Applying for financial aid
Step 1: Admissions application
Complete an application for admission to the college and submit it with an application fee to the Admissions Office. (Applies to first-time students only.)
Step 2: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is accepted after October 1 of the year before students plan to attend college. (i.e. FAFSA is available October 1, 2017 for those applying for the 2018-2019 academic year, which begins August 2018).
*The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is currently unavailable. You will need your 2016 tax information to complete the FAFSA.
On the FAFSA, include the Columbia College school code: 002456.
If you complete a FAFSA application between October 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 2018-2019 FAFSA is March 1, 2018.
The application deadline to submit the 2018-2019 FAFSA in order to be considered for Missouri state aid is April 1, 2018.
Step 3: Check the status of your financial aid
Activate your CougarTrack account and monitor your CougarMail on a regular basis. The Financial Aid Office will use your Columbia College e-mail address as a primary communication method to inform you about the status of your financial aid application, upcoming deadlines and important dates.
Correspondence sent through e-mail will not be sent via postal mail.
"My Documents" via CougarTrack, will display which documents have been received and which documents are missing or incomplete. It may take up to 1 or 2 business days for a submitted document to be marked 'received'.
Step 4: Applying for student loans online
Student loan borrowers must complete three items in addition to their FAFSA to be eligible for student loans:
- Entrance Counseling
- Master Promissory Note
- Accept/decline/modify loans with the Electronic Award Letter, available through CougarTrack.
Students must reapply each year for financial aid. See important dates for application deadlines.