Federal and State Assistance
A student may apply for the below awards by submitting a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online. Add Columbia College's Federal School Code to your application (007707) and please allow up to ten days for your application to be received by the college.
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 range up to $5,730 for the year and are awarded 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. 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. The award, which ranges from $1,428-$9,708, 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. Awards range up to $1,473 for each academic year at a community college. 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 up to $547 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 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.
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-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.
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 $9.00/hr. Job assignments are arranged by the Financial Aid Office. More information is available here.