What is this file? The standard location for php.ini is /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini. This file will be ignored in a standard installation./home/jcobban/public_html/php.ini
Also home directories have 700 permissions by default so the www-data user that Apache runs as can't see anything in a home directory unless you've changed the permissions accordingly. At a minimum the directory /home/jcobban needs to have 711 permissions.
Just because your hosting company uses the public_html directory for customers' sites doesn't mean the same configuration will work for you. I'd start by fixing permissions in /home/jcobban and see if that helps.
If you place pure HTML files in the same directory as the PHP scripts, can you see those files? If not, the problem is permissions, not PHP.