Financial aid regulations have undergone many changes recently, and while they can be confusing, we are here to answer any questions you have and explain in language you can understand how the changes affect your particular situation. You can trust us to be honest with you about what we believe are the best decisions you can make with regard to borrowing loan money. If you are ready to complete your degree, we are here to help you every step of the way and that includes helping you with financial aid.
Earning your bachelor's degree will cost you time, energy, and money, but the value of your experience and the education you receive is an excellent investment.
What should I do if I am eligible to receive VA benefits?
When should I apply for financial aid?
You need to file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) the day you file your application for admission.
I’ve never filed a FAFSA; what do I do?
- You will receive an e-mail notification that your FAFSA has been processed and will be able to view your Student Aid Report (SAR). It is your RESPONSIBILITY to check the information carefully and make sure that it is correct.
- The Office of Financial Aid, OFA, at Columbia College will NOT open a financial aid file in your name until you are accepted into the Evening program. Once an applicant is accepted to Columbia College, it takes 5-7 business days for the OFA to receive your information and set up a file in your name.
What do I do when I receive the Student Aid Report, SAR?
If the information is incorrect, make the corrections online as directed or make the corrections on the paper form and mail it back to the Processing Center as directed. A new SAR will be mailed to you and Columbia College will receive your updated SAR. Once your file is complete and you are accepted for admission, you will receive a financial aid award. It is your responsibility to complete all paperwork in a timely manner. If you have questions about the financial aid process, please call the Office of Financial Aid at 803.786.3612.
Can I take only one class a semester and still get financial aid?
No. You must be enrolled in at least six semester hours to receive financial aid.
I don’t want to borrow any loan money. Are there any scholarships I can apply for at Columbia College?
Columbia College believes that it is very important to give non-traditional students (adults in the work force) the opportunity to attend college. Therefore, we give ALL Evening College students a discount on tuition and are unable to award institutional scholarships in addition to the tuition discount.
Can I use financial aid to pay for books and other items in the bookstore?
The financial aid office will award you financial aid to cover tuition, fees, and books. Should you require additional funds to cover your costs, you will need to contact the Financial Aid Office and speak with a counselor.
I am in default on a previous student loan; what should I do?
Call the lender and make arrangements to begin the repayment process. If you have been making regular payments for at least six months to resolve your default, contact your lender and request a letter of reaffirmation or default resolution. This letter will be sent directly to you, and you should forward that document to the Office of Financial Aid at Columbia College.
I would like to talk with a financial aid counselor at Columbia College, how do I contact them? Financial aid counselors are assigned to students that have been accepted to the College by the first letter of your last name. The financial information you provide on the FAFSA is private until you are accepted to Columbia College; therefore, our counselors will not access it until they receive information from admissions telling them you will be enrolling. If you have general questions before you are accepted, you can contact financial aid at 803.786.3612.