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Employee Graduate Education Grant Policy

Purpose

As part of its mission, Columbia College strives to broaden educational opportunities. The Graduate Education Grant (GEG) program is offered by the College to its regular full-time employees and allows enrollment in Columbia College graduate courses at a reduced cost. Employees are allowed the opportunity to fulfill educational goals in order to enhance job skills and work performance, or to complete a graduate degree. Columbia College is exceptionally proud to offer this benefit to its regular full-time employees. If GEG benefits are applied with other tuition-only funding sources, the GEG benefit will be applied to the unfunded portion, up to the approved level of the GEG benefit.

This policy sets forth the guidelines and eligibility requirements for participation in the GEG program.

Scope

This policy applies to individuals who satisfy the eligibility requirements set forth herein.

Policy

GEG eligibility requirements

After completion of their introductory period with Columbia College, all full-time permanent employees, unless on academic probation, are eligible for a GEG. An employee is eligible up to the maximum amount of credits allowed per semester without advisor approval. Any courses taken in excess of that amount must be paid for by the employee. Exceptions to this restriction may be requested through the Administrative Council representative. This grant allows eligible employees to enroll in (in-seat and/or online) graduate courses at Columbia College, at a 75% tuition reduction. Thus, the employee is responsible for 25% of the tuition. All other educational expenses are borne by the employee (e.g., expenses for books, lab fees, application fees). Grantees are subject to the housing requirement and individuals residing on campus pay regular rates for room, board, and other services. Employees eligible for GEG may attend classes under GEG at any location of Columbia College.

Spouse or domestic partner, dependents, adjunct faculty and part-time employees are not eligible for a GEG.

Application process

To apply for a GEG, the applicant must:

  • Meet the minimum requirements of and apply for admission to the graduate program through normal channels.
  • Obtain an EEG verification form online at Employee Forms on CougarTrack. All recipients of an EEG?GEG are encouraged to apply for federal financial aid. GEG will be coordinated with federal or state grants.
  • Complete the EEG verification form with all appropriate information and obtain signatures from the employee's immediate supervisor and Administrative Council supervisor.
  • Completed verification forms should be submitted to the Human Resources Office.
  • Human Resources reviews employee eligibility and sends to the Financial Aid Office for GEG to be processed. The Financial Aid Office awards GEG by generating an award letter. Student(s) and Human Resources are notified if the Financial Aid Office is unable to process the form.
  • Forms must be submitted and GEG awarded prior to a student registering for classes.

Effects of termination and resignation

If an employee resigns from or is terminated by the College, GEG benefits cease on the date of severance for the employee. Enrollment in courses may be continued, although financial liability for those courses becomes the responsibility of the student and is thus prorated on a per-day basis from the date of severance. In no event may such courses taken for credit be converted to audit status.

Guidelines

The decision either to conduct a course or to cancel it because of low enrollment is made without considering the number of employees desiring that course under GEG. In other words, GEG students may not be used to fill the gap between the number of students needed to run a course and the number of non-employees registered for that course.

Questions regarding this policy may be directed to the Office of Human Resources.

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