Financial Aid Programs

Please contact the Financial Aid Office with any questions about assistance programs available to students.

Federal Pell Grant

The purpose of the Pell Grant is to provide funds to qualified students who demonstrate financial need that will assist them in obtaining the benefits of a postsecondary education. Every student enrolled in a degree, diploma, or Pell-eligible certificate should complete and electronically submit a FAFSA. To apply, the student may complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov.  A Pell award is a grant provided for educational costs and does not have to be repaid unless the student has been over awarded.

Federal financial aid funds are awarded with the expectation that students will complete the entire term. Students “earn” a percentage of the funds disbursed with each day of class attendance. When students who are eligible for federal financial aid withdraw before the end of the term, federal law requires Columbus Technical College to calculate the percentage and amount of “unearned” Pell that must be returned to the federal government. Once students have completed 61 percent of the term, they earn the full eligible award. This calculation may have the effect of requiring students to pay if a balance is due. The College encourages students to contact the Financial Aid Office prior to making the decision to withdraw.

To receive a PELL Grant the student must:

  • Have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent (GED);
  • Be enrolled in a degree, diploma, on Pell-eligible certificate;
  • Meet citizenship requirements;
  • Be registered with Selective Service (if applicable);
  • Have financial need;
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress;
  • Not be in default or owe a refund on any Title IV funds; and
  • Not possess a bachelor’s degree.

HOPE Grant

In order to qualify for the HOPE Grant, students must be enrolled in a diploma or certificate program and must be a current legal resident of Georgia for at least 12 months.  Active-duty military and their dependents are eligible for the HOPE Grant under the military waiver if they are stationed in Georgia. Grades are evaluated after students complete 30-semester HOPE-paid hours and after students complete 60-semester HOPE-paid hours.  Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher on HOPE-paid hours in order to retain the HOPE Grant.  The HOPE Grant covers a portion of tuition.  To apply, students may complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov.

Hope Scholarship

Students who have graduated from an eligible Georgia high school as a final HOPE scholar with a cumulative 3.0 GPA may be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship if they are seeking an associate degree for their first 30-semester degree hours. Students may be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship if they are enrolled in an associate degree program and have completed at least 30-semester degree hours with a minimum 3.0 GPA (these students must have a HOPE GPA evaluation completed). The College re-evaluates grades after students complete each 30-semester tier and at the end of each spring semester.  Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher in order to retain the HOPE Scholarship. Students must meet the Georgia residency requirement of the Technical College System of Georgia.  Military personnel, his or her spouse, or his or her dependent child shall be treated as a Georgia resident for purposes of HOPE Scholarship eligibility if the military personnel is stationed in Georgia on active duty or lists Georgia as his or her home of record.  The HOPE Scholarship covers a portion of tuition.  To apply, students may complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov.

Zell Miller Scholarship

A student who graduated from high school with a 3.7 or higher GPA on a 4.0 scale and with an SAT score of 1200 or an ACT score of 26, on a single administered test, is eligible for the Zell Miller Scholarship. The Valedictorian or Salutatorian from a high school graduating class is considered automatically eligible, regardless of GPA/SAT/ACT. Current students must meet the GPA/SAT/ACT requirement from high school and have a least a 3.30 GPA at the end-of-spring checkpoint and the 30, 60, or 90 semester hour check points of their college coursework.  Students must meet the Georgia residency requirement of the Technical College System of Georgia.  Military personnel, his or her spouse, or his or her dependent child shall be treated as a Georgia resident for purposes of HOPE Scholarship eligibility if the military personnel is stationed in Georgia on active duty or lists Georgia as his or her home of record.  The Zell Miller Scholarship covers 100% tuition.  To apply, students may complete the FAFSA online at  www.fafsa.gov.

