Financial Aid Programs
Please contact the Financial Aid Office with any questions about assistance programs available to students
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. Our Federal School Code is 005624. A Pell award is a grant provided for educational costs and does not have to be repaid unless the student has been over awarded.
If a student withdraws from all classes during the semester, Federal regulations require that Columbus Technical College calculate the amount of “earned” and “unearned” Title IV financial aid for the semester. The amount of Title IV aid earned is first used to pay the tuition, fees, and The Campus Store charges deferred to the student aid account. If any funds remain after deducting 100 percent of tuition and fee charges, the student will receive the balance. If the amount of Title IV aid earned is not sufficient to cover the tuition, fee, and The Campus Store charges, the student will be responsible for paying the balance due.
The “earned” percentage is determined by dividing the number of calendar days in the semester up through the date of withdrawal by the number of calendar days in the semester. If the student completes 60 percent or more of the semester, 100 percent of the financial aid for that period is earned. If the student withdraws before completing 60 percent, the amount of aid “unearned” is returned to the Department of Education. The student’s account will be placed on hold until the amount of “unearned” aid is paid to Columbus Technical College. Students are notified if they owe for a Return to Title IV calculation via CTC student e-mail.
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.
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.
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.
HOPE Career Grant (formerly Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant)
The HOPE Career Grant, formerly known as the Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant, is available to HOPE Grant-qualified students who enroll in select diploma or certificate majors specifically aligned with one of 12 industries. These industries were identified by Governor Nathan Deal and the General Assembly as strategically important to the state’s economic growth. Recipients of this grant pay no tuition and in some cases, the grant will cover fees and equipment as well.
Students enrolled in the following programs at Columbus Technical College may be eligible for this grant: Basic Machinist, Child Development Specialist, Computer Forensic & Investigation Specialist, Certified Manufacturing Specialist, Nurse Aide, Central Sterile Supply Processing Technician, CNC Technology, Computed Tomography Specialist, Early Childhood Care/Education, Basic Shielded Metal Arc Welder, Game Development Specialist, Gas Metal Arc Welder, Industrial Electrician, Industrial Motor Control Technician, Industrial Systems Technology, Mammography, Medical coding, Medical Front Office Assistant, Machine Tool Technology, Advanced Shielded Metal Arc Welder, Practical Nursing, Phlebotomy Technician, Pharmacy Technology, Surgical Technology, Welding & Joining Technology.
The HOPE Career Grant is also available to recipients of the Zell Miller Grant, which, in addition to HOPE Grant requirements, stipulates that students must maintain at least a cumulative 3.5 GPA at the end of each college term. High School students are not eligible for the HOPE Career Grant.
The awards are as follows:
9 or more credit hours – $500
3 to 8 credit hours – $250
Georgia Low-Interest Loan
The state of Georgia offers a low-interest loan program to assist students. The Student Access Loan is for technical college students in amounts up to $3,000 per academic year.
Criteria for the SAL 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
The low-interest loan available is the Student Access Loan (SAL). SAL is a 1% loan, and students are eligible for up to $3,000 per academic year.
Criteria for the SAL Loan are:
- 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)
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.
If you choose a loan option that is not listed, please contact the lender directly to determine the application process.
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. Application can be found on the Financial Aid Forms page or by clicking here.
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.
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.
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 any scholarships.
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.
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.