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Financial Aid Process & Overview

Financial Aid Process

The first step to applying for Financial Aid is filing the FAFSA. This is done at If you add the Columbia College Federal School Code, 007707, it will be sent to this office for processing. The steps for processing your FAFSA are outlined in the document linked below. It is important that you follow up with all of the requests that the Financial Aid Office makes, in order to receive your entitled funding. Processing can take up to 12 weeks during a peak period, so don't delay.

Financial Aid Overview

Financial Aid is intended to cover a student's educational expenses while they are pursuing an eligible degree or certificate program. Financial Aid comes in two forms: Gift Aid (grants, scholarships, enrollment fee waivers) and Self-Help Aid (loans and work study).

Once you file a FAFSA, you will receive an output number, your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) in your Student Aid Report (SAR). The EFC is calculated using an established Federal Methodology which considers both you and your parents (if a dependent students) financial resources based on the information supplied on the FAFSA. The goal of the Financial Aid Office at each college is to fill in the gap that is considered your financial need with a balance of self help aid and gift aid. This formula is shown below. Keep in mind due to limited funding this gap will never fully be filled. A student must look at other methods for funding their education as well. Examples include, family support, employment, savings and reducing indirect expenses. Please review our Estimated Cost of Attendance at the link below.