Columbia College is committed to providing access to an affordable college degree. The fixed-rate tuition plan seeks to lock in higher education costs for a longer period of time in order to save students and families money as they pursue their degree at Columbia College.
This policy applies to all full-time Day Campus students at Columbia College.
Beginning with the 2012-13 academic year, the Columbia College Day Campus tuition rate for new, full-time academic students is set to provide a fixed rate for the four consecutive academic years traditionally associated with baccalaureate degree completion. A student’s fixed tuition rate is determined based on the first year of attendance in the Day Campus as a full-time (12 semester hours or more) student, beginning with the 2011-12 academic year. That year of first, full-time attendance is established as the student’s “classification” year. Tuition rates are set by classification year.
Classification years can only be established with enrollment and the receipt of a transcripted grade in the Fall or Spring semester of the Day Campus; Columbia College students that first attended the Day Campus as a full-time student during the 2016-17 Academic Year, have their classification year established as 2016-17. All students attending the Day Campus as full-time students for the first time after January 2017 have their classification year established as the academic year of that enrollment. For example, a new, full-time student registering for the August 2016 (Fall 2016) semester has a classification year of 2016-17. A new, full-time student registering for January 2017 (Spring 2017) also has a classification year of 2016-17. Students who attended Columbia College prior to 2011-12, but did not attend Day Campus full-time during 2011-12, have their classification year established as the year they re-enter Columbia College as a full-time Day Campus student.
The tuition rates are fixed as to aid in a student’s financial planning of their four years of college. The fixed rate policy also acknowledges the reality of life’s interruptions that could extend the need to attend Columbia College beyond the four years. The fixed rate is held for the classification year plus the next four academic years, in essence giving students up to five consecutive years at their initial fixed tuition rate. With this added semester (or two semesters, depending on your starting semester) of the fixed tuition rate, no exceptions will be made to extend the initial classification tuition rate beyond the fifth consecutive academic year. Once the initial period of the fixed-rate tuition is exceeded, the student will transition to the lowest fixed tuition rate available for the current academic year. This rate will change with each succeeding year. Should a student leave the Day Campus and/or become a part-time Day Campus student, the student’s classification year will remain unchanged. If the student returns to the Day Campus full-time, they will continue at the rate associated with their classification year.