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Past-due balances and collections information

Past-due balances

A student's balance is considered past due if it is more than 30 days unpaid. If the balance is from a prior session (not a session currently in progress), and that balance has not yet been sent to a collection agency (see collections section), the student may set up a payment arrangement with Columbia College to pay the balance in installments. Until the balance is paid, the student will not be allowed to register for any subsequent term, obtain a transcript of academic work, obtain a diploma or apply for a residence hall room. 

To set up payment arrangements on a balance from a prior session, a student would need to contact our Accounts Collection Specialist in the Business Office: 573-875-7385 or 800-231-2391, ext. 7385. 

Collections

When students have a balance with Columbia College, they initially are sent a monthly billing statement via their CougarTrack.  If the bill goes unpaid after 30 days, the student will be sent a first notice. If the bill is still unpaid after 60 days, the student will be sent a final notice. Notices are sent via postal mail, and are sent to the most current address we have on file. It is the student's responsibility to ensure his or her information is accurate.  If a student's bill is unpaid for 90 days or more, it is subject to be sent to a collections agency.  We currently work with three agencies that assist us in collecting old balances:

GRC: 888-710-6818
Recovery Management Services: 800-932-2851
Windham Professionals: 800-208-5076

Once a student's account has been sent to one of the above collection agencies, Columbia College can no longer set up payment arrangements with the student - this is all done through the agency. The balance at Columbia College will not officially reflect any collection fees that may have accrued since the placement with the agency until the student makes payment (i.e. fees are not reflected in ePayment prior to a student paying on the old balance). The most accurate information regarding your balance, including any fees owed, may be obtained through the agency with which the account was placed.

All payments on collection accounts and bad debt write-off accounts should be made in the form of cash, money order, cashiers check or credit card. If a student in collections pays with a personal check, he or she will have to wait ten days before being cleared to register or receive a transcript. 

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