Parents Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Parents often have a number of questions regarding Columbia College and the experiences of its students. Follow the links below to find answers to our most frequently asked questions.

What is FERPA and how does it affect me?

FERPA stands for the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This law protects the privacy of student education records defined broadly as those records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational institution. All enrollment, academic, and judicial records are protected under this statute.

FERPA requires that education records be kept confidential – even from parents – with the following exceptions: 1) with the consent of the student, 2) if the disclosure meets one of the statutory exemptions, or 3) if the disclosure is directory information and the student has not placed a hold on release of directory information. FERPA does permit colleges and universities to inform parents of students under 21-years-of-age of campus drug and alcohol violations, and beginning in fall 2004 Columbia College policy is to notify parents or legal guardians in the case of sanctioning for drug or alcohol offenses of students under the age of 21.

Students who choose for Columbia College officials to share their educational records with others must provide dated and signed written consent that specifies the records to be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure, and the person(s) or organization(s) to whom the disclosure can be made. These letters of written consent can be mailed to Dr. Laurie Hopkins, Provost at Columbia College.

What are common expenses that I can expect, other than tuition, and room and board?

While tuition, and room and board are the majority of your daughter’s expenses, there are a few other things that you should be aware of. Your daughter can expect to spend between $200-500 a semester on books for her classes. Additionally, there are the costs for laundry facilities – $1.25 per load to wash and $1.00 per load to dry. Also keep in mind any traveling expenses your family may incur when visiting one another.

What exactly is a liberal arts education and how will general education classes benefit my daughter?

Columbia College places a strong emphasis on the liberal arts (Fine Arts, Humanities, Social and Natural Sciences) and women’s higher education. These emphases are carried out through our core curriculum, also known as the General Education Core. This core is designed to help your daughter develop: an appreciation for the liberal arts, higher order thinking and communication skills, understanding of both the commonality and diversity of the human experience, increased understanding of women, understanding the nature and application of moral, ethical, and religious values, and skills and habits for lifelong learning.

My daughter just received her midterm grades. What do these mean? Do they count towards her GPA?

Midterm grades are provided so your daughter and her professors can evaluate her progress thus far. They can help provide your student with an indication of her academic performance. They are not used as basis for administrative actions such as academic probation or student activity disqualification, but they are the basis of extra advisory action.

My daughter is homesick and frequently wants to come home. Should I encourage her to stay on campus?

Yes! There are so many great things to do at Columbia College! Encourage your daughter to become involved in the numerous student organizations, activities, and events, and suggest she to stop by the Office of Student Activities for more information on the opportunities available to her. Being an active member of Columbia College will help her make new friends, develop her leadership skills, and enjoy her experience at C2 to the fullest.

If you are concerned that your daughter is having trouble adjusting to college or needs help developing plans for a more satisfying experience, you might want to encourage her to visit the Counseling Services Office where she could benefit from individual or group sessions, a workshop, or developmental programming. All full-time undergraduate students are eligible for these services at no charge. Sessions are confidential, and the highest ethical and legal standards associated with the profession are maintained.

Refer Your Student to Handout