Federal Financial Aid
The Federal Pell Grant is available to undergraduate students and is based on the financial need of the student. Pell grants are awarded based on full-time enrollment. A student may be eligible for the Pell Grant with less than full-time enrollment depending on student’s award amount. Students may not receive Pell at more than one school at a time. Pell Grant recipients are limited to six scheduled awards (maximum amount for full-time enrollment for a full academic year).
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
This is a grant for students who are not eligible for a Pell grant whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11/01. Students must be, at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death, less than 24 years old or enrolled at least part-time at an institution of higher education. The amount varies and is determined annually by the federal government.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
SEOG is a grant available for undergraduates based on the financial need of the student. To be eligible students must be receiving Pell. Columbia College is provided a limited amount of SEOG funding. Awards are no longer made after funds have been expended. Student must be enrolled to be eligible for SEOG.
Direct Loan Program
This program provides to students subsidized and/or unsubsidized loans; this aid must be repaid with interest. Loan award amounts depend on various factors (see Determination of Federal Financial Aid Award ). Students must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling, Direct Loan Master Promissory note, and submit an Electronic Award Letter for loans to be certified. Students must be enrolled at least half time to be eligible for loan disbursement.
- Subsidized Direct loans are need based. The US Department of Education pays the interest while a student is attending school at least half time and during periods of deferment. Effective July 1, 2013 new borrowers are limited to 150% of their academic program to receive subsidized loans. Students who lose eligibility for additional subsidized loans and who subsequently enroll in the same program or another program of equal or shorter duration lose interest subsidy of subsidized loans received after July 1, 2013.
- Unsubsidized Direct loans are available for students who do not have financial need and for amounts beyond subsidized loan limits for some students. The US Department of Education does not pay interest on unsubsidized loans.
Direct PLUS Loan Program
This is an unsubsidized loan made to parents (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, step parent of a dependent student) and must be repaid. This loan is a credit-based loan. Student must be enrolled at least half time to be eligible for PLUS loan disbursement. PLUS loans may be available up to unmet cost (see Determination of Federal Financial Aid Award ). Parent must complete PLUS Loan Data Sheet and PLUS Master Promissory Note for loan to be certified. Parent also must be approved through a credit check for loan to be processed.
If a student’s parents do not qualify for a PLUS loan, the student may be eligible for additional Direct loans.
Federal Work-Study Program
This federal program provides funding for employment for students who demonstrate financial need according to the results of their FAFSA. Students work either on or off campus earning minimum wage or above. Work-study-eligible students are not guaranteed employment. Students must meet all federal aid eligibility. Students cannot exceed their student employment award. Information regarding open positions and application process is available from the Student Employment Coordinator, Human Resources.
State Financial Aid
Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program
This grant is available to residents of Missouri, based on financial need. Application for the grant is made by completing the FAFSA by the priority deadline of February 1st or the final deadline of April 1st (the spring before the academic year begins). Eligible students who apply between February 1st and April 1st will be awarded based on funding availability. Students must be enrolled full-time at Columbia College to be eligible. Enrollment at other institutions may not be used to determine full-time enrollment for state aid. Amounts vary. Awards are made in an estimated status; awards become official after the add/drop period has ended, full-time enrollment is verified, and Columbia College receives the funding from the state.
Renewal students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 as well as satisfactory academic progress based on quantitative measure and maximum time frame (see Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress). Renewal is not automatic; renewal is based on financial need and FAFSA being completed by the priority deadline of February 1st or the final deadline of April 1st (the spring before the academic year begins). Eligible students who apply between February 1st and April 1st will be awarded based on funding availability. A student may not receive Access for more than 10 semesters.
Bright Flight Scholarship
Students who are Missouri high school graduates and scored in the top 3 percent of Missouri students on the ACT or SAT are eligible for this scholarship. The Missouri Department of Higher Education awards the scholarship and more information can be found with them (see Bright Flight Scholarship). To apply, contact the State of Missouri Department of Higher Education, high school guidance counselors or the Enrollment Service Center at Columbia College.
This scholarship is renewable for four years with full-time enrollment, a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, and meeting satisfactory academic progress based on quantitative measure and maximum time frame (see Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress).
