Consumer Information Disclosures

The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), includes many disclosure and reporting requirements. A disclosure requirement is information that a postsecondary education institution is required to distribute or make available to another party, such as students or employees. A reporting requirement is information submitted to the U.S. Department of Education or other agencies. Disclosure and reporting requirements sometimes overlap. For certain topics, institutions are required to make information available to students or others and to submit information to the Department of Education. Such information includes general institutional operation, financial aid, general completion and graduation rates, annual security report, completion and graduation rates for student athletes, and athletic program participation rates and financial support.

Final regulations implementing the legislative provisions for consumer information are available from the Federal Registers website. Below is a list of disclosures provided by Columbia Southern University pursuant to these regulations.

For additional information, including requesting a paper copy of any materials, please call or email the appropriate office.

GENERAL INSTITUTIONAL INFORMATION

  • Privacy of Student Records – Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
    Contact:
    Registrar
    Email: registrar@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 6526
    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows present and future students to have access to their individual educational records, provides basic protections of privacy of their records, and allows them to request that certain “directory information” be kept confidential. Additional information regarding the rights afforded to students by FERPA is available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/ferpa.
  • Facilities and Services for Students with Disabilities
    Contact:
    Disability Services Coordinator
    Email: disabilityservices@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 1434.
    The Office of Disability Services is dedicated to providing equal opportunities for student success through accessible education programs. It is the policy of Columbia Southern University to provide reasonable accommodations to students who qualify. For more information please visit http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/disability-services.
  • Student Diversity
    Contact
    : Director of Institutional Research
    Email: institutionalresearch@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 1496
    Columbia Southern University calculates information related to the diversity of our students annually. The information is available at CSU student diversity facts.
  • Cost of Attendance
    Contact:
    Director of Financial Aid
    Email: financialaid@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.9449 Ext. 6530
    The cost of attendance (COA) is an estimate of a student’s educational expenses to attend Columbia Southern University.  At CSU, the COA includes direct costs for tuition and fees and indirect costs for room, board, and personal expenses. These estimates are based on the national average and not intended to meet the actual living expenses for all students. Information on the cost of attendance to attend CSU is available at college navigator or http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Financial/Office-of-Financial-Aid/Awarding-Federal-Student-Aid. Information related to direct cost only to include tuition and fees by program is available is at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Consumer-Information/Cost-of-Attendance and a complete list of all student fees is available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Financial/Fees.
  • Net Price Calculator
    Contact:
    Director of Financial Aid
    Email: financialaid@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 6530
    Columbia Southern University provides a calculator web page to assist students with determining costs of attendance and financial aid eligibility. You may access the net price calculator at https://columbiasouthern.studentaidcalculator.com/survey.aspx
  • Textbook Information
    Contact:
    Director of Bookstore
    Email: bookstore@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 6524
    Textbooks are provided for all programs at no cost through the Columbia Southern University Book Grant or Loan-a-Book. Select courses or programs, determined by the university, will utilize the Book Grant or Loan-a-Book program. Books may be in new or used condition and may be in print or electronic format. Additional information is available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Degree/Full-Course-Listing.
  • Transfer of Credit Policies and Articulation Agreements
    Contact:
    Registrar
    Email: registrar@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 6526.
    More information is available at transfer credit policies and articulation agreements
  • Educational Programs and Instructional Facilities
    Contact:
    Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
    Email: vpaa@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 1698
    Information on CSU’s various educational programs and instructional facilities may be found in our university catalog available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/downloads/pdf/csu-university-catalog. Information on our various degree programs may also be found on our website at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/online-degree.
  • Administration and Faculty
    Administration
    Contact:
    President’s Office Assistant
    Email: president@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 1254
    View CSU Administration - http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/About-CSU/Administration
    Faculty
    Contact:
    Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
    Email: vpaa@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 1427
    View CSU Faculty - http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/About-CSU/Faculty
  • Accreditation, Approval, and Licensure of Institution and Programs
    Contact:
    Interim Provost
    Email: joe.manjone@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 1101
    CSU is an accredited member of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The Accrediting Commission of DETC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency. All CSU programs have been reviewed and approved by DETC.

