College Opportunity
Responsible Administrative
Fund Credit-Hour Limit
Unit: Finance & Administration
Waiver Policy


Policy Contact:
Controller, RCuswort@mines.edu
Issued: August 2007


Revised: June 11, 2012


1.0
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

The College Opportunity Fund (COF) provides state financial support directly to eligible
students for higher education in Colorado. The COF was created by an Act of the
Colorado State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Owens in May 2004. Since
the COF was implemented in 2005, undergraduate students who are eligible for in-state
tuition, and who are admitted and enrolled at a public institution receive a per credit-hour
stipend from the COF.

The law creating the College Opportunity Fund caps an undergraduate student's stipend
eligibility at 145 credit-hours. However, waivers to the credit-hour limit may be granted in
special circumstances by Mines or by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education
(CCHE) to allow a limited number of COF credits to be granted beyond the 145 hour
limit. A student is eligible to apply for a CCHE waiver only after their initial waiver
request to the School has been denied. The following policy outlines the eligibility
criteria and the process for obtaining a COF credit-hour limit waiver from the School.

2.0
POLICY

A limited number of waivers to the 145 credit-hour COF limitation may be granted by the
Controller of the Colorado School of Mines. The number of waivers that can be
approved by any institution in a fiscal year is limited by the State of Colorado. Per state
statute, priority for waivers is to be given to students 1) who used COF credit for courses
taken after July 1, 2006, as part of Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) or Fast
Track programs, and 2) whose coursework is for purposes of job retraining. Beyond
that, waivers will be granted according to the following eligibility criteria:

CCHE approved and the School implemented an alteration of degree
requirements or standards for the specific degree while the student was
enrolled in that degree program;
The degree program as approved by CCHE requires more than 120 hours to
complete;
Extenuating circumstances existing outside the student’s control (health,
physical ability, change of work hours/location) that would keep the student from
finishing the degree program within the 145 lifetime credit-hour limit;
Paying the full amount of total in-state tuition for credit-hours that exceed the 145
COF credit-hour lifetime limit would cause a substantial economic hardship on
the student and the student’s family;
The student is strategically pursuing a dual degree, double major, or
combination of majors and/or minors in pursuit of a particular career goal.

Written justification for the waiver request must be provided by the student (see
Attachment A: COF Waiver Request Form). In addition, the following information will be
reviewed as part of the waiver request process:
Page 1 of 7





College Opportunity
Responsible Administrative
Fund Credit-Hour Limit
Unit: Finance & Administration
Waiver Policy


Policy Contact:
Controller, RCuswort@mines.edu
Issued: August 2007


Revised: June 11, 2012


The student’s academic transcript, to note academic progress including
changes in major, course withdrawals, transfer status, etc.;
Research by the Bursar’s Office to determine if a previous tuition refund
has already been granted. Note that a previous tuition refund would have
resulted in a reduction of COF hours used proportional to the tuition refunded for
a given term.

3.0
PROCEDURES

Requesting a Waiver
To request a waiver, undergraduate students must have used 120 or more COF hours
toward the lifetime limit of 145. Students will be alerted via email when they have
reached the 120-hour mark. Students may review their COF lifetime hours and hours-
used balances as follows:
Colorado School of Mines registration COF summary; or
Colorado Student Loan Program account created when the student applied for
COF: https://cofweb.cslp.org/cofapp/COFLogon.jsp

When a student reaches 120 COF hours, she or he must complete the COF Waiver
Request Form (see Attachment A, which delineates waiver criteria along with
suggestions of appropriate documentation to be included with the waiver request). The
waiver request will be considered based on the materials provided by the student, and
the information submitted by appropriate CSM offices as mentioned above.

Timing of Waiver Request
The request for a waiver of the lifetime credit-hour limit should be submitted to the
Registrar’s Office no later than the last date to drop a full-term course with tuition
adjustment (the census date) as noted on the academic calendar for each term. If
circumstances warrant filing later than the dates listed above, consideration will be given
if the limited number of institutional waivers has not been exhausted.

COF waivers should be sought before exceeding the 145 credit-hour lifetime limit. For
consideration of a waiver, students should have less than 25 COF-eligible credit-
hours remaining (i.e., cumulative COF hours used greater than or equal to 120).
Students should file as early as they know there may be an issue. This process cannot
apply retroactively to hours already taken in prior terms that exceeded the COF lifetime
limit.

