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Applying for Financial Aid

Step 1 Admissions application

Step 2 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Step 3 Check the status of your financial aid

Step 4 Applying for student loans online

Student financial aid forms are available under the Financial section of CougarTrack

Parent Financial Aid Forms are also available. For more information, visit our FAQs page.

To Apply:

Step 1 Admissions application

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.)

Step 2 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) is accepted after January 1 of the year students plan to attend college. (i.e. FAFSA is available Jan 1, 2015 for those applying for the 2015-2016 academic year, which begins August 2015).

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and indicate the Columbia College school code, 002456.

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 2015-2016 FAFSA is March 1, 2015.

The application deadline to submit the 2015-2016 FAFSA in order to be considered for Missouri state aid is April 1, 2015.

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", available through CougarTrack, will show what documents have been received and what documents are missing or incomplete. It may take 1 to 2 business days for a submitted document to be logged in.

The general turnaround time for processing financial aid documents submitted to Columbia College is 10 business days. Turnaround time will likely increase during peak times, such as the beginning of a new school year. Students are encouraged to submit documentation as early as possible.

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:

  1. Entrance Counseling 
  2. Master Promissory Note
  3. Accept/decline/modify loans with the Electronic Award Letter, available through CougarTrack.

Find more information on federal student loans.

* Completion of Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note are required one time only as long as you stay at Columbia College.

Students must reapply each year for financial aid. See important dates for application deadlines.