    Distance Education and Training Council
    1601 18th Street, N.W. Suite 2
    Washington, D.C. 20009
    Phone: 202.234.5100

    Additionally, the Accrediting Commission of DETC is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CHEA is a nonprofit organization serving as a national advocate for self-regulation academic quality through accreditation.
    For information on state licensure, please visit www.columbiasouthern.edu/About-CSU/Accreditation/State-Licensure.
    For information on registering a complaint, please visit www.columbiasouthern.edu/complaint.
  • Copyright Infringement – Policies and Sanctions
    Contact:
    Assistant Provost and Dean of Faculty Services
    Email: elwin.jones@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 1318
    Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws
    Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

    Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov.
  • Academic Program Improvement
    Contact: Registrar
    Email: Registrar@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 6526
    The Academic Program Improvement Policy describes procedures to alert students and prospective students of any plan to modify its academic programs. Information related to this policy can be found at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Consumer-Information/Policies/Academic-Program-Improvement.
  • Computer Use and File Sharing
    Contact:
    Director of Technical Support, IT
    Email: techsupport@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 877.399.1063
    A detailed list of CSU technical requirements is available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Future-Students/Requirements. For Help desk availability, please visit the Technical Support webpage in myCSU Student Portal available at https://mycsu.columbiasouthern.edu/student/blackboard/support. Information related to CSU Technology Policies are located at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Consumer-Information/Policies/Technology.
  • Leave of Absence
    Contact:
    Registrar
    Email: registrar@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 6526.

    Students enrolled in term enrollment programs that are unable to enroll in one or more terms may apply for a temporary Leave of Absence (LOA) from the university.

    The LOA policy is available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Financial/Office-of-Financial-Aid/Policies-Procedures#loa.

    Important facts concerning the LOA policy:
    • For purposes of Title IV, a student will be considered withdrawn from CSU while on a LOA; therefore federal student loans are not eligible for an in-school deferment;
    • A student will not be eligible to receive federal student aid while on a LOA;
    • A student who fails to return from a LOA will be required to reapply for admissions to the university after a period of 12 months of inactivity in their academic program.
  • Student Activities
    Contact:
    Director of Student & Alumni Engagement
    Email: amanda.manjone@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 1340
    Information related to student news and events is available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/About-CSU/CSUNews. For information related to social or career networking alumni events please visit http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Alumni.
  • College Navigator
    College Navigator is a free consumer information tool designed to help students, parents, high school counselors, and others get information about institutions of higher education. You may access this tool at College Navigator.
  • Teacher Preparation Program Report
    CSU does not offer programs that prepare teachers for state certification or licensure..
  • Voter Registration 
    Columbia Southern University encourages all students to participate in local, state, and national elections.  As part of our responsibility to promote good citizenship, as well as good scholarship, the university urges all students to register to vote.  

    Read information on voting in other states.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

 Additional information may be obtained from the Department of Education Campus Safety and Security website at http://ope.ed.gov/security/. Crime statistics are reported to the Department of Education annually and additional information or copies of reports can be obtained from the Security Supervisor.

STUDENT OUTCOMES

STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • General Financial Assistance
    Contact:
    Office of Financial Aid
    Email: financialaid@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 6530

    Notice of Availability of Institutional and Financial Aid Information
    Columbia Southern University offers financial aid resources to assist students in funding their college education. Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships and/or loans. A federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need and who have not yet earned a bachelor or professional degree. Direct loans are low-interest loans that assist students and parents in paying for post-secondary education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank. Federal student aid is awarded based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). More information is available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Financial/Office-of-Financial-Aid. Paper copies of this information are available from the Office of Financial Aid, which can be contacted at 800.977.8449 Ext. 6530 or financialaid@columbiasouthern.edu.
  • Contact Information for Assistance in Obtaining Institutional or Financial Aid Information
    Columbia Southern University
    Office of Financial Aid
    21982 University Lane
    Orange Beach, AL 36561
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 6530
    Email: financialaid@columbiasouthern.edu
  • Types of Federal Student Aid Available
    Columbia Southern University participates in the following federal student aid programs:
    • Federal Pell Grant
    • Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
    • Federal Direct PLUS Loans
    Information regarding the various types of financial aid offered at CSU is available at: http://www.columbiasoutehrn.edu/Financial/Office-of-Financial-Aid/Federal-Aid.
  • Institutional Scholarships
    Contact:
    Scholarship Liaison
    Email: scholarships@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 1217
    Columbia Southern University recognizes the importance of a quality education and is dedicated to helping students find a way to achieve their higher education goals. In addition to offering federal student aid, CSU offers several scholarships that are awarded on an annual basis. The actual award criteria are established annually and based on the availability of scholarship funds. Information regarding scholarship opportunities is available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Financial/Scholarships.
  • Applying for Federal Student Aid
    Contact:
    Office of Financial Aid
    Email: financialaid@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 6530
    Students must apply for federal student aid every year. They may apply online by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.FAFSA.ed.gov. In order for a student to receive federal student aid to attend CSU, he/she must be eligible to receive Title IV, admitted unconditionally to the university and enrolled at least half-time in an approved undergraduate or graduate degree seeking program. Information on applying for federal student aid to attend CSU is available at  http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Financial/Office-of-Financial-Aid/How-to-Apply. Information on federal student aid eligible programs is available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Financial/Office-of-Financial-Aid/Eligible-Ineligible-Programs.
  • Verification Requirements
    Many financial aid applicants are selected for verification based on edit checks which identify inconsistencies and/or potential errors. Columbia Southern University must also verify any application the university has reason to believe is incorrect or discrepant. The Verification Policy is available at  http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Financial/Office-of-Financial-Aid/Policies-Procedures#verify.
  • Student Loan Information
    All students interested in receiving a federal direct loan are required to complete a master promissory note and entrance counseling. Students are required to complete this requirement online at StudentLoans.gov. Entrance counseling and a valid master promissory note must be on file prior to disbursing federal student loans to any student. More information on federal student loans is available at http://www.direct.ed.gov/student.html. Student loans must be repaid. For information on student loan repayment, please visit http://www.direct.ed.gov/inrepayment.html.
  • National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
    Federal student loan records of students and parents will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System, and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system. Students and parents may view their loan record history online at www.nslds.ed.gov.
  • Preferred Lender List and Arrangements
    Columbia Southern University does not recommend, promote or endorse lenders for private education loans.
  • Federal Student Loan Repayment Example
    The terms of a student loan can vary depending on loan servicer, type of loan, interest rates, automatic payments and amount borrowed. Below is an example for various Stafford Loan amounts on a standard repayment schedule with a 10-year repayment period at the interest rate of 6.8%.

