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What happens if I don't complete my classes?

Financial aid is awarded with the expectation that students will attend school for the period in which the assistance is awarded. If students do not attend class, financial aid will be recalculated based on actual attendance. Students who never attend a course are not eligible to receive financial aid for that course.

The decision to withdraw from classes is an academic decision that has financial repercussions. If you are unsure of what is best for you academically, we recommend making an appointment with your academic advisor

The long-term effect of not completing courses may result in a loss of federal aid eligibility.

If your completion rate of classes falls below 66.67 percent (i.e. two out of three attempted courses are completed), you will not be eligible to receive financial aid for future sessions. For a complete explanation please refer to Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress.

The short-term effect is that Columbia College is required by federal regulations to complete a Return of Title IV Funds calculation for students who receive federal aid but stop attending classes.

Students need to attend at least one academically-related activity after the 60 percent date to ensure a portion of their federal financial aid is not returned to the Federal Department of Education. For more information, see Columbia College's Return of Title IV Funds page or the Undergraduate Catalog. Students cannot register for future terms with a balance on their account, and many Return of Title IV Funds calculations performed create an account balance. Future financial aid cannot be used to pay a past balance; the past balance must be paid by the student. If a student drops a class during the official drop period, however, no charges will apply.


The Return of Title IV Funds Calculator will calculate an unofficial estimate of the amount of federal financial aid that will have to be returned.

The actual amount returned will depend on the official withdrawal date. The calculation and return of financial aid to the government will be completed within 45 days. The following calendar shows the 60 percent date in which a student must attend beyond in order to avoid a return of federal funding.

Day Campus courses


Term Enrollment Period 60% Point
Fall 2015-2016 8/24/15 - 12/17/15 10/27/15
Spring 2015-2016 01/11/16 - 05/05/16 03/15/16

Evening courses, Columbia, MO (Undergraduate)


Term Enrollment Period 60% Point
August 8/24/15 - 10/17/15 9/26/15
October 10/26/15 - 12/19/15 11/28/15
January 01/11/16 - 03/05/16 02/13/16
March 03/14/16 - 05/07/16 04/16/16
Summer 05/30/16 - 07/23/16 07/02/16

Evening courses, Columbia, MO (Graduate)


Term Enrollment Period 60% Point
August 8/25/15 - 10/15/15 9/24/15
October 10/19/15 - 12/17/15 11/18/15
January 01/11/16 - 03/03/16 02/13/16
March 03/07/16 - 05/05/16 04/15/16
Summer 05/31/16 - 07/21/16 07/01/16

Online/Nationwide courses (Undergraduate & Graduate)


Term Enrollment Period 60% Point
August 08/17/15 - 10/10/15 09/19/15
October 10/26/15 - 12/19/15 11/28/15
January 01/11/16 - 03/05/16 02/13/16
March 03/21/16 - 05/14/16 04/23/16
Summer 05/30/16 - 07/23/16 07/02/16