Types of Financial Aid
Board of Governors Fee Waiver
The BOG Fee Waiver is a state program that assists in paying the enrollment fees for eligible students who are California residents.
BOG-A: Covers the per-unit tuition costs and additional enrollment fee of approximately $5. Apply by submitting a BOG Fee Waiver application as well as an Agency Certification form to the Financial Aid Office.
BOG-B: Covers the $46/unit tuition costs only and is awarded based on household size and low income thresholds. Apply by submitting a BOG Fee Waiver application to the Financial Aid Office or by filing a FAFSA.
BOG-C: Covers the $46/unit tuition costs only and is awarded based on financial need which varies between colleges based on their costs of attendance. Apply by submitting a FAFSA. You will be informed about eligibility via email at your student email account.
Grants are awarded to students based on Satisfactory Academic Progress and other criteria such as financial need and GPA. Grants are not required to be paid back by the student.
Federal Pell Grant
Designed to assist students with financial need to continue their education beyond high school and attempts to provide students with a foundation of financial assistance to help defray their educational costs. Award amounts are based on the number of units a student is enrolled in. The minimum number of units required to receive the Pell grant varies based on the individual student's financial need, but many students qualify at as few as 0.5 units.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Intended to assist students who demonstrate exceptional financial need ($0 Estimated Family Contribution, i.e. EFC). Supplemental grants at Columbia College range from $250-$500 per year and are coupled with the Pell grant. Each institution is allotted a certain amount of FSEOG funds to distribute; therefore, it is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. This means that those eligible students who have their financial aid file completed first will be awarded these limited funds. This usually occurs in June prior to the award year. At the end of each spring term these funds are re-evaluated to see if the award offer was not accepted. Those unaccepted funds will be re-distributed to other students who are in good standing with financial aid standards and who have the earliest financial aid file completion dates.
The Cal Grant program is a state-funded program administered by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). Students may apply for the Cal Grant by filing their FAFSA and submitting their GPA prior to March 2nd. Your past or current school may submit your verified GPA for you, but in some cases you are responsible for submitting your verified GPA (ask your Financial Aid Technician before March 2nd or check your connectColumbia account to see whether Columbia College submitted your verified GPA for you). Students may access or update information regarding their Cal Grant award, including change of school or request to put an award on reserve, online at WebGrants 4 Students. The types of Cal Grants are described by CSAC here as well as below. While students must maintain a certain GPA for Cal Grant awards, the awards are ultimately granted based on a point system that assigns values to each question on the FAFSA. Details of the point values are not disclosed by CSAC but a student may view their score on WebGrants 4 Students, linked above.
Cal Grant A: Awarded on the basis of academic achievement and financial need. This award is for UC and CSU students so may be held on reserve while the student is enrolled in a community college. More information can be found on the CSAC website.
Cal Grant B - Entitlement: This award is for newly entering students and those who have completed no more than 16 semester units who come from low income families and are not able to gain access to college without financial support. Cal Grant B is also available to students transferring to four-year institutions from community colleges. More information is available at all California high school counseling offices, college financial aid offices, and on the CSAC website.
Cal Grant B - Competitive: Additional Cal Grant B awards are awarded on a competitive basis, half of which are specifically for eligible California Community College students who meet the later deadline of September 2nd. More information is available on the CSAC website.
Cal Grant C: This award assists with training costs for occupational, technical, and vocational programs. The award is for books, tools and equipment for California community college students. More information is available on the CSAC website.
The Chafee program is designed for students who are current or former foster youth. Students may qualify for up to $5,000 a year for college training. In addition to submitting a FAFSA, students must complete the California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth application to apply. The program is administered by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC), and students may access or update information regarding their Chafee Grant award online at WebGrants 4 Students.
Federal Work-Study Program
Federal Work-Study (FWS) provides part-time jobs on campus for students who have financial need and must earn a portion of their educational expenses. Students must be enrolled at least half time and may work 5-20 hours per week for minimum wage. Job assignments are arranged by the Financial Aid Office. More information is available here.
Federal student loans are low-interest education loans that must be repaid. Columbia College does not participate in the student loan program; therefore, you cannot access any federal student loans while attending our institution.
Scholarships are a great opportunity to find additional sources of aid for your schooling. Our scholarship program is directed by the Columbia College Foundation, not the Financial Aid Office. Their scholarship page can be found here and their office can answer any further scholarship questions.
California Dream Act
Some students are not eligible for federal financial aid (primarily due to citizenship status) but may still be eligible for some state-based financial aid through the California Dream Act. Information about the Dream Act and who may be eligible can be found here, and further information about specific aid available can be found here. Please remember the Dream Act Application has a deadline of March 2nd for the following academic year!
Dreamers may apply for the following financial aid through the California Dream Act:
- Cal Grant (specifically the High School Entitlement Cal Grant A & B, CCC Transfer Entitlement Cal Grant A & B, and Cal Grant C)
- Chafee Grant
- Middle Class Scholarship
- UC Grants
- State University Grants
- California Community College (CCC) BOG Fee Waiver
- Some University scholarships
- Some private scholarships administered by campuses