    Amount Borrowed Current Monthly Payment
    (based on 6.80%)*

    $5,000

    $57.54

    $10,000

    $115.08

    $15,000

    $172.62

    $20,000

    $230.16

    $25,000

    $287.70

    $30,000

    $345.24

    $35,000

    $402.78

  • Student Loan Counseling
    Entrance counseling is required before you can receive your first Direct Subsidized Loan, or Direct Unsubsidized Loan as an undergraduate, or your first Direct PLUS Loan as a graduate/professional student. Exit counseling is required when you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time. Exit counseling provides important information you need to prepare to repay your federal student loan(s). Entrance and Exit counseling are completed online at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action. You will need your Student Aid PIN  to access entrance and exit counseling. An entrance and exit counseling demo is available online at Counseling Demo.
  • Attendance Policy
    Columbia Southern University is not required to take attendance, however, prior to receiving a federal student aid disbursement, CSU will verify participation in each registered course at the end of week 1 in the term. The discussion board posting or Unit I Assessment and all Unit I assignments must be submitted at the end of week 1 in the term to validate attendance. Students who choose not to attend the first week will be institutionally dropped from the course and receive a grade of DN for the course.
  • Disbursement of Financial Aid
    Financial aid is disbursed in four payments over the academic year (one disbursement each term). Funds will disburse on day 14 of the term if a student still meets all eligibility requirements. Funds are applied to tuition and fees first. If funds are in excess of account charges, a credit balance (stipend) will be issued within 14 days of disbursement. Students may contact Business Affairs to arrange to receive excess funds on their CSU student account EFT to their bank account or elect to receive a paper check generally mailed.
  • Rights and Responsibilities
    The Borrower Rights and Responsibilities are available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Financial/Office-of-Financial-Aid/Policies-Procedures#lc
  • Student Loan Code of Conduct
    The Student Loan Code of Conduct is available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Financial/Student-Loan-Code-of-Conduct
  • Academic Year Requirements
    Columbia Southern University defines its academic year for undergraduate students as 24 credit hours of completion and 32 weeks of instruction. CSU defines its academic year for graduate students as 12 credit hours of completion and 32 weeks of instruction. Students must successfully complete award year requirements prior to gaining eligibility for new annual loan limits. Successful completion means that the student has earned a passing grade or otherwise received credit for the credit hours in the payment period.
  • Remaining Eligible for Federal Student Aid
    In order to continue to receive federal student aid to attend Columbia Southern University, it is important students stay eligible. Students will need to continue to meet the basic eligibility requirements, maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and fill out the FAFSA each year. CSU’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Financial/Office-of-Financial-Aid/Policies-Procedures. You may reapply for federal student aid each year at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  • Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations
    A conviction for any offense, during a period of enrollment for which a student was receiving Title IV, HEA Program (federal) funds, under any federal law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs may result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV, HEA grant, loan or work-study assistance (HEA Sec. 484(r)(1)); (20 U.S.C. 1091(r)(1)).
  • Return of Title IV Policy
    Available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Financial/Office-of-Financial-Aid/Policies-Procedures#return.
  • Institutional Refund Policy
    Available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Consumer-Information/Policies/Tuition-Refund
  • Withdrawal Policies
    Contact: Registrar
    Email: registrar@columbiasouthern.edu
    Phone: 800.977.8449 Ext. 6526
    Information on withdrawing officially or unofficially is available at http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/Consumer-Information/Policies/Withdrawal.
  • Code of Conducthttp://www.columbiasouthern.edu/downloads/pdf/misc/Code-of-Conduct

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