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The academic year at Columbus State Community College is classified as Autumn and Spring semesters - with each semester consisting of 15 weeks of instruction and finals. Summer semester is a condensed semester. Since Summer semester is not part of the official academic year the federal regulations state financial aid cannot be automatically awarded for that term. Students wanting financial aid for Summer semester must make that request with the Financial Aid office.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and Federal Work Study (FWS) programs are classified as Campus-Based financial aid and administered by the Financial Aid Office at Columbus State Community College (CSCC). Eligibility is based on financial need and the funds are awarded to students on a first-apply and first-awarded basis each year.
COST OF ATTENDANCE
The estimated total amount it will cost to attend Columbus State Community College. It is determined by the Financial Aid Office at CSCC using rules established by the U.S. Congress. It is based on average costs incurred by students. Amounts are included for tuition, room/board, books, travel, and personal miscellaneous expenses.
An agreement signed by a student attending another institution and earning a degree at that institution and taking at least one course here at CSCC to transfer back to their "home" school. CSCC is called the "host" institution. Financial aid eligibility is determined at the "home" school and aid funds are disbursed by the "home" school. The student is still responsible for their tuition, fees and books at CSCC by the fee payment deadline assigned for the term.
The Dependency Override is an appeal requested by a student currently classified as "Dependent" under federal guidelines (see "Dependent Student") wanting to be re-classified as "Independent" (see "Independent Student"). This reclassification may occur if the student is experiencing an adverse family situation or various other situations. Note the following conditions DO NOT qualify: students living on their own, parents refusing to contribute towards their education, parents not claiming student on income taxes or parents unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or other documents.
An appointment with a Financial Aid Advisor is needed for consultation.
Qualifications are established by the Federal Government. A student is classified as a "Dependent Student" for the academic year if ALL of the following apply to you:
- you are younger than age 24;
- you are not married;
- you are enrolled in an undergraduate program of study or certificate program;
- you have no legal dependents;
- you are not an orphan or ward of the court; or
- you are not a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces (veteran includes a student who attended a U.S. military academy who was released under a condition other than dishonorable).
EFC (EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION)
The index number used by CSCC to determine how much financial aid the student is eligible to receive. The EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law. Information provided on your FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA is used in the calculation. Your EFC is used to determine your financial need.
ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER (EFT)
This is the method CSCC uses to refund overages on your CSCC account after your tuition and fees have been paid. Students may set up the bank account they would like the overages to be electronically sent to by logging into Cougarweb. Click on "Bank Information (US)" Add your personal bank account information including the routing number. Questions should be referred to the Cashiers Department.
The electronic exchange of information between CSCC and the federal processor.
On on-line counseling session required for all first-time Direct Student Loan borrowers and some Direct Parent PLUS loan borrowers. The session covers the rights and responsibilities a student and/or parent must adhere to as a loan borrower. Federal Loan Entrance Counseling must be completed at www.studentloans.gov.
FAFSA (FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID)
The Federal application used to apply for federal student aid. Visit www.FAFSA.ed.gov.
FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN
Federal Direct Loan is a loan borrowed from the Federal government either by the student or the parent. The two different types of direct student loans for students are: subsidized, and unsubsidized. The Direct Loan for parents is called a Parent PLUS loan. This PLUS loan may be borrowed by parents of dependent undergraduate students. All Federal Direct Loans charge an origination fee. View more information on fees and interest rates. For further information, visit our Loans Page.
FEDERAL PELL GRANT
Money awarded by the Federal Government based on information completed on the FAFSA. These monies do not need to be repaid. Awarded on basis of financial need as determined by information submitted on the FAFSA. Awarded to students pursuing their first undergraduate degree. In order to continue to be eligible to receive these funds a student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Amounts vary according to enrollment status and need. The maximum grant for the 2015-2016 award year is $5,775. Grant amounts are based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and enrollment status: full time (12+ credit hours), three-quarter time (9-11 credit hours), one-half time (6-8 credit hours), and less than half time (fewer than 6 credit hours).
Full-time = 100% of PELL award pays towards tuition
Three-quarter time = 75% of PELL award pays towards tuition
One-half time = 50% of PELL award pays towards tuition
Less than half time = 25% of PELL award pays towards tuition
FEDERAL DIRECT PLUS (PARENT LOAN FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS)
The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is not based on financial need. Only parents of dependent undergraduate students may apply for this loan. A parent is currently defined as a student's natural or adoptive mother or father or step-parent. Parents are required to pass a credit check. For more information visit our Loan Page.
