Student FAQ's due to COVID-19 Campus Closure

Columbia College COVID-19 FAQ’s for Students. Updated 6/1/2020

Q: Is the Campus closed?

A: Yes, as of March 19 due to the shelter-in-place order from Governor Newsom. Check for updates.

Q: Is the Food Bank open?

A: No, due to the shelter-in-place order from Governor Newsom on March 19.

Q: Can I still meet with my tutor?

A: Campus is closed but online help is available!

Current Schedule for Embedded Tutoring Sessions

During the campus closure we will still be offering tutoring through online formats. We ask that if there is an embedded tutor in your class please contact them for information on additional tutoring session.  

Current Schedule for Appointment based tutoring  Please note you can look at the schedule by tutor or by subject. 

For other needs please email, please include the subject you are requesting help for and times that you are available for tutoring. The instructional Technician will be in touch within one business day to set up the appointment with an available tutor. 

FREE Online Tutoring is offered to all students through NetTutor. For detailed information on how to sign in see here:  More information  available here.

Q: I am on academic/progress probation/disqualification, how will I register for classes if the admissions office is closed?

 A: You may meet with a counselor by phone or via video conferencing. Contact the Counseling Office at (209) 588-5109 for an appointment. Your counselor can walk you through the process.

Q: Who should I contact if I am experiencing technical difficulties?

 A: Email the helpdesk at , or if related to instruction, contact your professor with the email provided on your syllabus. 

Q: How long will the closure last? When will we return to classes?

A: We are following the Governors guidelines. Remote learning will continue for Summer Courses and most of the Fall courses. 

Q: If I am on academic/progress probation/disqualification, how will I register for classes?

A: Make an appointment with a Counselor at (209) 588-5109 and they will walk you through the process.

Q: Who do I contact in order to schedule a counseling appointment?

A: Students can call (209) 588-5109 in order to schedule a remote counseling appointment.

Q: Can I still meet with the Career center staff?

A: Career center meetings will still take place over phone or video. Here is a link to the career & job placement website: .

How to schedule a career center meeting: 

  • Students can go into their starfish, select career services, and sign up for a time that works best for them.
  • Students can email .
  • Students can click on this link , which will take them directly to book a career center meeting in starfish. 

Here is a video about online career service access and how to book a meeting.

Financial Aid FAQ’s/Grading

COVID-19 Information – Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Aid

Please know that we are working diligently to ensure we are supporting you during this time to provide continued access to your financial aid. Below are the answers to some anticipated questions. We will update this form as new questions or information becomes available.

Q: How do I contact the financial aid office if the school is closed?

A: During the Columbia College closure period, the Financial Aid staff continues to work remotely. If you need to contact the Financial Aid Office, you can email us at You may also leave a message for your Financial Aid Technician (Last Names A-L call 209-588-5105 or Last Names M-Z call 209-588-5272) Your email AND phone calls will be responded to by a financial aid staff within 24 to 48 hours (excluding weekend and holidays) through your student assigned email. Please make sure to email us from your student assigned email or we will not be able to respond to you  

Q: What happens to my financial aid if I choose to drop all or some of my classes? What are the options for withdrawing from courses due to the COVID-19 emergency?

Due to the current situation, the regulations for Withdrawals and Pass/No Pass Options have relaxed for Spring 2020.  We have created some FAQs for your information, but we encourage you to reach out to your Counselor and/or Financial Aid Technician to discuss your particular circumstance. 


Q: Can I withdraw from a class without receiving a W on my transcript?
A: Yes, you can receive an EW (Excused Withdrawal) – a withdrawal due to extraordinary circumstances. The EW does not calculate into GPA calculation, progress probation or dismissal calculations. If a student withdrew on or after March 4, 2020, and received a W on their transcript, that will be automatically converted to an EW grade soon.

Q: If I receive an EW, will I have to return my financial aid funds?
A: For more financial aid information related to withdrawing from classes please contact your Financial Aid Technician.  

Q: Will the EW count as an attempt of the course?
A: No – this will not count as an attempt. You can retake the course without any issues.

Q: How do I withdraw from a class?
A: The deadline for you to withdraw from courses has passed.  However, you can let your instructor know that you would like to receive an EW instead of a grade.  They will have this option during this Spring 2020 grading period.

Q: If I end up with a bad grade because of the COVID-19 crisis, can I get that changed to an EW?
A: Yes. After you receive your grades for Spring, 2020, you can convert your posted grade to an EW.  Petitions will be available on the Admissions website.  (Check out the Easy Petition below.)

Q: Will I receive a refund if I ask for an EW?
A: To receive a refund, please submit a "Fee Refund Request Form", available on the Admissions webpage in “Online Student Forms”.   If you receive a California College Promise Grant (fee waiver) or other type of waiver, you will not receive a refund. Please speak with your Financial Aid Technician if you are receiving Federal Financial Aid.

Q: What if I already withdrew from my course and there is a W on my transcript?
A: Students who withdrew after March 4, 2020, will have their W changed to an EW.

Q: What if I just can’t get everything done in my class due to the switch to online and I just need a little more time?

A: Talk with your instructor about an Incomplete. 

Grading Options

Q: Can I still select a Pass/No Pass option?

A: Not directly.  The deadline to change your grading to Pass/No Pass was several months ago.  But read on… 

Q: Can I convert my grades to Pass/No Pass after the term?

A: Yes, after you receive your grades, you can convert them from A, B, C, D, or F to a Pass or No Pass. A, B, and C become P.  D and F become NP. Please contact your Counselor on how this may affect your personal circumstance.  Petitions will be available on the Admissions website.  (But check out the Easy Petition below.) 

Q: What if I selected Pass/No Pass earlier, and I earned a No Pass because of the virus situation?

A: You can convert the No Pass grade to an EW.  (Check out the Easy Petition below.)

Q: So what is this “ Easy Petition ”?

A: Until Thursday, May 14, 2020, students can fill out this new, simple “Easy Spring 2020 Grade Change Petition,” a.k.a. the “Easy Petition.”  It simply asks you to list the courses for which you want grade changes made, and then we will change your transcript as follows:

Grades of A, B, or C will be automatically converted to P (Pass).

Grades of D, F, or NP will be automatically converted to EW (Excused Withdrawal).

Very few students will convert As to Ps! But if you received a lower grade due to the impact of the virus, changing that grade to a P or EW may be a good choice for you, depending on your own unique situation.  

We understand that this semester has been a difficult transition for you and we are here to help you figure out what is in your best interest.  Your final grade is up to you.  Completing either the “Easy Spring 2020 Grade Change Petition” or the regular Grade Change Petition is your responsibility if you are not satisfied with the grade assigned by your instructor.

Q: I am a work-study student. Since Columbia College is closed, will I still get paid for the hours I am unable to work for my Federal Work-Study job?

A: During this closure at Columbia, you will continue to be paid according to your existing scheduled work hours. The timesheet should be submitted to your supervisor as scheduled.

Q: Due to coronavirus, all my classes are now moved online, am I going to get less financial aid?

A: No. If your classes have been moved to an online format, you must continue to participate in the course work and follow your teacher’s or professor’s instructions to remain eligible for financial aid.

Q. I have paper documents that need to be submitted to the office. What do I do?

A: You can take a clear picture and send it from your student assigned email to your Financial Aid technician to process. Or you can send the document via mail to: Financial Aid Office 11600 Columbia College Dr. Sonora CA 95370. 

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