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Financial Aid

Columbia College's financial assistance program exists to make education affordable for all students who qualify.

We believe those who desire to attend college should not be prevented from doing so simply because they lack sufficient funds. While primary financial responsibility rests with the student and their families, Columbia College is committed to helping students bridge the gap between the cost of college and what the student can afford to pay. However, financial aid is not intended to cover all of a student's expenses. 

Financial assistance is monetary assistance to help the student meet the expenses of attending college. Aid may be in the form of grants, scholarships, work, loans or a combination of assistance.

Applying for Financial Aid

Applications for federal and state financial aid are accepted after January 1 of the year students plan to attend college. To apply:

  1. Complete an application for admission and submit it with appropriate transcripts and test scores and a one-time $25 application fee to the Admissions Office. (Applies to first-time students only.)
  2. Complete the Columbia College Application for Financial Assistance.
  3. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and indicate the Columbia College school code, 002456. The FAFSA can be obtained from a high school counselor, the Financial Aid Office or at their Web site at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov.
    The FAFSA is used to gather information about the financial resources of a student and his or her family. From this information, expected parent contribution (for dependent students) and student contribution are calculated. These two figures together total the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for federal aid purposes. State aid also is awarded based on information obtained from the FAFSA. The application deadline to be considered for state aid is April 1.
  4. If selected for verification, the student may be required to submit certain documentation such as a copy of the family's federal tax forms and W-2s prior to receiving federal aid.

Students must reapply each year for financial aid. Contact the Financial Aid Office for annual deadlines.

How will I pay for college?

financial aid counselor talking with students

Columbia College awards millions of dollars annually in federal, state and institutional funds. Awards are based on need, merit and/or performance (athletics, art, music and leadership). Many awards are renewable. Each of our programs, day, evening and extended studies, have different financial aid opportunities. Please see the program you are most interested in for detailed information on financial aid. If you have a specific question, please feel free to call, write or e-mail us.

Eligibility for Financial Aid and Scholarships

The Columbia College Financial Assistance and Scholarship Application determines eligibility for institutional forms of aid. Institutional aid is offered in the form of scholarships and awards. It is based on the student's academic achievement, performance or special talent. The FAFSA determines the student's eligibility for federal need-based financial aid. When the FAFSA is submitted, the federal government analyzes student and family income, family size and assets to determine financial need. Most federal and state aid is based on financial need.

ArrowFind all the scholarships that are available to you.

For more information about financial aid, scholarships, work study, etc, visit the Financial Aid website.