Columbia, CA — The governing board that sets policies for California’s 112 community colleges, including Columbia College, has approved new eligibility requirements for a popular financial aid program.
The Board of Governors’ Fee Waiver Program pays $46 for every class taken. In order to be eligible, students must now maintain at least a C-average (2.0) or complete at least half of the classes during two consecutive semesters. If a student falls below in either category, they will be at risk of losing their fee waivers.
Columbia College Dean of Student Services Melissa Raby says it could have a significant impact on the students and the college. Currently about 350 students get the waiver. She says, “If they are not eligible for the fee waiver they will likely not be able to take classes because they won’t be able to afford it. However, we are hoping that it will motivate them to stay in school and seek out the resources available to them.”
In addition, if students were forced to drop out, the college will lose tuition dollars and be financially strained. Raby says there will be an appeals process for students who are dropped from the waiver program.