FEDERAL DIRECT SUBSIDIZED LOAN
The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is one type of Direct Loan. It is awarded to students on the basis of financial need. In most instances, if a student qualifies for this loan the government pays the interest on the loan until repayment begins and during authorized periods of deferment. There are aggregate limits and interest rate limits on the loans. There is a loan origination fee charged and deducted from the loan proceeds before the loan is disbursed to the school. This information can be reviewed at https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans. Students must complete the FAFSA to be awarded these loans. Repayment begins six (6) months after the student graduates or drops below six (6) credit hours.
FEDERAL DIRECT UNSUBSIDIZED LOAN
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is one type of Direct Loan. It is not awarded on the basis of financial need. Interest accrues from the time the loan proceeds are disbursed to the school. A student may choose to make interest payments to the servicer while in school to minimize the accrued interest added to the loan balance prior to repayment. Repayment begins until the student is below half-time enrollment. There are yearly and aggregate limits and interest on the loans. There is a loan origination fee charged before the loan disburses. Students must complete the FAFSA to be awarded these loans.This information can be reviewed at https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans.
FEDERAL WORK STUDY (FWS)
A form of financial aid where a student earns the monies awarded by working at an on-campus or off-campus designated job. Federal Work Study is need-based aid. Funds are limited. Further information may be found on our Federal Workstudy Page.
FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (FSEOG)
Awarded on basis of financial need as determined by FAFSA. Awarded to students pursuing their first undergraduate degree. Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The maximum grant awarded by CSCC for an 2015-16 award year is $1000. Funds are limited. Students are awarded on a first-apply and first-awarded basis each year.
FINANCIAL AID AWARD LETTER
A notification of eligibility for financial aid usually comprised of a combination of aid programs which may include grants, loans, scholarships and/or Federal Work Study funds. To view the Award Letter, log into Cougar Web and select "My Financial Aid Award Letter."
The calculation of the difference between your Cost of Attendance (COA) as established by CSCC and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by information provided on the FAFSA. Once Financial Need is determined by CSCC then types of Financial Aid may be awarded to you. The student is notified on the Financial Aid Award Letter the types of financial aid they are eligible to receive.
For Example: Cost of Attendance $14,000
EFC - 5650
$ 8350 Financial Need
A period of time, usually 6 months in length, granted to student loan borrowers during which no payment of principal is due after the student graduates, leaves school or drops below halftime attendance. It is day specific. Each loan receives one grace period. The student must use the full grace period per loan to exhaust it. For example, if the student is out of school for 4 months and returns to school at least half time then the loan's grace period has NOT been used. When the student is out of school in the future then they would receive the full 6 month grace period once again.
A form of financial aid that does not have to be repaid or earned.
ISIR (INSTITUTIONAL STUDENT INFORMATION RECORD)
The electronic FAFSA results that CSCC receives from the central processor. The student receives another version called a Student Aid Report (SAR) listing the same information.
You're an independent student for the academic year if at least one of the following applies to you:
- you are 24 years old;
- you are married;
- you are enrolled in a graduate or professional educational program (beyond a bachelor's degree);
- you have legal dependents other than a spouse;
- you are an orphan or ward of the court (or were a ward of the court until age 18) or...
- you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces (veteran includes a student who attended a U.S. military academy who was released under a condition other than dishonorable).
Loans are money borrowed from either the Department of Education (Direct Loans and/or Parent PLUS) or a bank (Alternative) and must be repaid under specific conditions. Loans are available to help with educational expenses.
- The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. Currently, if you qualify for this loan, the government pays the interest on the loan until you begin repayment and authorized periods of deferment thereafter. There are yearly and aggregate limits and interest on the loans. This information can be reviewed at https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans. You apply for this loan by submitting a FAFSA. Repayment does not begin until the student is below half-time enrollment
- The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not awarded on the basis of need. However, students must complete the FAFSA in order to be considered for this loan. Interest is charged on the loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Students may elect to pay the interest while in school or allow it to accumulate and be added to the principal loan amount. There are yearly and aggregate limits and interest on the loans. This information can be reviewed at https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans. You apply for this loan by submitting a FAFSA. Repayment does not begin until the student is below- time enrollment
- The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is not based on financial need. Only parents or dependent undergraduate students may apply for this loan. A parent is currently defined as a student’s natural or adoptive mother or father or step-parent. Parents are required to pass a credit check. The annual limit is equal to the student’s cost of attendance, as defined by Columbus State Community College minus any other financial aid the student is receiving. There are two methods of repayment. Borrowers may begin repayment 60 days after the loan disburses, or may request that repayment be deferred until the student graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. Interest will accrue during the deferment period. The interest rate is fixed at 7.90%. Interested parents can also print a Federal PLUS loan application from our Forms page.
