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Planning your Schedule

Degree Audit

It is a good idea to first use the link below (from the Columbus State Community College website) and develop a proposed schedule. You should “bookmark” this site on your computer. This will enable you to acquaint yourself with the Plan of Study (required courses to obtain a certain degree), and to become familiar with the DARS audit tool (also known as Degree Audit).

You will need to enter your Columbus State Community College user name and password and your Cougar ID (seven digit set of numbers on your CSCC photo ID # or on past records etc.; social security numbers are no longer used) to use the system.

Then, click on “Request a New Audit” and wait a minute or so to allow the audit report to be generated.

The “audit” displays all your academic records.

It will display the courses you have already taken, are currently taking, and have scheduled (in the latter two cases, the course will have a notation “RGIP,” meaning that a grade is “in progress”).

The audit will also allow you to see what courses are required and remain for you to complete the Finance Associate Degree Plan of Study. You can change your course catalog year and/or major and run “What-if” audits. If you want to change your catalog year or change your major to Finance, contact your advisor: Jack Popovich at Please include your Cougar ID in this email.

It is recommended that you “run your own audit” after every semester you have completed additional courses for your planning.

Understanding the Audit

For most students, just reviewing or looking at their audit usually assists them in developing a plan or schedule. Please note that any course which has a "minus" (-) sign indicates that you need to take and successfully complete that course to complete the degree. There is a “Legend” at the bottom of the audit which explains all the symbols and abbreviations used.

If you are not registered as a Finance student, you should do so as soon as possible. You may run the audit as a "what if.” Click on that selection within the audit program menu and select Finance on the drop-down menu.

Number of Courses or Hours You Should Schedule

The number of courses you will want to schedule will vary depending on your personal circumstances (jobs, family responsibilities, your budget, etc.) as well as the pace of studies you wish to maintain. Many students need to take a certain number of hours to be considered “full-time status” for Financial Aid, insurance coverage, or many other reasons. That definition may vary, and you will need to consult with the Financial Aid Office or the insurance carrier etc., for guidance in such areas.

In addition to personal circumstances such as jobs or family, be realistic on how many hours you can schedule and be able to complete successfully. You should always consider your own academic strengths and weaknesses. You may be able to take a “bigger load” (more hours) if you are a very good student, are confident, and have proven you can handle more hours and courses. If you have been “away from school” for awhile, have struggled in prior semesters, lack confidence for some reason etc., then you should be careful not to “over-schedule” courses. This may result in poor performance and/or you may have to “drop” one course or several. It is better to earn higher grades on fewer courses than to struggle and perhaps even fail by over-committing yourself.

After you have looked at this audit, send an e-mail to your advisor if you are having difficulty deciding between courses, or if you wish your advisor’s input on the courses you are proposing to take. Be sure to include your proposed schedule for the quarter with specific questions.


Many courses require “prerequisites” (a course or courses that you need to have successfully completed before being allowed to register for a course) which are listed in the course description (also on-line at the CSCC website). An example of this is FMGT 2201, which requires that you first must have taken and successfully completed ACCT 1211 to be able to register.

Looking at Upcoming Semester Schedule

When you are looking at the semester schedules of courses and specific sections on the Columbus State website (days and times), you will note that some course sections may have few “seats” still available or may be filled altogether (zero or “0” seats will show) because of class size limitations. These criteria will also play a role in the courses that you select. It is always a good idea to register as early as possible.

Additional Questions:

After you have looked at your audit, send an e-mail to your advisor. Be sure to include the following information in your e-mail:

  • Your full name (as it is listed in your academic records)
  • The program of study in which you are registered (Finance or other)
  • Contact information (e-mail address, phone number)
  • Cougar ID # (7 digit number on your Student Photo ID Card)
  • Your proposed schedule for the next semester
  • Your specific questions

Our experience has been that we will be able to handle all or most of your questions by e-mail. If needed, you can arrange an appointment.