College of Charleston | Financial Aid Help (2024)

We're here to help. Contact us for the resources and counseling you need to simplify the financial aid process.

For financial aid assistance, contact us atfinancialaid@cofc.edu

Office of Financial Assistance and Veterans Affairs
College of Charleston
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424

Phone: 843.953.5540

The Office of Financial Assistance and Veterans Affairs is in the 1stfloor of the Lightsey Center at 160 Calhoun Street.

General Information

We're here to help. Browse some of our most commonly asked questions and topics or email us at financialaid@cofc.edu for more information.

  • How do I apply for federal student aid?

    To apply for federal financial aid, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application is used to determine the federal aid programs from which you can receive aid. Apply online at www.studentaid.gov.

    Apply for Financial Aid

  • How do I accept my financial aid offer?

    You can accept, decline and/or decrease your financial aid award offer through MyPortal.

    1. Access financial aid awards through MyPortal.
    2. Once you log in, find and click on the "Financial Aid Dashboard" icon.
    3. Click on the "Award Offer" tab across the top.
    4. Make sure you are in the correct award year (drop-down menu is top right).
    5. Next to each financial aid award offer, check the "Take Action" box to accept or decline.
    6. Review your decisions and click "Submit" at the bottom of the page.

    You must read and accept the terms and conditions for receipt of your financial aid prior to accepting the full or partial amount of your awards.

    Accept/Decline Your Aid in MyPortal

  • Summer School Financial Aid

    Summer school financial aid is awarded based on your remaining eligibility for the academic year.

    Under most circ*mstances, any aid remaining from the fall/spring semester can be applied to the summer semester. To be eligible for summer financial aid, you must generally be enrolled at least half-time.

    To apply, complete the Summer Financial Aid application via forms website.

  • What happens to my financial aid if I withdraw from classes?

    The official College policy and procedure concerning refunds for withdrawing from courses is available on theTreasurer's Office website.

    NOTE: Classes do not go away automatically by nonattendance.

    Dropping classes before and/or during drop-add (100%)

    If you withdraw before classes begin or during drop-add, your financial aid will be awarded or adjusted based on the hours for which you are enrolled at the end of drop-add. If you are enrolled less than half-time, you may not be eligible for assistance.

    Withdrawing from classes after drop-add, during the "refund period" established by the Treasurer's Office

    Fall and Spring Semesters:

    Fall and Spring Semesters

    Withdrawing from classes after drop-add, during the "refund period" established by the Treasurer's Office

    Drop/Add PeriodRefund Amount
    Through drop/add period100%
    First day after drop/add90%
    Days 2-3 after drop/add50%
    Days 4-7 after drop/add25%
    Week 8 - End of semester0%

    Maymester, May evening, Summer I day, Summer evening, Summer II day:
    Through the official drop/add period100%
    Through the first day following drop/add90%
    Through the second and third days following drop/add50%
    Through the fourth through seventh days following drop/add25%

    If you withdraw from classes during 90/50/25% refund periods and you are enrolled at least one (1) hour, you may be eligible to receive federal funds from the calculated refund.

    Students that withdraw from classes after drop-add are subject to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

    Complete withdrawal from school

    For students whovoluntarily withdraw from all classesor are granted anofficial withdrawal through the Center for Academic Performance and Persistence (CAPP), financial aid will be prorated based on the effective date established by CAPP and subject to the Return of Title IV Funds Policy and Procedure. Please request “Return of Title IV Funds and Repayment” handout for further information.

    If you are receiving scholarships, note that a complete withdrawal from the College, no matter the reason, will not waiveyour scholarship earned-hour renewal requirement.

  • How do I pay tuition with financial aid?

    If you are receiving financial aid, and all of your financial aid documents are complete, most of your aid will be automatically disbursed to your account for payment of on-campus charges. If the charges are greater than the financial aid, the remaining balance can be paid using your College of Charleston eBill account. Pay your eBill in MyPortal. Information is on the Treasurer's Office website or you may call 843.953.5572. If the financial aid is greater than the charges, an excess aid deposit will be made to refund the remaining financial aid to the student.

    Payment Plan

    The College of Charleston offers an installment payment plan, which allows the student and/or parent to pay tuition, fees, room and board in four equal installments per semester. For information about this option, visit the Treasurer's Office or contact the Treasurer's Office at 843.953.5572. Students with financial aid can use the payment plan to pay a remaining balance or cover part of tuition while completing financial aid documents.

    Excess Aid Deposits

    Expecting a student refund check? Excess financial aid will be returned to you in the form of an excess aid deposit after your College of Charleston balance due has been paid. Once your financial aid has fed to your eBill account, the Treasurer's Office is responsible for generating your refund check. The Treasurer's Office should deposit excess financial aid to the automatic deposit account that you set up in eBill by the first day of class. For more information, see "How do I set up a refund direct deposit account?"