MANAGE MY ACCOUNT
A screen on the student's Cougar Web account showing all billing information for a particular term. Once the student's financial aid funds are used to pay tuition and fees each semester, approximately 10 days prior to the start of each term, the student can view this screen to see these transactions.
Aid programs for which you must demonstrate financial need in order to qualify. Students must complete the FAFSA. Financial need is determined from answers you provide on the FAFSA.
A fee which is deducted from Federal Direct Loan proceeds by the servicer prior to disbursing the funds to the school for release to the student and or parent. The fee is a percentage of the loan amount. For information on current fees please see our Loans Page.
The priority date to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid each year is March 1.
Monies given to a student and/or parent after all tuition, fees and book charges (when using financial aid funds at the bookstore) are paid. Usually this occurs when financial aid funds exceeded the amount due to the college during a semester. The monies may be returned in one of two ways: by direct deposit to a student's bank account or by paper check issued directly to a student and/or parent. These monies are issued typically sometime after the 5th or 6th week of the semester. Cashiers Office is responsible for this process.
SAR (STUDENT AID REPORT)
The report received by the student from the federal processor with the results of the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA.
Money awarded to students based on academic or other achievements to help pay for education expenses. Scholarships generally do not have to be repaid. CSCC offers several scholarships to students. The Financial Aid office is responsible for processing these awards. For further information please see our Scholarship Page.
The Special Circumstances Application is used by the Financial Aid Office to re-evaluate a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid due to certain unforeseen family circumstances. Some examples: Loss of Income, Disability, Loss of Benefit Income, Change in Student Status (after filing FAFSA), Unusual Extreme Expenses or Other. An appointment with a Financial Aid Advisor is needed for consultation.
STANDARDS OF ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP)
Columbus State Community College is required by federal law to establish, publish, and apply reasonable standards for measuring satisfactory academic progress of students applying for or receiving federal financial aid. These standards are designed to ensure that students are making SAP toward completion of their program of study.
These standards have three elements:
1. Completion of Attempted Credit Hours
2. Grade Point Average
3. Completion of Degree: 150% Rule
For complete details, please see our SAP Page.
Temporary Funding is funding setup for first time loan borrowers or one term loans with two disbursements. If TEMPO is on your award letter, you will need to sign into Cougarweb and complete the Temporary Funding document. When the loan funds disburse to pay the Temporary Funding in full, then the amount will be reset to zero (0). Student will need to check their Manage My Account for any remaining amount that will need to be paid by the student or if a negative amount appears that will be a refund due to the student.
The U.S. Department of Education established new regulations starting with the 2013-2014 academic school year to prevent fraud and abuse in the Federal Pell Grant Program by identifying students with Unusual Enrollment Histories (UEH). Some students who have an unusual enrollment history have legitimate reasons for their enrollment at multiple institutions. However, such an enrollment history requires a review to determine whether there are valid reasons for the unusual enrollment history. Beginning with the 2015-2016 FAFSA processing year, selection of applicants for a UEH Flag has been expanded to consider: An applicant's prior receipt of, in addition to a Federal Pell Grant, a Federal Direct Loan (not including a Direct Consolidation Loan or Loan) the prior four academic award years. Students selected for a UEH review must have OFFICIAL academic transcripts from ALL colleges previously attended submitted to and evaluated by the Records & Registration Department at Columbus State Community College (CSCC). This must be resolved before a student can be awarded Financial Aid.
Verification is the process CSCC uses to confirm that the data reported on the FAFSA is accurate. Students are selected by the federal processor and CSCC is required by law to follow this requirement. Students and/or parents are notified via email on what specific documents must be submitted to the Financial Aid office for this process review. If errors are discovered during this review corrections will be sent to the federal processor for re-processing. Once the review has been completed and updates made,if needed, then the student can be awarded based on their eligibility. It is important for students and/or parents to turn in the required documents in a timely manner when the request is received. No financial aid will be awarded until the process has been completed.
VETERAN'S EDUCATION BENEFITS
Educational benefits for qualified veterans and their dependents. Amounts vary according to the type of benefit. Visit the Military and Veterans Services website for more information.