Applying for Financial Aid
Step Admissions application
Step Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Step Check the status of your financial aid
Step Applying for student loans online
Step Other requirements for aid eligibility
Applications for financial aid are accepted after January 1 of the year students plan to attend college. (i.e. FAFSA is available Jan 1, 2013 for those applying for the 2013-2014 academic year, which begins August 2013).
The general turnaround time for processing financial aid documents submitted to Columbia College is normally 10 business days. This time will likely increase during peak times, such as the beginning of a new school year, or decrease during periods of lower volume. Students are encouraged to submit documentation as early as possible. Additional supporting documentation may be required after the initial review.
Complete an application for admission to the college and submit it with the one-time application fee to the Admissions Office. (Applies to first-time students only.)
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and indicate the Columbia College school code, 002456. Students can apply by accessing the FAFSA electronically at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Be aware: If you complete a FAFSA application between January 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 FAFSA is March 1 of the year students plan to attend college (i.e. the deadline is March 1, 2013 for those applying for the 2013-2014 academic year).
State aid is also awarded based on information obtained from the FAFSA. The application deadline to be considered for Missouri state aid is April 1 of the year students plan to attend college (i.e. the deadline is April 1, 2013 for those applying for the 2013-2014 academic year.)
Check the status of your financial aid
Activate your CougarTrack account today and monitor your CougarMail account on a regular basis. The Financial Aid Office uses your official Columbia College CougarMail e-mail address to inform you about the status of your financial aid application, additional information that you may need to complete your aid application and upcoming deadlines and important dates. IMPORTANT: The Financial Aid Office notifies students primarily via CougarMail. Correspondence sent through e-mail will not be sent via postal mail.
"My Documents", available through CougarTrack, will show what documents have been received and what documents are missing or incomplete. It can take up to 24 to 48 hours for a submitted document to be logged in.
For assistance, visit the CougarTrack homepage, or contact the Columbia College Registration and Financial Services at (800) 231-2391, ext 7390.
Applying for student loans online
Students borrowing student loans must complete three items in addition to their FAFSA to get a loan:
- Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note*
- Accept/decline/reduce loans with Electronic Award Letter, available through CougarTrack. Learn more.
Find more information on federal student loans.
* One time only as long as you stay at Columbia College and with the same lender.
Other eligibility requirements
Aspects of Step 5 are not required for every student. You will be notified through CougarMail if these documents are needed.
Students must reapply each year for financial aid. See important dates for application deadlines.