Zell Miller Grant

In order to qualify for the Zell Miller Grant, students must be enrolled in a diploma or certificate program and must be a current legal resident of Georgia for at least 12 months.  Active-duty military and their dependents are eligible for the HOPE Grant under the military waiver if they are stationed in Georgia. Students must have a 3.5 GPA on HOPE-Grant paid hours to initially qualify for the Zell Miller Grant.  The College re-evaluates grades at the end of each term, and students must maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher on HOPE-paid hours in order to retain the Zell Miller Grant.  The Zell Miller Grant covers 100% tuition. To apply, students may complete the FAFSA online at  www.fafsa.gov.

Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant

Students who are receiving the HOPE Grant may also be eligible for additional financial assistance from the Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant (SIWDG).  High school students participating in Dual or Joint Credit Enrollment are not eligible for the SIWDG award.  Students must be enrolled in an eligible certificate or diploma in one of the following areas:  welding; healthcare technology; or information technology.  A student must receive the HOPE Grant or Zell Miller Grant for the same term in which they receive SIWDG.

The awards are as follows:  9 or more credit hours – $500; 3 to 8 credit hours – $250; 1 to 2 credit hours – $125.

Georgia Low-Interest Loans

The state of Georgia offers two low-interest loan programs to assist students.

The Student Access Loan-Technical (SALT) is for technical college students in amounts up to $3,000 per academic year.

Criteria for the SALT Loan include:

  • 1% loan for technical college students enrolled in a certificate, diploma or degree program
  • Must be a GA resident and/or military personnel or dependent
  • Monthly “Keep in Touch” payments required while in school and grace period
  • FAFSA required
  • Half-time enrollment is required (at least 6 credit hours)
  • Selected on a first come, first serve basis
  • Application cycle: May 19 – September 3

For more information or to apply visit:
https://secure.gacollege411.org/Financial_Aid_Planning/Financial_Aid_101/Georgia_Student_Access_Loan_Program/Georgia_Student_Access_Loan_Program.aspx

 

The second low-interest loan available is the Student Access Loan (SAL). SAL is also a 1% loan, and students are eligible for up to $10,000 per academic year.

Criteria for the SAL Loan are:

  • Students must apply for the SALT loan before being considered for the Student Access Loan and may request a Student Access Loan after the SALT process
  • Must be a GA resident and/or military personnel or dependent
  • Monthly “Keep in Touch” payments while in school and grace period
  • FAFSA required
  • Half-time enrollment is required (at least 6 credit hours)
  • Students are selected randomly by Georgia Student Finance Commission
  • Application cycle: May 19 – September 3

For more information or to apply visit:
https://secure.gacollege411.org/Financial_Aid_Planning/Financial_Aid_101/Georgia_Student_Access_Loan_Program/Georgia_Student_Access_Loan_Program.aspx

Private Loans

Private student loans are different from federal student loans in that they are not guaranteed by the federal government, require a credit check, and often require a co-signer. Terms and conditions vary significantly by lender. Carefully consider your needs, and then select a loan product that best meets your individual situation.

The following list of private loan products offer a variety of loan options with competitive interest rates. Students, however, are free to borrow from any lender, even if they are not listed here. Columbus Technical College does not endorse or support any specific lender or student loan program/product.

Fifth Third Bank

Sallie Mae Smart Loan

Regions Bank

If you choose a loan option that is not listed, please contact the lender directly to determine the application process.

Columbus Technical College does not participate in the Federal Stafford Student Loan program or the Federal Parent PLUS Loan program.

Federal Work Study

The Federal Work Study Program is a need-based federal grant to help students fund educational expenses by providing part-time employment opportunities on campus.  Students wishing to apply for participation in the program must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov and have a valid Expected Family Contribution (EFC) issued by the Department of Education.  According to federal and state regulations and institutional policy, students must meet specific eligibility requirements.


Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

FSEOG is a need-based federal grant to assist exceptionally needy students to help pay for post-secondary education. FSEOG recipients are required to be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant.


HERO Scholarship

The HERO Scholarship provides educational scholarship assistance to members of the Georgia National Guard and U.S. Military reservists who served in combat zones or the children of such members of the Georgia National Guard or U.S. Military Reservists.


