Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When should I apply for financial aid?

A. Students can apply as early as October for the upcoming academic year.

Students applying for financial aid from CBS must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and complete the MyFA Financial Aid Application.

Q. What is your Title IV School Code?

A. Our Federal School Code is 034224.

Q. What is an EFC (Expected Family Contribution)?

A. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a calculated figure based on the information you report on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The calculation is made through a need analysis formula established by the U.S. Congress. While the EFC seems mysterious, it is based on a preset formula that, in the case of Federal financial aid, is set by law. The EFC formula takes into account:

  • Income 
  • Assets 
  • Employment benefits 
  • Family size 
  • Number of family members in college

The calculated Expected Family Contribution doesn’t necessarily equal what you’ll be expected to pay to the College. At CBS, we use the EFC to determine your eligibility for need-based Federal, state and institutional grants and scholarships. We do this by subtracting the EFC from the estimated Cost of Attendance (COA). If the number is positive, you are eligible for need-based aid up to that amount. If your EFC is greater than your COA, you are not eligible for need-based aid but may be eligible for non-need based student and parent loans.

  • COA minus EFC equals Need-Based Eligibility

Q. Is the Cost of Attendance what I owe?

A. No. The only Cost of Attendance items paid directly to the College are tuition/fees and on-campus room and board if you choose to live on-campus. The Cost of Attendance is just an estimate and includes ALL expenses to attend the College for one year, not just expenses paid directly to CBS. The COA includes average tuition/fees, books and supplies, room and board, personal expenses, transportation expenses and a health insurance allowance and varies depending on whether you live on-campus, off-campus or at-home with relatives. Your actual expenses may be different and most items are not paid directly to the College.

Q. I don’t think I qualify for financial aid. Should I complete the FAFSA?

A. Yes! Financial aid is intended both to remove financial barriers for families who cannot afford the cost of an education beyond high school and to fill in the gap for families who can afford only part of the cost. A number of factors in addition to family income are considered in determining your financial eligibility, including the size of your family and number of family members in college. Although most grant awards are based on financial need, some loans and scholarships are available regardless of need.

Q. Don’t only students with the best grades qualify for financial aid?

A. No. There are scholarships that are "merit-based," awarded on a student's academic performance. However, most financial aid, including grants and loans, is "need-based," or awarded based on a family's ability to pay for college.

Q. Must I be accepted for admission before I apply for financial aid? Must I be admitted before I receive aid?

A. No. You may apply for financial aid any time after January 1st. However, you must be admitted and enrolled in a degree program at CBS before you receive any funds.

Q. Do I have to apply for financial aid each year?

A. Yes. Your financial situation must be reassessed each year. However, after the first year you apply for financial aid, you probably will be sent a Renewal FAFSA Application that will ask you to answer some questions again and recheck the answers to others.

Q. I want to apply for a scholarship only. Do I have to fill out the FAFSA?

A. Yes. In order to be considered for CBS institutional scholarship where financial need is part of the criteria, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We recommend that every student fill out a FAFSA.

Q. If my parents save money for college, will it hurt my chances of qualifying for grants?

A. The amount in a parent's savings account is indeed used in the federal formula that determines the contribution expected from parents. However, a large portion of those savings are "protected" from consideration; only a small percentage of the remaining amount is assessed in the calculation of the parent contribution.

Q. If we haven’t saved money for college, isn’t community college the only option?

A. While it certainly helps to have saved for your education, there are other ways to pay for college. Families with lower incomes who have not been able to save will likely find that the expectation of them will be quite modest. For families that do not qualify for financial aid, low-interest parent or student loans and tuition payment plans can help.

* Refund checks are mailed to your home address. For more information contact the Office of Financial Aid @ 832-252-4602.

Q. Federal Pell grant is awarded based on the students number of credit hours by the Department of Education

Will the number of credits I take and my class attendance have an effect on the amount of PELL I receive?
A. Yes. The amount of your Federal Pell Grant is fractionally pro-rated based on your enrollment status each semester. You may determine your enrollment status by counting the number of credits or equated credits for which you have been charged tuition.

  • FULL-TIME -- enrolled for 12 or more credits or equated credits equals 100% of a semester's PELL.
  • 3/4-TIME -- enrolled for at least 9, but fewer than 12 credits or equated credits equals 75% of a semester's PELL.
  • HALF-TIME -- enrolled for at least 6, but fewer than 9 credits or equated credits equals 50% of a semester's PELL.
  • LESS THAN HALF-TIME -- enrolled for at least 1, but fewer than 6 credits or equated credits equals 25% of a semester's PELL.

To qualify for a Federal Pell Grant award payment, you must begin attendance and maintain enrollment in your classes. The Office of Financial Aid checks your enrollment status at the end of the add/drop period and recalculates your Pell eligibility before issuing a disbursement of your Pell Grant.

Q. What if my question is not answered on this list?

A. Please e-mail us at: [email protected]