    In order to receive your refund you must:

    • review the estimated financial aid listed on your eBill statement to ensure that the aid exceeds tuition, fees, housing cost, meal plans and any other charges.
    • check your financial aid eligibility status in MyPortal to ensure that you have submitted all required documents to the Office of Financial Assistance and Veterans Affairs.
    • set up automatic deposit in your eBill account. Automatic deposit accounts may take up to 10 days to establish, so complete this long before school starts.

    Drop/Add

    Note: If you plan to DROP OR ADD a course during the drop-add period, email a financial aid counselor immediately at financialaid@cofc.edu. Please include your name, your College of Charleston ID number and the number of hours you plan to be enrolled so they can update your financial aid information.

Terms & Definitions

A quick reference to some commonly used financial aid terms.

  • Student Aid Index (SAI)

    The Student Aid Index replaces the former Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as a measure of your ability to pay for college and the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive.

  • Cost of Attendance (COA)

    An estimate of how much it will cost to attend the College of Charleston. The COA includes the price of tuition and fees, food and housing (living expenses), books and supplies and other expenses.

    Learn More About Cost of Attendance

  • Net Price

    How much it will cost you to attend the College of Charleston for one year after your scholarships, grants, loans and work study are subtracted from the cost of attendance. Use our Net Price Calculator to estimate your net price.

    Net Price Calculator

  • Student Aid Report (SAR)

    The report summarizingthe information you provided on your FAFSA form. The schools you listed on the FAFSA form will use this report to determine your eligibility for financial aid.

Loans

Loans are borrowed funds that have to be repaid with interest. Student loans can come from the federal government, from private sources such as a bank or financial institution, or from other organizations. Loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, usually have more benefits than loans from banks or other private sources.

  • How do I complete entrance counseling for my Federal Loan?
    • Log intostudentaid.govusing your FSA ID that you used when completing your FAFSA
    • Click "Complete Entrance Counseling"
    • After all sections are complete and the Entrance Counseling has been submitted, you will be sent an email confirmation to the email address you used for your FSA ID.
  • How do I complete exit counseling for my Federal Loan?

    If you receive a Federal Direct Student Loan, you mustcompletethe Federal Direct Student LoanExit Counselingas you near graduation, leave the College or drop below half-time enrollment.

    During exit counseling you will learn about repayment, deferment and forbearance. The exit counseling will also reviewdifferent repayment plans,direct withdrawal and a payment date.

  • How do I sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN) for my Federal Loan?
    • Log intostudentaid.govusing your FSA ID that you used when completing your FAFSA
    • Complete the Master Promissory Note based on your status as either an undergraduate or graduate student.
    • After all sections are complete and the Master Promissory Note has been submitted, you will be sent an email confirmation to the email address you used for your FSA ID.

    Sign your Master Promissory Note

  • Direct Subsidized Loan

    A need-based loan on which the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while you're in school.

    Learn More About Loans

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan

    A loan for which you don't have to demonstrate financial need. However, you are responsible for the interest during all periods.

    Learn More About Loans

Grants

Grants (unlike loans) are sources of financial aid that generally do not have to be repaid. Grants may be available from the federal government, your state government or a private or nonprofit organization.

  • How do I apply for a Pell Grant?

    Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need.In order to determine your eligibility, you must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The College of Charleston will automatically determine your eligibility for the Pell Grant when reviewing the data from your FAFSA.

  • Why am I unable to accept my Pell Grant in MyPortal?

    If you are eligible for the Pell Grant, it is automatically accepted for you when it is awarded. You will still need to accept the Terms and Conditions of your award in order to receive your Pell Grant funds.

Scholarships

Scholarships are gift aid that doesn't have to be repaid. Scholarships can be one time or renewable based on merit, talents or other criteria.

  • If I withdraw from a class, will it affect my scholarship?

    In order to receive your scholarship, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours.

    When withdrawing from classes, be mindful of the
    scholarship renewal criteria for your scholarship. Please be sure that you are on track to meet the renewal criteria for the following academic year.

  • How do I apply for institutional merit based scholarships?

    Students that qualify for a College of Charleston merit scholarship will be notified of the award with their acceptance letter from the Office of Admissions.

    The selection process is highly competitive due to the high number of qualified applicants and available funding. Students will be evaluated among their peers in the first-year student applicant pool to determine scholarship eligibility. Students that qualify for scholarships from the Honors College or other departments will be notified of those awards separately no later than March 1.

College of Charleston | Financial Aid Help (2024)
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