Approval of Waiver Request
Once submitted, the COF Waiver Request Forms will be processed by the Registrar’s
and Bursar’s offices. Once processed, the Controller will review all waiver requests. If
the Controller is unavailable, the Vice President for Finance and Administration will
review waiver requests. If there is a question regarding a student’s academic progress,
the Office of Academic Affairs will participate in the waiver approval process. Decisions
Page 2 of 7





College Opportunity
Responsible Administrative
Fund Credit-Hour Limit
Unit: Finance & Administration
Waiver Policy


Policy Contact:
Controller, RCuswort@mines.edu
Issued: August 2007


Revised: June 11, 2012


will be finalized 30 days after the census date as noted on the academic calendar for
each term. Students will be notified of a final decision in writing or via e-mail. Students
who are denied a waiver from Mines may apply for a waiver from CCHE. The
CCHE waiver form is available at:
http://www.state.co.us/cche/reforms/stipends/cofwaiver.pdf.

If the waiver request is approved and additional COF credit-hours are allowed, a tuition
and fee bill will be recalculated, and COF lifetime hours will be adjusted. If approved, the
student’s COF institutional waiver status will be reported to Colorado Student Loan
Program.

Waivers will not be approved in the following cases:
A student has not made satisfactory academic progress;
A student has completed an undergraduate degree and has used the 30 post-
baccalaureate degree COF credit-hours available.

4.0
RESPONSIBILITIES:

Student:
Completes the COF Waiver Request Form when 120 COF hours has been
reached, being sure to attach necessary documentation.
Turns in the COF Waiver Request Form to the Registrar’s Office no later than the
census date for a given semester.
If COF Waiver Request is denied by Mines, applies for a CCHE Waiver.

Registrar:
Researches academic records for students requesting COF Waivers.
Flags Waiver Requests for students whose record of academic progress may not
be satisfactory.
Attaches transcripts to COF Waiver Forms and forwards to Bursar’s Office.

Bursar:
Researches financial records for students requesting COF Waivers and
determines number of credit-hours that remain eligible for COF credit.
Forwards research and COF Waiver Forms to Controller’s Office.

Office of Academic Affairs:
Participates in COF Waiver approval process for those students whose academic
progress has been noted by the Registrar’s office as potentially unsatisfactory.

Controller:
Approves or denies COF Waiver Requests.
Page 3 of 7





College Opportunity
Responsible Administrative
Fund Credit-Hour Limit
Unit: Finance & Administration
Waiver Policy


Policy Contact:
Controller, RCuswort@mines.edu
Issued: August 2007


Revised: June 11, 2012


Notifies students of approval or denial of request and informs students in writing
of their option to pursue a CCHE waiver
(http://www.state.co.us/cche/reforms/stipends/cofwaiver.pdf).

5.0 ATTACHMENTS

COF Waiver Request Form (See Pg 5)

6.0 DISCLAIMER:

Hours taken in excess of COF lifetime hours are calculated at full tuition, without credit
for a COF stipend. Submitting a COF waiver request does not exempt students from
tuition, fees, late and service charges or financial stops. Students must pay bills in full by
the published deadlines.

The waiver request process does not address tuition refunds for course drop or
withdrawal, class fees, late enrollment, grades or grade changes, tuition classification,
academic advising or other academic policy or regulations. There are separate appellate
procedures for those circumstances.






















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College Opportunity
Responsible Administrative
Fund Credit-Hour Limit
Unit: Finance & Administration
Waiver Policy


Policy Contact:
Controller, RCuswort@mines.edu
Issued: August 2007


Revised: June 11, 2012


COF Waiver Request Form

Instructions-
If you have been notified by CSM that you have used at least 120 hours of COF credit-hours
toward your baccalaureate degree, then you should apply for an institutional waiver of the 145
credit-hour limit on COF eligibility if you meet one of the waiver criteria listed below. Only one
institutional waiver for COF lifetime hours is allowed per student. Please plan accordingly.


Step 1: Waiver Criteria-
Review the waiver criteria listed below and suggested documentation. Indicate which of the
waiver criteria applies to you.





Check
Do these criteria apply
Documentation needed:
box
to you?
All information submitted is confidential.
below


You have used COF credits
Evidence of enrollment in PSEO or Fast Track programs

for courses taken after July
can be obtained from the Admissions Office or the

1, 2006, as part of Post
Registrar’s Office.
Secondary Enrollment
Options (PSEO) or Fast
Track programs.

