Welcome to Financial Aid 101 – your guide to getting an affordable college education. Figuring out how to fund your college education might seem tricky, but don't worry, we're here to help. Whether you're a current student or still considering coming to LCC, or even if you are a parent trying to understand it all, this page is made for you. We provide info about grants and scholarships, plus easy-to-understand details about loans and work-study. We want to make the money stuff simple, so you can focus on your studies. Get started learning about financial aid below!

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is funding provided to students and their families to help cover the costs of higher education. This support can come in the form of grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study programs.

Important Note: The FAFSA Simplification Act will take effect for the 2024-2025 school year. 

Glossary of Terms

Types of Financial Aid


Grants are a form of financial aid that does not need to be repaid. They are typically awarded based on financial need and may be provided by the federal government, state government, or by your college. At LCC, we offer various grant programs to eligible students to ease the financial burden of education. Unlike student loans, grants do not typically require repayment. Student grants also differ from scholarships, which are usually given to and by specific groups of people for a specific line of study.

Grant aid is typically awarded or pro-rated (reduced) according to the following enrollment levels:

  • Full Time (12 credits or more): 100%
  • Three-quarter time (9 - 11 credits): 75%
  • Half-time (6 - 8 credits): 50%
  • Less than half-time (1 - 5 credits): 25%


Direct Loans are federal loans for students in an eligible program of study. There are three types: Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS. 

  • Subsidized loans are based on a student's financial need. The government pays the interest while you are in school and enrolled at least half-time.

  • Unsubsidized loans are not need-based, meaning there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need in order to receive them. Interest accrues on the loan from the time it is disbursed, but you do not have to pay it until you cease at least half-time enrollment.

  • PLUS loans (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) are loans available to parents of dependent, undergraduate students. They can pay the cost of education not covered by other financial aid resources. PLUS Loans require a credit check and are unsubsidized loans, meaning interest begins accruing as soon as the loan is disbursed. Parents can request deferment of repayment while the student is in school and for a 6-month period beginning on the date the student ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis. If your parent is denied a PLUS loan because of their credit rating, you may be eligible to borrow additional funds under the Direct loan program.

Interest rates are set annually as determined by federal law. The Direct loan program also enforces annual and lifetime borrowing limits.  


Scholarships are merit-based awards that do not require repayment. They can be awarded for academic achievement, athletic talent, or other accomplishments. LCC provides a range of scholarship opportunities to recognize and support students.

Work Study

Work-study programs provide students with part-time employment opportunities to earn money while pursuing their education. These positions are often on campus and related to your course of study, offering valuable work experience. Students may work a maximum of 19 hours per week while attending LCC. Open positions are adjusted to meet students' academic schedules whenever possible.

To qualify, students must apply for Financial Aid (Completion of the FAFSA is required).

Navigating the Process

Application Process

To apply for financial aid at LCC, start by completing the FAFSA or the WASFA if applicable. Our financial aid office is here to assist you with any questions you may have throughout the application process.

Understanding Offer Letters

Once your FAFSA or WASFA is processed, you'll receive an offer letter outlining the types and amounts of financial aid you're eligible to receive. Carefully review this letter and reach out to our financial aid office if you need clarification.

Loan Repayment Strategies

If you're considering loans, it's crucial to understand the repayment process. Our financial aid advisors can provide guidance on managing loan debt and exploring repayment options. Lower Columbia College has partnered with iGrad to provide a free online money management program.

Easy to Apply!

All students are encouraged to apply, even if you don't think you will qualify for aid, or if you haven't qualified in the past. The eligibility requirements are updated yearly, and may qualify you unexpectedly. You never know until you apply!

Contact Financial Aid

Financial Aid staff are available online in Zoom, via phone or email.

 Financial Aid Office

  (360) 442-2390
Fax: (360) 442-2379


Mon - Fri 8 am - 5 pm*

*Closed Fridays during summer session (July/Aug).

Computer access is available in the Admissions Center.


Important! Make sure to select Lower Columbia College as a school that you want to receive a copy of your FAFSA or WASFA.

School Code: 003782