Financial awareness: Keep track of your finances

It's important to track and manage your student aid and finances throughout college. 

It’s important to make informed financial decisions in college and beyond. Register for a free CashCourse account to find resources that will help you take charge of your finances. During college, be sure to plan educational expenses, keeping in mind scholarship opportunities and loan repayment plans.


If you were awarded a scholarship by Columbia College, it is important to know the renewal criteria and eligibility time frame.

You may apply for additional scholarships at any time. We encourage you to keep looking for scholarship opportunities and can aid you in that search. 

Federal aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is available on October 1 for the following academic year. Complete and submit your FAFSA by February 1.

You can estimate loan repayment based on the amount of loans you are taking out by using FinAid Calculators.

You may repay federal loans while you're still in college. By doing so, you'll pay less over the life of the loan because you will not accumulate as much interest. Mandatory repayments begin six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment.

Log in to the to get contact information for your loan servicer.

Prevent identity theft

Here are some tips to avoid identity theft.

  • Avoid giving your Social Security number and don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse.
  • Never leave your purse, wallet or backpack unattended.
  • Keep laptops secure and log out completely when necessary. Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date. Avoid accessing sensitive information such as your bank account from public computers or Wi-Fi connections.
  • Do not use obvious computer passwords, and do not share passwords with others.