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Columbia College to defer tuition costs for veterans affected by government shutdown

COLUMBIA, Mo., Oct. 15 - Columbia College recently announced it will expand tuition deferment for the term that begins Oct. 21 to veterans whose benefits have been suspended or delayed as a result of the federal government shutdown. The college recently offered a no-liability withdrawal policy or an extended six-month payment plan to service members that had their Military Tuition Assistance suspended and were unable to secure other financial assistance.

"The uncertainty caused by the government shutdown has been felt by everyone,” said Mike Lederle, assistant dean for military and federal programs. "In keeping with our steadfast dedication to those who serve our country, it only seemed logical to expand this option to our veteran students as well, to help keep them in school."

Details of Columbia College assistance for the October 2013 academic session:

Affected students must:

• Show proof of eligibility

• Apply for or have a current FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file

Columbia College will offer the following to affected students:

• The opportunity to withdraw from classes through Nov. 29, 2013, without financial or academic liability

• The opportunity to enroll in an extended six-month payment plan, with the first payment due Nov. 22, 2013

During the 2012-13 academic year, more than 3,500 students completed Columbia College coursework using veteran benefits. Many of those affiliated with the military are enrolled at Columbia College's campuses across the country. Of those 35 locations, 18 are located on military bases, including one in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Founded in 1851 in Columbia, Mo., Columbia College has been helping students advance their lives through higher education for more than 160 years. As a private, nonprofit liberal arts and sciences institution, the college takes pride in its small classes, experienced faculty and quality educational programs. Students may enroll in day, evening or online classes. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. Columbia College educates more than 31,000 students each year and has more than 80,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit