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Textbooks and Supplies Policy     

Policy

Columbia College (“College”) students have different options to access textbooks each semester as described in this policy. In addition, students are informed of their options to access textbooks in the College Catalog and on the College’s website. 

The options for students to access textbooks vary depending on the venue of their courses (e.g., Traditional vs. Non-traditional). Many students who receive federal financial aid can apply available aid to purchase textbooks through the last day to add classes; however, students must be awarded financial aid before they can utilize the financial aid funds for textbook purchases.  

In all cases, students are required to have the required textbooks for the start of each course and failure to do so may impact their ability to satisfactorily complete coursework.

I. Columbia College Nontraditional Venue Textbook Program  

As part of the cost of tuition, the College provides textbooks for undergraduate and graduate courses offered at Nationwide locations and Online (i.e., nontraditional venues). Most textbooks for Nationwide and Online courses are digital textbooks that students have access to through the College’s learning management system no later than the Friday before the course begins, or within 24 hours of registration being finalized for the course, should the student register after the Friday before the course start date. In the event a digital textbook is not available, a printed copy of the textbook will be provided to the student. The printed textbook will be shipped to the student at least seven days before the course start date, or within 24 hours of registration being finalized for the course, should the student register within 13 days of the course start date. 

Nontraditional-venue students who also simultaneously enroll in a traditional venue course will follow the nontraditional venue textbook program for nontraditional venue courses. 

         A. Opting In 

By default, all eligible students taking a course at a Nationwide or Online venue will be enrolled in the nontraditional venue textbook program for that course.  This program is not available to Traditional "Day" students. A student who opts out of the nontraditional venue textbook program, but who would like to reenroll in the program will have the opportunity to opt in at the beginning of each academic year. Students who desire to opt back in to the nontraditional venue textbook program at a time other than the beginning of an academic year may appeal to the Enrollment Service Center. Students are allowed one appeal and whether to grant the appeal is entirely at the discretion of the College. Students who receive textbooks as part of their tuition do not have to submit a request for a textbook voucher to receive the required textbooks for courses.  

         B. Opting Out 

Nationwide and Online students may elect to opt out of the nontraditional venue textbook program by communicating this intent to their academic advisor and by submitting a completed Textbook Program Opt-out form before enrolling in courses at the College for the semester. After communicating intent to opt out with the academic advisor, the student will receive an email from the academic advisor with a link to the opt out form. Opting out of receiving textbooks through the nontraditional venue textbook program applies to all courses for which the student registers after opting out. Once a student registers for at least one course for the semester, the next opportunity to opt out is before registering for the following semester. Students who opt out will receive a $20 per credit hour reduction on their student account and will be responsible for obtaining all required textbooks and required materials on their own. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance who opt out of the Textbook Program will not receive a $20 per credit hour reduction on their student account because their textbook cost is in addition to tuition and covered by a $20 per credit hour institutional grant. Students who receive reduced tuition rates pursuant to the College’s Employee Educational Grant or Graduate Education Grant and opt out will not be charged $20 per credit hour for the nontraditional venue textbook program regardless of their tuition reduction amount; these students who opt out of the nontraditional venue textbook program are responsible for purchasing required materials on their own.  

         C. Nationwide and Online Student Textbook and Supply Vouchers 

Nationwide and Online students who opt out of the nontraditional venue textbook program may request a textbook voucher as well as a supply voucher via CougarTrack, the College’s online portal. Students with available financial aid funds will be eligible for such vouchers to be used with the institutional textbook vendor. These vouchers are not automatically generated and voucher requests must be initiated by a student. Students will be notified of the status of their voucher request via their College email accounts. Students are only given the option for a voucher with financial aid funds if the student has enough financial aid funds to cover the student’s direct costs to the College (e.g., tuition, fees, housing, etc.) and there is a remaining credit balance on the student’s account. Any textbook purchases the student makes with the voucher may not exceed the amount of credit that the student has on the student’s account and any purchases made with a textbook voucher will be charged to the student account. Students may apply for a voucher through the last day to add classes.  

Students who participate in the nontraditional venue textbook program do not have to submit a request for a textbook voucher for the provided textbooks.  

II. Columbia College Traditional Venue (Day) Textbook Program and Textbook/Supply Vouchers 

Students taking courses at the College’s main campus traditional “Day” venue in Columbia, Missouri have access to textbooks for those courses through the institutional book vendor. Such students may request a textbook voucher as well as a supply voucher via CougarTrack, the College’s online portal. Students with available financial aid funds will be eligible for such vouchers to be used with the College’s on-site bookstore. These vouchers are not automatically generated and voucher requests must be initiated by a student. Students will be notified of the status of their voucher request via their College email accounts. Students are only given the option for a voucher with financial aid funds if the student has enough financial aid funds to cover the student’s direct costs to the College (e.g., tuition, fees, housing, etc.) and there is a remaining credit balance on the student’s account. Any textbook purchases the student makes with the voucher may not exceed the amount of credit that the student has on the student’s account and any purchases made with a textbook voucher will be charged to the student account. Students may apply for a voucher through the last day to add classes.  

Traditional-venue students who also simultaneously enroll in a nontraditional venue course will follow the nontraditional venue textbook program for nontraditional venue courses.

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