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Federal aid programs offered at Columbia College

Federal Pell Grant

Usually awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. Amounts can change yearly and will depend on several factors, including:

  • Financial need
  • Cost of attendance
  • Full-time or part-time enrollment

Effective July 1, 2012, students will no longer receive the Federal Pell Grant for more than 12 semesters or the equivalent (roughly six years). The financial aid office will contact students who are nearing their Pell Grant lifetime eligibility, also known as Pell LEU. If you have any questions, please contact the financial aid office or refer to studentaid.ed.gov.

Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

To be eligible for the SEOG grant, students at Columbia College must have exceptional financial need and meet the priority deadline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Because so many of our students have exceptional financial need, SEOG funds are distributed early on a first-come, first-served basis depending upon the availability of funds. If you have any questions, please contact the financial aid office or refer to studentaid.ed.gov.

Direct subsidized & unsubsidized loans

The U.S. Department of Education offers eligible students low-interest loans to help cover the cost of college. To learn more about eligibility, restrictions or regulations, please contact the financial aid office or refer to the link below for frequently asked questions about Direct loans.

Loans for one semester only

Students with a one-semester loan (where the loan period only spans one semester and not two) will have two disbursements. The first half will disburse when the student is enrolled at least half time and still attending his or her courses late in the second week. The second will disburse after the midpoint of the semester if the student still has half-time status. However, if the student is not enrolled at the time of either scheduled disbursement, he or she will not receive that disbursement. Withdrawals do not count toward at least half-time status.

Time limitation on direct subsidized loan eligibility

First-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013, will be limited to a maximum period of time (measured in academic years) in which they can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your academic program. Some enrollment patterns or changes may cause you to become responsible for the interest that accrues on Direct Subsidized Loans.

Wondering if this limitation applies to you? Find more information regarding this topic at studentloans.gov or studentaid.gov.

Direct PLUS loans for parents or graduate students

PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate students or parents of dependent undergraduate students may borrow to help cover educational expenses. The borrower must not have an adverse credit history. It is also recommended that other sources of financial aid are utilized before applying for a PLUS loan, as they have higher interest rates than Federal Direct Loans. Please contact the financial aid office with questions, or refer to studentaid.gov for more information.

Federal work-study

Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for students at schools who participate in this program. Learn more about Columbia College's Student Employment Opportunities.

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