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Applying for Financial Aid

Step 1Admissions application

Step 2Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Step 3Check the status of your financial aid

Step 4Applying for student loans online

Step 5Other requirements for aid eligibility

Applications for financial aid are accepted after January 1 of the year students plan to attend college. (i.e. FAFSA is available Jan 1, 2013 for those applying for the 2013-2014 academic year, which begins August 2013).

The general turnaround time for processing financial aid documents submitted to Columbia College is normally 10 business days. This time will likely increase during peak times, such as the beginning of a new school year, or decrease during periods of lower volume. Students are encouraged to submit documentation as early as possible. Additional supporting documentation may be required after the initial review.

Student financial aid forms are available under the Financial Aid section of eServices.
Parent Financial Aid forms are also available. For more information, visit our FAQs page.

To apply:

Step step 1 Admissions application

Complete an application for admission to the college and submit it with the one-time application fee to the Admissions Office. (Applies to first-time students only.)

Step step 2 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and indicate the Columbia College school code, 002456. Students can apply by accessing the FAFSA electronically at

Be aware: If you complete a FAFSA application between January and June, there will be two FAFSA applications available for two different academic years. Be sure to complete the FAFSA application for the timeframe(s) you plan to attend.

Columbia College's priority deadline for the FAFSA is March 1 of the year students plan to attend college (i.e. the deadline is March 1, 2013 for those applying for the 2013-2014 academic year).

State aid is also awarded based on information obtained from the FAFSA. The application deadline to be considered for Missouri state aid is April 1 of the year students plan to attend college (i.e. the deadline is April 1, 2013 for those applying for the 2013-2014 academic year.)

Step step 3 Check the status of your financial aid

Activate your eServices 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 that you may need to complete your aid application and upcoming deadlines and important dates. IMPORTANT: The Financial Aid Office notifies students primarily via CougarMail. Correspondence sent through e-mail will not be sent via postal mail.

"My Documents", available through eServices, will show what documents have been received and what documents are missing or incomplete. It can take up to 24 to 48 hours for a submitted document to be logged in.

For assistance, visit the eServices homepage at (available at the top of every page), or contact the Columbia College Registration and Financial Services at (800) 231-2391, ext 7390.

Step step 4 Applying for student loans online

Students borrowing student loans must complete three items in addition to their FAFSA to get a loan:

  1. Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note*
  2. Accept/decline/reduce loans with Electronic Award Letter, available through eServices. Learn more.

Find more information on federal student loans.
* One time only as long as you stay at Columbia College and with the same lender.

Step step 5 Other eligibility requirements

Aspects of Step 5 are not required for every student. You will be notified through CougarMail if these documents are needed.  

Students must  reapply each year for financial aid. See important dates for application deadlines.