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Answers to other questions you may have about financial aid

Where should I submit documents and forms?

Documents may be uploaded directly to the financial aid office.  See the financial aid forms page to submit requested forms.  We do not recommend submitting documents with personally identifiable information via email.  Documents may be faxed to (573) 875-7452.

How long will it take to process my financial aid document?

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

Am I considered Dependent or Independent?

If you are younger than 24 on January 1 of the award year, you are considered a dependent. Exceptions are made for:

  • veterans and active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • students with dependent(s)
  • married students
  • students in graduate or other professional school
  • students who are in legal guardianship, homeless, orphans, emancipated minors, or wards of a court

If you are a dependent student who has special circumstances and want to have the financial aid office review your dependency status you may complete and return a Request for Dependency Override form located in the Financial Aid Forms section of your CougarTrack account.

What are Origination Fees?

Origination fees are a percentage fee deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement a student receives. Subsidized and Unsubsidized federal Direct Loans have a 1.066 percent origination fee. The federal Direct PLUS Loan has a 4.264 percent origination fee.

If my financial situation has changed, may I update my information?

Yes. If you or your family experiences an unusual circumstances such as loss of employment or a significant medical expense, complete a Special Consideration Form to determine whether it impacts your financial aid.

How are loan funds from a private credit-based lender disbursed?

Loan funds may be disbursed electronically through direct deposit or via postal mail to Columbia College on or after the loan disbursement date. Checks sent by the private lender to Columbia College will be made out to Columbia College and the borrower. Checks will have to be endorsed before funds can be credited to the student's account. Once the check is received, the student will be contacted (via phone or mail depending on campus location) to endorse the check. The check will then be sent to the Accounting Office to have funds credited to the student's account.

Private loan funds that are sent electronically are credited to the student's account within three business days of receiving the funds. Funds received electronically do not have to be endorsed to disburse to a student's account.

What is a lender, servicer and guarantee agency?

A lender is the company that originates the loan; the organization that loans the money to a student. A servicer is the company that provides customer service and account management services. A guarantee agency insures loans against default.

What is a Default Clearance Letter?

A Default Clearance Letter is documentation to show resolution of default.

If a student is in repayment and stops making payments on student loans without a deferment or forbearance, the loan(s) could go into default. If you are in default on your student loan, you are no longer eligible to receive Title IV funds.

To clear a defaulted status on student loans, determine which loan servicer holds your defaulted loan(s) by logging into the National Student Loan Data System. Contact the lender to determine options for resolving the defaulted status. Once the default has been resolved, request a Default Clearance Letter from the lender. The letter must indicate that the default has been resolved and can be submitted to the Financial Aid Office.

What is a Consortium Permission Request?

A Consortium Permission Request is the application process for a degree seeking student to request approval to receive federal aid from Columbia College for a course taken at another host school. The course must be required for degree completion at Columbia College. This process is also known as a consortium agreement or consortium. Requests are denied if a student is not meeting general eligibility requirements or a student has not complied with the terms of the request. If a request is denied, you may still take the class and have transcripts submitted for evaluation, however you will not receive financial aid for the course.

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