Failure to Pay Policy
The purpose of this policy is to define a student’s failure to pay all fees charged to the student’s account and outline potential consequences for such action.
This policy applies to all students at Columbia College.
Students are financially responsible for the payment of all fees charged to their accounts including, but not limited to tuition, textbooks, lab fees, and all miscellaneous fees. Students may not register or attend future sessions if the financial obligations for which the student is responsible are not paid in full. Degrees, transcripts, and letters of honorable separation are withheld from students who have not settled their financial obligations to the College, including, if applicable, all collections fees, attorney fees, and court costs.
Failure to comply with the payment policies of the College may result in further collection activity by an outside collection agency or attorney. When this action occurs, students are responsible for paying all collection expenses which may exceed 50% of the original balance owed. Although every effort is made to contact a student prior to submission to a collection agency, Columbia College reserves the right to submit a student’s account for collection at any time when the student fails to remit the personal payment portion of the account balance.
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.
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:
Recovery Management Services: 800-932-2851
Windham Professionals: 800-208-507
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, cashier’s 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.