Tuition Refund Policy


Columbia College appreciates and understands that students may stop attending classes at the College, including during a school term, for any number of reasons.  This policy sets forth how students will be refunded institutional tuition and other charges should a student stop attending the College during a school term.  

Note that the official date used for purposes of federal financial aid recipients is the last date of class attendance as determined and governed by federal regulations.  Financial aid awards may be canceled or reduced for financial aid recipients who stop attending classes.  Please contact the College’s Financial Aid Department and refer to financial aid policies for details and information about implications on financial aid associated with ceasing attendance at the College 


This policy applies to the refund of institutional tuition and other charges for students who stop attending classes.  In instances where a student attends a Columbia College location in a state that has adopted a state-specific tuition refund policy (i.e., Florida, California, etc.), the state-specific policy will govern the tuition refund amount, when applicable. 


Requests to add/drop/withdraw from a course will not be accepted by telephone. Students are required to complete the appropriate form to cancel a course enrollment. Confirmation of receipt is the responsibility of the student. Should circumstances prevent the student from completing the appropriate form, the student should contact their campus for special arrangements to cancel the enrollment. The Campus staff reserves the right to request substantiating documentation to support the student’s inability to complete the add/drop/withdrawal in person. Students with financial aid who drop or withdraw from a course(s) need to be aware that their financial aid could be affected.  

Full Refund 

A student is entitled to full reduction of tuition when s/he drops from a course(s) during the first week of the eight-week session, providing a Columbia College add/drop/withdrawal form has been completed and submitted prior to the close of business on Monday of the second week of the session.  Students who received books for dropped courses are required to return books to avoid book charges. 

Partial Refund

During the second through the eighth week of the session, a student could be entitled to a partial refund of tuition when she/he withdraws from a course(s) due to extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances are narrowly interpreted to mean the development of unexpected circumstances beyond a student’s control that prevents continued attendance in all classes. Examples of extraordinary circumstances include serious illness, death in the immediate family, significant change in the terms, location and/or conditions of employment, call to active military duty or TDY, etc. Mere inconvenience, discomfort with the academic workload, or minor schedule changes in employment are not deemed to meet the definition of extraordinary, mitigating, or extenuating circumstances. 

To be considered for a partial refund, a student must submit a complete withdrawal form. This form must be accompanied by a letter or email from the student to the Campus office explaining the circumstances surrounding the withdrawal and the desire for financial consideration. In addition, Columbia College requires substantiating documentation to support the student’s request, i.e. a letter from a physician, military orders, etc. Student should be aware that a refund is not automatic; rather, requests for financial consideration are subject to review and approval on a case by case basis.

No Refund  

No refund will be granted to a student who voluntarily or involuntarily (administratively) withdraws from a course(s) during the second through the eighth week of the session, unless extraordinary circumstances apply (refer to partial refund listed above). 

Refund Requests 

Credit on a student account that results from the transfer of financial aid does not require a request for refund. These credit balances will be automatically refunded. Credit balances due to overpayment or a change in enrollment status require the student to email Students must include name, student number and reason for the request. The email will be routed to the Business Office and inform the staff that the student wants to have a refund rather than have the credit apply to a future balance.

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