Missouri Minority Teacher Scholarship
Through this program, students enrolled in approved teacher education programs receive loans to assist with educational expenses. For students who meet all of the program’s obligations, the loan is forgiven through conversion to a scholarship. This scholarship is available to minority students who rank in the top 25% of their class or on the ACT/SAT and who intend to pursue teacher certification. Columbia College provides $1,000 of the award that is given by the State of Missouri. Applications are available from high school counselors or the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Scholarship applications may be obtained from the Missouri Department of Higher Education’s website. The application deadline is June 1st.
Florida ABLE (Access to Better Learning and Education) grant is available to full-time students enrolled in the fall and/or spring 16 week semesters. Students must be working on a bachelor’s degree and meet Florida residency requirements. Residency requirements are determined through Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Awards are packaged in an estimated status until funds are received from the state. Full time eligibility is determined after the add/drop period in the late session of the Fall and Spring semesters. Students may not be in default or owe an overpayment on state or federal aid. The ABLE grant eligibility is based on budgetary constraints. For additional requirements please visit the Florida Department of Education’s website.
Scholarships, Grants and Awards
Scholarships, awards and grants are forms of “gift” assistance that do not require repayment. These types of assistance usually come in one of two forms, institutional aid or endowed aid. Some awards are automatic based on specific criteria. Other scholarships are made available in recognition of performance.
Generally scholarships, awards, and grants are non-need forms of financial assistance. Scholarships available vary by campus. Institutional aid is generally intended to be applied to the cost of tuition. Institutional aid is only awarded to degree seeking students working on their first undergraduate degree. A student that completes an associate’s degree and continues to pursue their bachelor’s degree is considered to still be working on their first degree.
Endowed scholarships and awards are made available through the generous gifts of alumni and friends of Columbia College. These awards are competitive and are primarily based on academic performance.
Associate Degree Transfer Grant
Associate Degree Transfer Grants are available to undergraduate students when they have completed an Associate Degree within the past twelve months. The degree must consist of 60 credit hours or its equivalent. The student must not have received the Associate Degree from Columbia College, and they must not have attended another college (other than the college that awarded the associates degree) since the award of the Associate Degree.
Students wishing to apply for the Associate Degree Transfer Grant must complete the Application for Institutional Aid on CougarTrack. The Associate Degree Transfer Grant provides a reduction in tuition for each eligible student at a maximum of 5 percent. This award is available for up to six consecutive semesters (including summer). To receive and remain eligible for the grant, the student must maintain good academic standing, according to established institutional policy.
Coast Guard Spouse Grant
Awarded to the spouse of an active duty Coast Guard or Coast Guard Reserve member with a pay grade of E1-E5, CW02, or 01-02 who is pursuing an associate degree program (excluding the Associate of General Studies degree). This grant provides a 50 percent tuition discount on online and in-seat courses, up to $2000/year and for a lifetime maximum of $4,000. Students must submit the Military Grant Application on CougarTrack each year to apply for the grant.
Colonel Charles McGee Scholarship
This competitive scholarship is awarded annually to a Veteran and/or their dependent. The scholarship will be available to the general population only if there are no veterans and/or dependents who qualify for the award. For more information, visit the Colonel Charles McGee Scholarship website.
Colonel Mike Randerson Scholarship
Established in 2014, the Colonel Mike Randerson Scholarship is an annual endowed scholarship created to help qualified veteran students, including active duty military, Guard, Reserve and/or their dependents who wish to attend the college. The Colonel Mike Randerson Scholarship recognizes the efforts of outstanding military students who exemplify Randerson’s dedication to service and education. For more information, visit the Colonel Mike Randerson Scholarship website.
Columbia College Alumni Association (CCAA) Lifelong Learning Grant
This grant is available to students that completed the highest undergraduate degree available at the time of graduation; for graduates of Christian Female College, this would be an associate’s degree and for graduates of Columbia College it is the bachelor’s degree. Eligible students may enroll in one course free of charge, if five years have elapsed since receiving their degree, they owe no fees, and they are not in default on federal loans.
Students may enroll for credit or as auditors in courses being offered during the regularly scheduled semesters or sessions, provided space is available and course prerequisites are met. This grant cannot be used for graduate-level or online courses.
Students are required to pay lab fees and purchase textbooks associated with the courses.
Students are permitted to enroll in one free course in each subsequent five-year period but may not accumulate free courses.
Students must apply for admission to be eligible to register for a course. No application fee is required. Students must apply for the grant by completing the Application for Institutional Aid on CougarTrack.
