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Leaving Columbia in Good Standing

Before you leave Columbia, there are several steps you must complete to ensure you are in good financial standing.

Pay Your Balance in Full

Log in to OASIS and review your student account to make sure that you don't have a balance and aren't registered for future semesters. If you have a remaining balance, you will not be able to receive official transcripts or your diploma. Delinquent accounts are sent to third-party collection agencies and you will incur additional costs. 

Confirm Graduation Information

Then, confirm your intended graduation date by completing a graduation application. Update your address and phone number in OASIS to your permanent address.

More information about how to apply for graduation can be found here

Begin Your Student Loan Repayment

There are steps you must take to begin repaying your federal student loans. Before you get started, visit for helpful tips and checklists. Also, Columbia has partnered with ECMC Solutions to help you through the repayment process. Call (844) SUCCEED or (844) 327-9349. The counselors at ECMC Solutions are passionate about helping students choose the best long-term repayment plan.

Complete Online Exit Counseling

Online exit counseling is required for all students who:

  • borrow Federal Direct Student Loans
  • receive TEACH grants
  • have graduated, left school, or dropped below six credit hours

An account management hold will be placed on your account until this is completed. 

To begin, 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 allows federal financial aid recipients to access their financial aid history from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). This website’s 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.

Please note that you will need your Social Security number and your FSA User ID to access your information.

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 800-4-FED-AID (800-433-3243; TTY 800-730-8913).  

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.

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 800-829-1040.

Default Prevention

We've teamed up with Solutions at ECMC to answer all of your student loan repayment questions. Solutions is a service of the non-profit organization ECMC and is dedicated to helping students manage educational loans. Their resources are available to you free of charge. Contact a Solutions Student Loan Repayment Advisor via email or chat at or call them at 877-331-3262.


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

Read about disclosures here.