How do I know if I’m eligible to receive Federal Financial Aid?
Basic eligibility to receive federal financial aid includes the following:
- A high school diploma, GED, or completion of a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law.
- Enrollment or acceptance for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program at or through Columbia College of Nursing.
- Male, registered with Selective Service (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25); to check eligibility please visit: https://www.sss.gov/.
- U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- No drug conviction for an offense that occurred while receiving federal student aid.
- Not in default on any federal loans, or no owed refund on any federal grant(s).
- Completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrated financial need, unless solely borrowing unsubsidized loans.
- Sustained Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), as outlined in the Columbia College of Nursing policy within the Catalog.
How do I apply for financial aid?
Apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Columbia College of Nursing’s school code is 041594. Please notify the Financial Aid Office of your application by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or if any assistance is needed.
How do I apply as an Independent student when completing my FAFSA application?
The FAFSA application asks specific questions for determining a student’s dependency status. The questions that determine whether a student is considered independent or dependent for financial aid purposes can be found at the following link: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/dependency. If you are considered a dependent student, then your parent(s) also are required to complete and sign your FAFSA application. For further assistance in determining your dependency status, please contact the Financial Aid Department.
What happens if my FAFSA is selected for verification?
The verification process is a federal regulation to make certain proper information has been entered on your FAFSA and to maximize your financial aid eligibility. A student’s FAFSA application might be selected for verification randomly, or if inconsistency exists amongst data entered on the application. If your FAFSA is selected for verification, then you will be notified by the Financial Aid Department at Columbia College of Nursing, and you will have to submit additional documentation. Additional documentation might include, but is not limited to, submitting a verification worksheet and a copy of your federal tax return transcript. Financial aid funds cannot be ordered until all requested documentation has been submitted and reviewed by the Financial Aid Department.
I probably don’t qualify for aid, should I apply anyway?
Yes, many families mistakenly believe they won’t qualify for aid, and they prevent themselves from being eligible for aid by not applying. There also is aid available that is not need based, but it may require students to complete a FAFSA. For example, Direct Unsubsidized Loans and PLUS loans might help minimize the burden for determining how you will pay for your college expenses. In addition, the FAFSA is free of charge to complete and file. If you don’t file it, you will never know if some additional aid might be available.
How and when is my financial aid money disbursed?
First, you must accept your financial aid award package. As a new student, you will be provided with a Financial Aid Award Letter to review, sign, and accept your financial aid. For future semesters, you will review your financial aid package and accept your aid via your SONISWeb portal. You must attend all of your courses and participate in any online courses to qualify for your full eligibility. Lack of participation in even one course can reduce your financial aid eligibility for the semester. Your financial aid will be disbursed to your student account via SONISWeb, during the beginning of week three, after attendance has been confirmed. If you are expecting a refund from your excess loan funds, you should expect to have a check mailed to you within 14 days of all of your funds paying your account and creating a credit balance.
What does Cost of Attendance mean?
The cost of attendance is a calculation used to estimate the total cost of attending Columbia College of Nursing on an annual basis. Institutions calculate direct costs, including tuition and fees, along with estimated indirect costs, such as room and board; books and supplies; transportation expense; personal expenses, etc. This calculation is not the exact bill owed, but used more as your estimated expenses to help you map out your budget for the year.
My financial aid is not enough to cover the cost of my charges. What are my options?
There is a limit to the amount of financial aid allowed each year, in order to prevent significant increases to overall loan debt and reaching your lifetime eligibility limits too quickly. However, if you still owe a balance after your financial aid is applied, then you are responsible for any outstanding balance owed. Paying your balance in full or setting up a payment plan will help you keep your debt to a minimum. You can ask your employer’s Human Resources Department about possible tuition assistance options, or research and apply for additional scholarships. There are also private loan options, and our FASTChoice website can help you navigate the different lender options. Contact the Financial Aid Department to learn more.
What happens if I withdraw from Columbia College of Nursing after I have received my aid?
If you officially withdraw from the university after your financial aid has been applied, and it is within 60% of completing the semester, then a recalculation of your financial aid eligibility must be performed. This calculation is called a Return of Title IV Funds. Columbia College of Nursing can only keep the amount of financial aid earned within this 60% timeframe, to pay for your charges. A portion of your financial aid might have to be refunded back to the government. Please refer to our tuition refund policy to determine if you qualify for a recalculation of your charges. You might owe a balance as a result of the new calculations. Please note: after completing 60% of the semester, students have earned 100% of their financial aid funds. You will receive withdrawal information from the college that explains your new charges, financial aid eligibility and any remaining balance owed. You also have access to your SONISWeb portal to review your updated account information.
As a parent, what options do I have available to help my son or daughter?
If your son or daughter meets the criteria to qualify as a dependent student, then the FAFSA requires that legal parent(s) enter their information and sign the application to determine the household’s financial need. Note that your son or daughter does not have to live in your household to be considered a dependent student for financial aid purposes. Parents of dependent students also have the option to utilize a Parent PLUS loan to help cover any outstanding costs for your son or daughter’s education. The PLUS loan is subject to a credit check and application process. For more information regarding parent information, please contact the Financial Aid Department, visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/parent-info, or click on the Parent PLUS loan link above.