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Understanding Your Award Letter

Congratulations on receiving your Award Letter.  This page is designed to help you understand your Award Letter and guide you through the process of finalizing your financial plan for attending Columbia College Chicago.

In order to receive an award letter, you must have a valid Student Aid Report (SAR) with Student Financial Services for the academic year you plan to attend. Begin this process by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov. Student Financial Services processes Award Letters 7-14 business days after a valid SAR is on file.

If you have not received your Award Letter please click here for detailed information on how to obtain an Award Letter.

If you have received your Award Letter…lets get started.

Navigating Your Award Letter | Completing Next Steps | Additional Resources

Navigating Your Award Letter

Your letter is broken up into sections of information and it outlines your estimated aid eligibility based on the information you provided on your FAFSA. Your letter also indicates if you were selected for Verification or have Caution Flags you need to resolve.

Below is a list of action items to complete after you read and become familiar with your Award Letter to help you complete the Create a Plan stage.  Each action item includes resources to help you make an informed decision.

  1. Personalize your Cost of Attendance Budget by becoming familiar with your total direct and indirect costs.
    Resources: Reference section 1 of your Award Letter to view your estimated budget. For more detailed information about costs visit the Tuition and Fees and Cost of Attendance Budget websites.

  2. Learn about the funding options available to you.
    Resources: Reference sections 2, 4, & 6 of your Award Letter to view your financial aid eligibility. Visit Funding Sources for a comprehensive list of funding sources Columbia College Chicago participates in.  This site will direct you to terms and conditions by funding type.

  3. Calculate your Net Price after grants and scholarships.
    Resources: Reference section 3 of your Award Letter. Complete the Cost and Resource Calculator (CRCC) online.

  4. Decide how you will cover your estimated remaining costs.
    Resources: Learn more about options available to help you cover your Net Price by clicking on the links below:

Completing the Next Stages

Now you're ready to move on to the following stages of your financial plan.

Additional Resources to Help You with Your Questions

  1. Student Financial Services Consultation Services designed to provide in-person, telephone, and online resources to our students and families.
  2. Admitted Student Days designed for admitted students to become more familiar with Columbia before making a final college choice. SFS Material Covered.