The eScholarship is a one-time award designed to reward outstanding achievement in online study at Columbia College. The award will be given to undergraduate students who, in addition to meeting the minimum criteria, demonstrate a history of academic excellence and personal growth while a student with Columbia College. At the time of application, the student must meet the following criteria:
- Be a degree-seeking, undergraduate student working on first baccalaureate (bachelors) degree.
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 with Columbia College.
- Have successfully completed at least three online courses during the current academic year.
- Have at least 21 hours of coursework with Columbia College (in-seat or online). Nine of the hours should have been taken during the previous academic year.
Frank S. Westling Scholarship
The scholarship is for tuition and books and is non-renewable. To be considered for the scholarship, students must apply, have a 3.0 GPA, be degree-seeking, and have completed 15 credit hours with Columbia College. To apply, students must submit a completed Frank Westling Scholarship application.
Military Family Member’s Opportunity Grant
Award amount is tuition for one in-seat course. Awarded to family members (dependents) of military members currently serving on active duty or in the Guard and Reserves. Student must be seeking first undergraduate degree and be enrolled in first course at Columbia College. Student must complete the Military Grant Application on CougarTrack before registering. The award cannot be applied retroactively.
Military Spouse Tuition Grant
The spouse of an active duty, Guard or Reserve member of any U.S. military service will be granted a 20 percent tuition discount for in-seat classes. To be eligible, a student must be able to show a valid military spouse I.D. or other documentation that confirms marriage to a military member and complete the Military Grant Application on CougarTrack each year. The discount does not apply to online coursework, nor does it apply to military spouses covered under a tuition-assistance program.
Silver Citizens Award
Students 65 years of age or older are eligible for the Silver Citizen Grant, which is a 50 percent tuition-only grant. Students must be at least 65 years of age before the start of the term in order for the grant to be applied. The grant can only be applied to in-seat courses.
Spouse’s Opportunity Grant
Awarded to the spouse of a military member currently on active duty, in the Guard or Reserves. This grant covers tuition for the first course taken at Columbia College. Students must submit the Military Grant Application on CougarTrack and the award cannot be applied retroactively.
Undergraduate students when an immediate family member (spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister) enrolled at Columbia College in the same eight-week session are eligible. The Two-in-Family Grant will provide a tuition reduction of 5 percent per credit hour for each family member who is enrolled. The Two-in-Family Grant is repeatable in succeeding semesters as long as both family members remain students and the student continues to maintain good academic standing, according to established institutional policy. Students must apply for the grant each year using the Columbia College Application for Institutional Aid available on CougarTrack.
Former U.S. military personnel are eligible for this non-renewable grant. The award provides $200 for every six months of active service up to a maximum $800. Students must apply for the grant through Application for Institutional Aid available on CougarTrack or through the Ousley Family Veterans Service Center.
Alternative Loan Program
Students who do not have federal loan eligibility or are looking for additional loan options may apply for an alternative loan. These loans are credit based. Additional information is available on the Financial Aid website.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
Students with physical or mental disabilities may be eligible to receive benefits from the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. Assistance may include counseling; training for vocational, technical, or professional employment; and funding for books, supplies, maintenance, medical services, and transportation. To apply, students should contact the regional Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. Missouri residents may write to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Jefferson City, MO 65101.
War Orphans or Armed Services Benefits
If students are dependents of veterans who died or were permanently disabled as a result of military duty, are between the ages of 18 and 26, and are enrolled on a full-time basis, they may be eligible for educational benefits. Students may contact their regional Veteran’s Administration office or the Ousley Family Veterans Service Center, (573) 875-7504 or email@example.com.
GI Educational Benefits
Columbia College is approved for enrollment certification of students eligible to receive education assistance (GI Bill) from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Eligibility requirements vary for veterans education benefit programs. For additional information and application materials, contact the Ousley Family Veterans Service Center, (573) 875-7504 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA)
Students may be eligible to receive benefits from JTPA. Assistance may include counseling; training for vocational, technical, or professional employment; and funding for tuition and books. To apply, contact the Work Connections Office in your area.
Financial Aid Information
If you have any questions about the College’s financial aid program, call the Enrollment Service Center for assistance at (573) 875-7252.
Additional financial aid information is available at Columbia College’s website: web.ccis.edu/offices/financialaid.