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Why is Columbus State making these changes?
The college is making these changes for several reasons, with student success being at the top of the list. Class attendance and participation are good indicators of academic success, and linking those indicators to eligibility for financial aid refunds is a proven way to promote student success.
Another reason for reporting student engagement/non-engagement earlier is that it minimizes student debt. It does this by preventing release of financial aid credit balances to those students who are not participating and thus can't continue their studies/can't repay debt owed to the college and others.
Additional rationales for the timing changes include:
- Aligning our financial aid procedures with best practices already in place at other colleges and recommended by the U.S. Dept. of Education and the American Assn. of Community Colleges.
- Insuring the integrity of the student aid program by being good stewards of the public monies used to fund federal financial aid.