Sep 27, 2023  
Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022 
Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Types of Federal Financial Aid, State Financial Aid, Scholarships, Grants, Awards, Student Employment, Outside Sources 

Types of Federal Financial Aid, State Financial Aid, Scholarships, Grants, Awards, Student Employment, Outside Sources 

Columbia College’s financial aid program exists to make education affordable for all students who qualify. The College believes that if students desire to attend college they should not be prevented from doing so simply because they lack sufficient funds. Financial aid is not intended to cover all student expenses. Although the primary financial responsibility for education rests with the students and their families, Columbia College is committed to helping students bridge the gap between the cost of a college education and what the student can afford to pay.

Financial aid is monetary assistance to help the student meet the expenses of attending college. Aid may be in the form of grants, student employment, loans, scholarships, types of outside assistance, or a combination thereof.

Notification of Financial Aid Status and Awards

College email addresses are assigned to all Columbia College applicants (see Resources ). The Financial Aid Office corresponds with students primarily via email and CougarTrack’s Self-Service Financial Aid regarding the status of their financial aid application and notification of financial aid estimated offers. Students should check their College email on a regular basis and are responsible for information sent even when school is not in session.

Students may access their financial aid offer estimate(s) through the CougarTrack Self-Service Financial Aid link on Columbia College’s website. The financial aid electronic notifications and associated links in the notification discuss eligibility requirements and other important information. Students should carefully review their electronic notifications and are responsible to read and understand all included information. Students should accept or decline the aid that is offered to them through the electronic notification process. Students must provide documentation if they are receiving an outside form of financial assistance not listed in the aid offer notification.


Financial aid is awarded to a student with the expectation that the student attends school for the period for which the assistance is awarded. If a student does not begin attendance in all of their classes, the aid must be recalculated based on the actual attendance. Students who are not in attendance for the courses in which they enrolled are not eligible to receive financial aid.

Aid Disbursement

A student’s financial aid (except Federal Work-Study) is credited directly to their student account and applied to tuition and fees for each semester/session. For Main Campus Day students, financial aid is also applied to housing costs each semester. Aid funds are credited for other charges with authorization from the student through the electronic notification process. Federal Work-Study funds are paid in the form of a biweekly paycheck. Funds are paid for authorized hours worked.

For Main Campus and CCG Campuses, the initial financial aid award is evenly distributed between two 16-week periods or semesters. This distribution is based on the assumption that the recipient is attending courses starting in August and continuing through May. If a student does not attend full-time or does not enroll in one of these semesters, then the remaining aid may be available for the summer sessions.

When a student registers for courses, they may deduct the amount of aid that has been awarded (except Federal Work-Study) from what is owed to the College. If a student’s financial aid awards exceed their charges, the student could receive a refund. Estimated refund dates are posted on the Enrollment Service Center’s website under “Financial Aid Disbursements & Refunds.” Refunds are either mailed to the student at their home address or sent electronically to the student’s bank account (for students who elect the direct deposit option through their ePayment account.)  

To assist with expenses associated with attending Columbia College, students often receive funds from multiple sources that are to be used specifically (exclusively) for tuition. Funding beyond 100% of the tuition cost will not be returned to the student or applied to other expenses. These sources include, but are not limited to military/corporate tuition assistance, VA Educational Benefits, MyCAA, institutional aid, endowed aid and Employee Educational Grant (EGG)/ Employee Graduate Educational Grant (GEG). The College will apply the non-institutional tuition-only funding sources first. Any excess funds remaining, after 100% of the tuition is paid, will be returned to the funding source and not the student.

Financial Aid Contact 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 the Columbia College web site: