your completion ration under the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation.
  • The NS will appear on your official transcript.

You will be responsible for 100% of tuition and fees associated with any courses for which you have a No Show Grade.

Course Withdrawals

Students may withdraw from coursework after the published add/drop period; however, students do not receive any refund on any tuition or fees associated with course withdrawals. All course withdrawals are included in the calculation of a student’s financial aid eligibility, will show up on a student’s academic record as a ‘W’, and will be calculated in a student’s satisfactory academic progress measurement.

Course withdrawals ultimately delay a student’s degree progress and can have negative impacts on a student’s satisfactory academic progress standing. Additionally, using financial aid for coursework that results in a Withdrawal may impact future access to certain financial aid programs such as the Federal Pell Grant and Direct Loans. As such, students are encouraged to consult with the College Advising Center and Student Financial Services prior to withdrawing from coursework.

You will be responsible for 100% of tuition and fees associated with any courses from which you withdraw.

How to Withdraw from a Course

Columbia College Chicago permits students to withdraw from coursework via their OASIS portal, by visiting the Office of the Registrar at 600 S. Michigan Ave., Room 611, and completing the proper form, or by faxing a request to 312-369-8073. At the discretion of a professor or other College Administrator, in conjunction with the Dean of Students, a student may be administratively dropped or withdrawn from a course or coursework. 

Withdrawal Due to Active Military Service

Students called to active duty should contact Paul Loretto, Veteran School Certifying Official, at 312-369-8791 or email him at ploretto@colum.edu as soon as possible. For a student who withdraws from the College as a result of the student being called to active duty in a military service of the United States or National Guard, the College will prorate his/her tuition and fees based on the time of attendance for the semester within 60 days of notification.

Complete Withdrawal (Official and Unofficial Notification) R2T4 Policy

Per federal regulations, when a student recipient of federal (Title IV) loans or grant funds withdraws from Columbia (official notification) or stops attending and/or fails to complete any coursework (unofficial notification) during a semester in which the student began attendance, Columbia is required to determine the amount of federal loan and grant funds that the student has earned based on the percentage of the term completed. This is referred to as Return to Title IV (R2T4). If a student officially withdraws from all courses, Columbia uses the course withdrawal dates on the student's record to determine the percentage of the term that was completed. If a student unofficially withdraws from and/or fails all courses, Columbia confirms the last day of attendance with the faculty member responsible for teaching each course. 

The federal formula determines the amount of Title IV funds a student is considered to have "earned" prior to officially withdrawing or ceasing attendance.

  • If as a result of the formula Columbia determines that the student is due additional Title IV funds, he/she will be notified in writing. If the student is due grant funds, he/she will be notified and those funds will be applied to the student's account. If the student is due loan funds, he/she will be notified and will be asked to confirm in writing if he/she would like to accept those loan funds. Columbia must disburse any Title IV grant funds a student is due as part of a post-withdrawal disbursement within 45 days of the date Columbia determined that the student withdrew, and must offer any post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds within 30 days of the date that Columbia determined the student withdrew. To accept a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds, the loan borrower must notify Columbia of his/her decision within 14 calendar days of being offered the post-withdrawal disbursement. 
  • If as a result of the formula Columbia determines that Title IV funds must be returned to the U.S. Department of Education, Columbia will return those funds on the student's behalf. In many cases, this will result in the student owing a balance to Columbia that must be repaid immediately. If funds must be returned on the student's behalf, he/she will be notified in writing. Columbia must return any Title IV funds within 45 days of the date it determined that the student withdrew. Funds are returned to the U.S. Department of Education, as applicable, in the following order up to the net amount disbursed from each source: Unsubsidized Direct Loans; Subsidized Direct Loans; Direct PLUS Loans; Federal Pell Grants; FSEOG; Teach Grants; and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants. 

Please note, students are responsible for 100% of tuition and fees associated with any courses from which they withdraw. 

Repayment of Military or Veterans Benefits

A student who withdraws from the College (official or unofficial) may owe all or a portion of their military or veteran’s benefits back to the Department of Defense and/or Department of Veterans Affairs. Students may be ineligible for future military or veteran’s benefits until payment is received by the appropriate federal department.

Enrollment Reporting
The College reports student enrollment status to the National Student Clearinghouse and the National Student Loan Data System every 30 days. Although a student’s financial aid is based on census hours, a student’s actual enrollment status will always be reported to these entities which may impact federal and/or private loan repayment.

Other Considerations

There are other areas that may be impacted if you drop or withdraw from some or all of your coursework for the semester. It is important to consider these when making your decision:

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

It is important that while you are making changes to your enrollment with Columbia College Chicago, this could potentially impact your SAP status.

Undergraduate students can find more information about SAP here

Graduate students can find more information about SAP here

Loans

If you have borrowed federal loans:
If you drop below 6 credit hours or completely withdraw from the semester, it will affect your federal loan deferment status. If you currently have loans, your loans will lose their in-school deferment status after you drop/withdraw and you may need to start repaying your loans. If you have questions about your loan repayment obligations, contact your Loan Servicer.

If you have borrowed private educational loans…
If you drop below 6 credit hours or completely withdraw from the semester, it may impact the terms of repayment on your private educational loan(s). In some cases, your lender may require you to begin repayment immediately. In other cases, a lender might also require you to continue making payments even if you enroll next semester. If you are considering dropping below 6 credits or withdrawing from the semester, you should contact your lender.

Campus Housing
If you are living on-campus, contact Residence Life if you are considering withdrawing from the semester. Students are required to be actively enrolled in order to remain in campus housing.
Health Insurance
If you receive insurance or benefits, many insurance (health, auto, etc.) or benefit policies require active, full-time enrollment. Check with your or your parents' insurance or benefit provider(s) before you decide to drop or withdraw.

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Student Financial Services is here to help you determine ways to finance your education at Columbia College Chicago.

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