You may apply for the FAFSA as early as October 1 of the year before you plan to attend college.
- For those applying for the 2023-2024 academic year (August 2023-July 2024), the FAFSA was made available October 1, 2022.
- For those applying for the 2024-2025 academic year (August 2024-July 2025), the FAFSA will be available December 2023.
You must meet eligibility guidelines in order to receive federal financial aid. Some students may be asked to further verify information on their FAFSA form.
Be sure to activate your myPortal account and monitor CougarMail on a regular basis. The Columbia College Financial Aid Office will use your Columbia College email address to update you about the status of your application. The office will also use it to inform you about upcoming deadlines and more.
Applying for FAFSA in five steps
Complete an application for admission to the college and submit it to the Admissions Office (applies to first-time students only).
Accept student eConsent
In order to view your and manage your account information in an online format, you must provide eConsent.
Complete your FAFSA
Fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible so you meet priority deadlines.
Check your Columbia College email for updates.
Additional loan requirements
If you are taking out federal loans, you must also complete
- Entrance counseling
- Master Promissory Note
- My Awards indicating whether you accept, decline or want to modify your loans (available in Self-Service Financial Aid )
Note: Students must apply for financial aid each year.