You need additional
Dated, signed letter from the employer, on company
courses for job retraining.
letterhead, demonstrating that in order to keep a
professional position at that company, job retraining was
required which necessitated a change in academic
coursework.

While you were enrolled,
If Step 3 of COF Waiver form is completed, Registrar will
CCHE approved and CSM
provide documentation of CCHE degree program changes.
implemented an alteration
of your specific degree
requirements or standards.

Your degree program, as
If Step 3 of COF Waiver form is completed, Registrar will
approved by CCHE,
provide documentation of degree program requirements.
requires more than 120
hours to complete.

You have had a recent
Dated, signed letter from the attending physician on
medical condition.
letterhead, containing the general nature of your
illness/injury, dates, severity, and why you could not attend
school.

You have had a family
Death certificate, or obituary notice; or dated, signed letter
emergency (death, illness).
from the attending physician on letterhead, containing the
general nature of your family member’s illness/injury,
dates, and severity.
Page 5 of 7





College Opportunity
Responsible Administrative
Fund Credit-Hour Limit
Unit: Finance & Administration
Waiver Policy


Policy Contact:
Controller, RCuswort@mines.edu
Issued: August 2007


Revised: June 11, 2012



You have had a change in
Dated, signed letter from the employer, on company
work location or work
letterhead, demonstrating that in order to keep a job,
hours which affected your
changes in work hours or location were required, which
academic schedule.
necessitated a change in academic coursework or course
schedule.

You, or the party
The circumstances that require more than 145 credits to
responsible for paying your
complete a degree must have an academic basis. Beyond
tuition, have financial
the academic considerations, provide documentation why
hardship.
paying total tuition, rather than tuition less the COF
voucher, would create substantial economic hardship for
you or for the payer of your tuition bill.

You are pursuing a dual
If Step 3 of COF Waiver form is completed, Registrar will
degree, double major, or
provide documentation.
combination of majors/
minors that has increased
credit-hours needed.


Step 2: Justification- (attach a separate page):
Please elaborate on the reasons that you are requesting an exception to the COF lifetime limit of
145 credit-hours. This explanation should clearly show how you meet the circumstances
described above in Part I. Attach necessary documentation.


Step 3: Academic Information-



Name:__________________________________________
Anticipated graduation date: ________________________
Note: If a waiver is
Have you applied to graduate? _______yes_______ __no
approved, you must
Total anticipated number of hours left to graduate: ______
complete the

additional hours within
I plan to complete these hours over the following term(s): three consecutive

terms, not to exceed a
Term 1 ______ Credit-hours anticipated: ________
period of 365 days.

Term 2 ______ Credit-hours anticipated: ________


Term 3 ______ Credit-hours anticipated: ________







Page 6 of 7





College Opportunity
Responsible Administrative
Fund Credit-Hour Limit
Unit: Finance & Administration
Waiver Policy


Policy Contact:
Controller, RCuswort@mines.edu
Issued: August 2007


Revised: June 11, 2012




Step 4: Certification Statement-
I certify that to the best of my knowledge the information included in this waiver request is
accurate, true and unaltered. If false information or falsified supporting documentation is found to
have been included in this waiver request, the request becomes void, and the resultant action
becomes retroactively nullified.

I understand that if this COF institutional waiver is approved, it is a once-in-a-lifetime waiver
from the 145 COF lifetime hours limitation, and all hours approved must be completed within the
parameters specified by the Controller of the Colorado School of Mines and the State of
Colorado.

I understand that if I have not completed the requirements for a baccalaureate degree by the end
of the waiver period and choose to continue my coursework, I must a) pay full tuition without
COF stipend credit for all hours in excess of the hours added to my COF lifetime limit, or b) seek
a CCHE waiver (CCHE waiver form is available at:
http://www.state.co.us/cche/reforms/stipends/cofwaiver.pdf).




Signed
Date
For Office Use Only:

As of ______________ date:







Transcript review ________ COF hours approved _________
Bursar review ___________ COF hours approved _________

_______ Waiver denied because criteria not met
_______ Waiver denied because institutional waiver limit met - CCHE waiver is possible

_______ Waiver approved Start term ___________ End Term __________




Turn in your COF Waiver Request Form to the Registrar’s Office located in the Student
Center no later than the last day of add/drop in a given term (census date).



Page 7 of 7