Financial Aid



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 your college 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. We welcome students from a wide range of economic backgrounds. In the most recent academic year, approximately 80% of Columbia College Hollywood students collectively received over $5 million in financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans.

Eligibility for federal student aid is based on financial need and several other factors. The Columbia College Hollywood Financial Aid Office determines your financial need based upon information you and your family provide 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 FAFSA to register, you can register at, 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

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 Web 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.

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 Click on the award year appropriate to you under “EFC Formula.”

After you file your FAFSA, a financial aid administrator will take our Annual Cost of Attendance (the published yearly cost to attend Columbia College Hollywood) and then subtract your EFC, the amount of any federal grants you are receiving, and 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: EFC
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 can also change your status from dependent to independent but only under specific circumstances the aid administrator will explain.


FAFSA 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).