Current Students

You're part of the Columbia family as an undergraduate or graduate student. 

Undergraduate students

  • What do I need to complete as a returning student?
    Current students will need to complete the Verification process, if selected, in order to receive your Award Letter for the current year. Required documents are listed in the Missing Documents section in the Student Financial Services tab within your student portal. If eligible, SFS will email your Award Letter to your student email beginning in March.
  • What is verification?
    Verification is the process by which the institution validates specific data elements you entered on your FAFSA for you and/or your parents/spouse. These data elements are vital to your student financial aid eligibility and SFS is committed to ensure these items are accurate. The verification process must be completed prior to the disbursement of any federal or state funding to your student account. Students who do not complete the verification process prior to the established deadline will have their aid suspended.
  • Who goes through verification?
    The Central Processing Service (CPS) for Federal Student Aid randomly selects financial aid applicants each year. If you are one of the randomly selected applicants, there will be a message on your Student Aid Report (SAR) remitted to you after your FAFSA was processed. SFS will also select students for verification when special circumstances arise or a need for clarification warrants it.
  • What documents are needed for verification?

    If you are selected for verification, log in to your OASIS portal to view the list of documents you must submit. Generally, you will need to provide information on your household size, number of members of your household in college, and income.

    You must also submit a Columbia College Chicago Verification Worksheet. For dependent students, parents should also complete and submit this worksheet.

  • What is SAP?
    SAP is “Satisfactory Academic Progress”. Failure to maintain SAP may affect your ability to register in future semesters and could ultimately lead to your dismissal from the college.
  • What are the academic standards for me?
    Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for undergraduate students are:
    • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (a ‘C’ average) each semester they are enrolled.
    • Maintain minimum completion rate toward their degree progress, by successfully completing at least two-thirds (67%) of their attempted coursework each semester they are enrolled.
    • Complete their degree program within the maximum time frame of 186 hours. Students whose attempted credits, including transfer credits, exceed 186 credit hours are immediately dismissed from the college. There are no probationary terms for the maximum time frame requirement.
  • How do I stay in SAP compliance?
    All undergraduate students must meet the following requirements each semester they are enrolled:
    • Maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or above
    • Successfully complete at least two-thirds of their attempted hours.
  • What happens if I don't meet SAP requirements?

    Undergraduate students who do not meet SAP after one semester are placed on Academic Warning. Students placed on Academic Warning have one semester to raise their cumulative GPA to at least a 2.0 and/or their completion rate to at least 67%.

    Students who have attempted 170 credit hours or more will also be placed on Academic Warning and have one semester to complete their degree program. While on Academic Warning, students are eligible to continue enrollment and receive financial aid. 

    After the academic warning period, students who did not meet the SAP requirements or who did not complete their degree program will be dismissed from the College. In rare cases, students may appeal their academic standing.

  • Do I need to worry about SAP, even if I'm not receiving financial aid?
    All students at Columbia College Chicago are required to meet the academic standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to continue enrollment, regardless of whether or not they receive financial aid.
  • What funding sources are available to me?
    As a returning student, you are eligible for the following funding sources to pay for your education:
    • scholarships*
    • loans
    • grants
    • work study

    *Returning students are not automatically considered for scholarships upon completing an application. You may still pursue internal and external scholarships at Columbia; If you are pursuing scholarships to fund your education, please check scholarship deadlines accordingly. 

  • Am I eligible for scholarships?
    Yes. For more information on scholarships available, please visit the Scholarships page. 
  • How do I start my financial aid application?
    Complete your FAFSA as soon as possible. The FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) is available starting October 1. 
  • Do I need to complete a FAFSA?
    To continue eligiblity for federal and state financial aid, you must complete a FAFSA for every year you are enrolled in school.
  • Will I receive an award letter?
    Award Letters for continuing students begin in March. Continuing students will not receive an Award Letter unless they have submitted all verification documents. 
  • What are the deadlines for applying for financial aid?
    You can complete the FAFSA from October 1 to June 30 for the upcoming school year’s financial aid. However, there are a few federal student aid programs and state student aid programs (like the Illinois MAP Grant program) that have limited funds, so be sure to apply as soon as you can once the FAFSA form is available for the year you’ll be attending school.

Graduate students

  • Where can I get advice on financial aid?

    You can contact Paul Loretto, our liaison to graduate students, at ploretto@colum.edu or 312-369-8791.

  • What do I need to complete as a returning student?
    You may have missing documents, which are listed in the Missing Documents section in the Student Financial Services tab within your OASIS portal. 
  • What is SAP?

    All graduate students, full-time and part-time, who are receiving Title IV funds must meet the following guidelines for satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Graduate federal aid recipients are required to be in good standing and to maintain SAP toward their degree requirements each semester in which they are enrolled. SAP is evaluated once per year at the end of spring semester for students in degree and certificate programs, and once per semester for students in certificate programs that are shorter than 12 months. Failure to maintain satisfactory progress may result in the loss of financial aid eligibility.

     

     

  • What happens if I don't meet SAP requirements?
    If you fail to meet the minimum standards for academic progress, SFS will notify all graduate students via Office 365 of their financial aid suspension at the end of each spring semester immediately following the grading period. Students who successfully met the SAP standards will not receive a notification.

    If you don’t meet the requirements and you want to continue to use financial aid, you will be required to appeal your loss of financial aid. An appeal committee will determine if you qualify for further financial aid based on both your academic history and any extenuating circumstances that you discuss in your appeal.
  • What are academic standards for me?
    These requirements are:
    • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 each semester you are enrolled
    • Complete at least 75% of all coursework attempted
    • Complete your degree program within the maximum timeframe established by the school
  • Do I need to worry about SAP, even if I'm not receiving financial aid?
    All students at Columbia College Chicago are required to meet the academic standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to continue enrollment, regardless of whether or not they receive financial aid.
  • What are funding sources for me?
    As a graduate student, you are eligible for the following funding sources to pay for your education:
    • scholarships 
    • loans
    • work study
  • Am I eligible for scholarships?
    Yes. For more information on scholarships available, please visit the Scholarships page. 
  • How do I start my financial aid application?
    Complete your FAFSA as soon as possible. The FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) is available starting October 1. 
  • Do I need to complete a FAFSA?
    To continue eligiblity for federal financial aid, you must complete a FAFSA for every year you are enrolled in school.
  • Will I receive an award letter?
    Graduate students will receive an award letter beginning in March.
  • What are the deadlines for applying for financial aid?
    You can complete the FAFSA from October 1 to June 30 for the upcoming school year’s financial aid. However, there are a few federal student aid programs that have limited funds, so be sure to apply as soon as you can once the FAFSA form is available for the year you’ll be attending school.
Academic Dates and Deadlines