If you’re like most students, you’ve thought about how you will pay for college. Columbia College Hollywood is committed to helping you afford a CCH education and we do not want our tuition cost to be a barrier to enrollment. Learning about how to pay for college and designing a financial plan are key elements to making your Columbia College Hollywood education a reality and our goal is to provide as much assistance as necessary to make the process as smooth as possible. CCH welcomes students from a wide range of economic backgrounds with annual family incomes ranging from less than $25,000 per year to more than $250,000 per year.
In the most recent academic year, approximately 80% of CCH students received a total of over $5 million in aid to attend college in the form of scholarships, grants and loans. Additionally, our recent cohort default rate was a low 1.4% which supports the excellent record of our Career Development office in finding job opportunities for our graduates.
The first thing to understand as you design a plan to use financial aid for college expenses is “eligibility.” Eligibility for federal student aid is based on financial need and on several other factors. The CCH Financial Aid Office determines your financial need based upon information provided on the federal financial aid application known as the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
To receive federal financial aid, you must:
- Demonstrate financial need (except for certain loans)
- Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
- Have a valid Social Security Number
- Register with the Selective Service if required. You can use the paper or electronic FAFSASM to register, you can register at www.sss.gov, or you can call 1-847-688-6888. (TTY users can call 1-847-688-2567.)
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress while enrolled
- Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant
- Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
Students with intellectual disabilities can receive federal student aid under the Federal Pell Grant Program, FSEOG Program and Federal Work-Study Program. To be eligible, you must
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program for students with intellectual disabilities at an institution of higher education
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress
- Meet the other student eligibility criteria
The Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended (HEA) suspends aid eligibility for students who have been convicted under federal or state law of the sale or possession of drugs, if the offense occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid (grants, loans, and/or work-study). If you have a conviction(s) for these offenses, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or go to the FAFSA on the WebSM site, click on “Before Beginning A FAFSA” in the left column, then click on “Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet” to find out how this law applies to you. If you have lost federal student aid eligibility due to a drug conviction, you can regain eligibility if you pass two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program that complies with criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education.
Even if you believe you are ineligible for federal aid, you should complete the FAFSA because you may be eligible for nonfederal aid from states and private institutions.
The information you report on your FAFSA is used to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is calculated by a formula established by law. The EFC is not the amount of money your family must provide. Instead, think of the EFC as an index that colleges use to determine how much financial aid (grants, loans or work-study) you can receive. If your EFC is below a certain number, you’ll be eligible for a certain federal grants assuming you meet all other eligibility requirements.
You can get worksheets that show how the EFC is calculated by downloading them from www.studentaid.ed.gov/pubs. Click on the award year appropriate to you under “EFC Formula.”
After you file your FASFA, a financial aid administrator will take our Annual Cost of Attendance (the yearly cost to attend CCH) and then subtract your EFC, subtract the amount of any federal grants you are receiving, and also subtract the amount of aid you will get from other sources. The result is your remaining financial need (the amount you will need to pay for attending for the year):
Cost of Attendance
Less: Federal Grant Eligibility
Less: Aid From Other Sources
Equals = Remaining Financial Need
The Cost of Attendance equals the sum of:
- Your actual tuition and fees
- The cost of room and board (or living expenses for students who do not contract with the school for room and board)
- The cost of books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and miscellaneous expenses (including a reasonable amount for the documented cost of a personal computer)
- An allowance for dependent care (if needed)
- Costs related to a disability
Costs unrelated to the completion of a student’s course of study are not included in calculating that student’s cost of attendance.
A financial aid administrator can consider special or unusual circumstances such as unusual medical expenses, tuition expenses, or unemployment and can adjust your cost of attendance or some of the information used to calculate your EFC. The financial aid administrator at your college or career school also can change your status from dependent to independent but only under specific circumstances the aid administrator will explain. You’ll have to provide your college or career school with documentation to justify any change. The decision to change or not to change your dependency status is based on the aid administrator’s judgment, and it’s final. It can’t be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.
FASFA Video Tutorial (A comprehensive, step-by-step guide to filing out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
IRS Data Retrieval Tool Tutorial (A step-by-step guide to utilizing the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA).