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Columbia College–Lake County/Great Lakes offers several options for financial aid, even if you are only taking online classes.
In addition, Columbia College–Lake County/Great Lakes offers several scholarships, and many employers offer tuition assistance programs. Veterans Administration benefits also are available to veterans.
How to Apply for Financial Aid
Students wishing to apply for federal aid should first complete a Columbia College admissions application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once your admissions application is submitted and processed, you will receive a notice to activate your Columbia College CougarTrack account. This activation will give you access your CougarMail e-mail account. It is important to frequently check your CougarMail – official notices regarding the status of both your admissions and FAFSA applications will be sent to CougarMail.
Don't forget to review our Scholarship Finder – you may be eligible for additional funding for your education at no cost to you. Additional documentation submissions may be required to apply for Institutional Scholarships and Grants listed on the Scholarship Finder.
Returning students must renew their institutional awards each year. No scholarship or grant is automatically re-awarded. You must re-apply each year for each award and must meet eligibility requirements.
Students borrowing student loans must complete three items in addition to their FAFSA to get a loan:
- Master Promissory Note*
- Student Loan Counseling*
- Accept/decline/reduce loans with eAward Letter, available through CougarTrack.
*One time only as long as you stay at Columbia College and with the same lender.
Students will receive a Financial Aid award notification in CougarMail. Your award estimate is based on full-time enrollment. You must attend class to be eligible for financial aid. The College may prorate, adjust or revise your award in accordance with federal regulations or institutional policy.
Drop or Withdrawal from Classes
If you drop or withdraw from all classes within an award period or term, your award(s) may be recalculated and we may be required to reduce or cancel your award(s). To read more on this or other award specifics, visit the Terms and Conditions of your Award page on the Financial Aid office Web site.
Activate your CougarTrack account today and monitor your CougarMail account on a regular basis. The Financial Aid office uses your official Columbia College CougarMail e-mail address to inform you about the status of your financial aid application, additional information you may need to provide to complete your aid application and upcoming deadlines and important dates.
CougarMail e-mail is a service provided to you through Columbia College's comprehensive CougarTrack portal. CougarMail e-mail also notifies you when your financial aid has been awarded and provides information regarding how to view your award letter electronically. This means we can contact you immediately about the status of your aid and you can access your award letters anytime, day or night, weekday or weekend. For assistance, visit the CougarTrack home page (available at the top of every page), or contact the Columbia College Financial Aid office at (800) 231-2391, ext.7252.