General Aid/Scholarships

Various local organizations provide aid for deserving students on the basis of need and availability of funds. Examples of scholarships for which eligible students may apply include the following:  Grainger, Klaydor, Hartline, and Aranas Scholarships.  Students should check the Columbus Technical College website for current scholarships – Current Students’ link – Scholarships.

Native American Scholarship Fund

The mission of the Native American Scholarship Fund (NASF) is to help improve the quality of life through the higher education of Native American Ethnicity. However, students must apply to all other sources of funding for which they are eligible. Applicants may e-mail Nscholarsh@aol.com, call (505) 262-2351, fax (505) 262-0534, or write to:

Native American Scholarship Fund
8200 Mountain Road, Suite 203
Albuquerque
NM 87110


Veterans’ (VA) Benefits

Columbus Technical College is approved for veteran training under U.S. Code 38. Eligible persons should make application through their local and regional Veterans Administration (VA) Office. Application forms are available at Columbus Technical College, and the College has personnel available to assist applicants in filing for educational benefits.  For further information, students may contact the Veterans Affairs’ Office in Room 151A, Hartline Building, 706.649.1458

Students receiving veterans’ benefits are responsible for obtaining official transcripts from all postsecondary schools attended. Students should send transcripts, including applicable military training, to the Office of Admissions for evaluation for transfer of credit. The College will not process the paperwork for veterans’ benefits until students furnish the results of a completed evaluation to the VA Office.

VA Certification Requirements

Individuals wishing to enter a program of study at Columbus Technical College and receive training under U.S. Code 38 must adhere to the following requirements in order to ensure initial and continued VA certification:

  • Notify the College’s VA Office regarding all schedule changes made after class registration each semester.
  • Submit a Change-of-Major Form and/or Dual-Major Form to the College VA Office to be submitted to Veterans Administration. These forms are required in addition to the Change-of-Major and Dual-Major forms required by the College.
  • VA will not penalize students for dropping a class through the drop/add period; however, after the drop/add period ends, VA will reduce students’ benefits pursuant to the withdrawal.
  • VA encourages students to complete one program of study before entering another.

VA Work-Study Program

This program is available to students receiving veterans’ education benefits and attending school three-quarter time or more. Individuals working under this program may work at the College’s VA Office, VA Regional Office, VA medical facilities, or approved state-employment offices. Work-study students receive the federal minimum wage.

VA Tutorial-Assistance Program

Tutorial assistance is available if students receive VA educational assistance at the half-time-or-more rate and have a deficiency in a subject, making tutorial assistance necessary.


Vocational Rehabilitation

Individuals with disabilities who qualify may receive financial assistance while attending Columbus Technical College through Vocational Rehabilitation. Interested persons should contact the Directorof Student Disability Services at 706.649.1442.


Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Program

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Program provides classroom-occupational-skills training for adults and youth with limited financial resources. This program provides services for dislocated workers laid off from a Georgia employer.

Students qualify for workforce-investment training services if they have been determined unable to attain and retain employment without training services. The One-Stop System at the Department of Labor makes this determination after applicants have received core and intensive services. Applicants must take applications to the following location:

Georgia Department of Labor
Columbus Comprehensive One-Stop Center
700 Veterans Parkway
Columbus, GA 31907

For further information, students may contact the Workforce Investment Act Office in Room 156B, Hartline Building, 706.649.1856.


Tuition Assistance for Active Duty Military Personnel

In order to get tuition assistance, students must be active military. The process begins with the Education Center at Fort Benning, Georgia. Students should apply at the Education Center, and once approved, they must take the completed forms to the cashier’s window in the Hartline Building at Columbus Technical College. Students receive 100% of tuition only.


Third Party Billing

This is a program that allows Columbus Technical College to bill the participant’s company for tuition, fees, and, in some cases, books. Each company is different; therefore, participants must clear the procedure with the company. Authorization to bill the company must be in writing on company letterhead and presented to a Columbus Technical College cashier prior to registration.

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