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Frequently Asked Questions

How often do I need to apply for financial aid?

Students must apply for financial aid each academic year. Apply as soon as possible after January 1st in order to be considered for all types of financial aid. Applications received will be considered on the basis of funds available for Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and Federal Work-Study (FWS).

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How is my financial aid eligibility determined?

Financial need is determined by an analysis of the family’s previous year’s income, assets, number of family members and number of family members in college. This results in an amount the family is expected to contribute for education (Expected Family Contribution).

Federal regulations determine the amount of Federal Pell grant an undergraduate student is eligible for based on the Expected Family Contribution. The Financial Aid Office, with guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, determines eligibility for Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Work Study and student loans based on financial "need".

"Need" is defined as the Cost of Attendance (a budget that include tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation and housing) minus the Expected Family Contribution. It is from this unmet "need" that the student's dollar amount of financial aid will be decided. Some factors which are considered are: the date the application is received, funding availability, maximum award levels and the student's year in school.

Special Note to students transferring to Columbus State: If you are transferring to CSCC during the school year and received federal financial aid at another institution, you must inform our office of that information using the Award Revision/Transfer Report Form.

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Does financial aid pay for audited classes?

No, financial aid does not pay for courses for which you receive no credit.

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What if one of my classes is canceled?

A 100% refund of fees is given if a class is canceled. Because of this, financial aid will be reduced accordingly. In order not to risk a reduction in financial aid and possibly owing a balance, it is the student’s responsibility to add classes that will bring him or her up to the required minimum hours.

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What happens if I pay my fees and receive financial aid later?

If financial aid is awarded after tuition and fees are paid for the term(s), it is possible to receive retroactive payment, provided a student is in good academic standing, not on a financial aid restriction, and submits all required documentation by the deadline date. A retroactive award is based upon the number of credit hours the student actually completed during a given term.

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How will my financial aid be affected if I drop classes?

If a student drops a class after their financial aid has been paid they may be put on Financial Aid restriction. In addition, if a student drops before the ‘freeze’ date, CSCC is legally obligated to return funds to any aid program for which the student is no longer eligible.

The Financial Aid Office policy requires a student to complete all add/drop changes by the financial aid FREEZE DATE which is the end of the 100% refund period for a class section. (Check the Academic Calendar page for specific dates.) If a student adds or drops classes anytime up to this date, financial aid will be adjusted. If changes are made after this date, financial aid will not be adjusted. However, students receiving Federal Stafford Loans must maintain 6 credit hours throughout the term. The following summarizes the hour drop policy.

Award 3/4 time (9-11 credit hours) 1/2 time (6-8 credit hours) Less than 1/2 time (1-5 credit hours)
Federal PELL Grant 3/4 of full-time award, except for small awards 1/2 full-time award, except for small amounts Prorated based on federal guidelines
Federal SEOG Grant Same as full-time amount Same as full-time amount $0.00
Federal Work-Study (FWS) Same as full-time amount Same as full-time amount $0.00
Federal Subsidized / Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and most Alternative / Nursing loans Same as full-time amount Same as full-time amount $0.00

A student may owe funds back to the aid programs as a result of schedule changes made prior to the FREEZE DATE.

The amount of aid a student is eligible for has no relationship to instructional charges or other incurred costs of attendance.

Non-attendance in classes is considered a reduction of hours and aid will be adjusted.

Dropping, not attending, and withdrawing from classes may affect a student's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as monitored by the Financial Aid Office in accordance with Federal Regulations. Failure to meet SAP can result in the cancellation of Federal and Institutional aid.

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How will I know how much financial aid I am getting?

If a student is eligible for financial aid, he or she will receive a Financial Aid Award Letter. This letter tells:

  • Type(s) of award(s) student will receive.
  • Amount(s) available per term.
  • Terms & conditions student agrees to meet while receiving aid.

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What is a financial aid "package?"

The financial aid "package" is an offer of one or more types of financial aid to help a student meet educational costs.

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