The federal loan program provides better benefits such as lower interest rates and loan forgiveness programs for students in public service and education , so we recommend exhausting federal options before seeking private loans.
As a borrower, you have rights and responsibilities.
You have the right to know:
- School policy on enrollment, attendance and good academic standing. See "Academic Policies, Regulations and Procedures" in your Academic Catalog.
- School policy on when you must pay tuition, fees and other costs. See "Tuition and Fees" in your Academic Catalog.
- Students' median borrowing, default rate and graduation rate at your school. See Columbia College's College Scorecard .
- The consequences of defaulting on your loan .
- How eligibility for financial aid is determined. See the Student Aid Eligibility page on the Department of Education website.
- The financial aid programs available at Columbia College.
- The type and amount of fees deducted from the loan amount.
- When loan proceeds will be available and timing of disbursements.
- When repayment will begin and your average monthly payment.
- Information on deferment (postponement of repayment), cancellations and forbearance. See the repaying loans page.
- If and when your loan is sold or otherwise transferred.
- That your loan(s) will not automatically be discharged if you file bankruptcy.
You have a responsibility to:
- Complete all applications and forms accurately and on time.
- Provide additional information or documentation, if requested. The Financial Aid Office uses your official Columbia College CougarMail email address to inform you about all financial aid information.
- Inform the Financial Aid Office of any change in your family's financial circumstances.
- Complete online loan counseling sessions before you receive your first loan disbursement. You can complete online counseling in CougarTrack under the Financial Aid heading under "Forms."
- Keep track of all your loans and know the terms and conditions regarding repayment and deferment.
- Notify your lender of any changes in your address, name, telephone number or Social Security Number.
- Inform the lender if your expected graduation date changes, if you drop out of school or if you drop below half-time attendance.
- Inform the lender if you transfer to another school or if your employer's address changes.
- Attend an exit interview before graduating or leaving school. You can complete online exit loan counseling in CougarTrack under the Financial Aid heading under "Forms".
- Repay the loan regardless of whether you have completed your education, are satisfied with it or are able to find a job.