Financial Aid Questions & Answers

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What is financial aid?

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Financial aid can help you pay for the costs of attending MCC, such as tuition and fees, as well as books, living expenses, transportation and personal expenses. Many MCC students receive some sort of financial aid.

The Types of Financial Aid includes grants and scholarships, loans and work study. Grant and scholarship aid is free money and does not need to be paid back, loans must be repaid, and work study takes the form of part time employment.

How do I apply for financial aid?

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Go to Apply for Financial Aid for step-by-step instructions. The application you need to apply for aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and you apply by going to the federal website www.fafsa.gov. Students must file electronically, on the internet, which expedites the process.

How often do I have to apply for financial aid?

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You must apply for financial aid each year. The application process begins January 1st for the upcoming fall and spring semesters. The priority filing date for financial aid is May 1st. Student's may, however, apply for aid throughout the year, although funds from some programs may be spent and gone if you apply late.

What is the FAFSA federal school code for MCC?

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The MCC federal school codes for the FAFSA are as follows:

Lowell: 009936

Bedford: E00562

What is the deadline to apply for financial aid?

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To be considered for all financial aid funds, your FAFSA must be received by the federal processor on or before May 1st. This coincides with the Massachusetts deadline of May 1st for all their state grant programs. However, you may apply for financial aid throughout the year on a funds available basis.

How do I know if I am eligible?

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In order to be considered for most federal, state and institutional financial aid, a student must:

  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Be accepted to and enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program at MCC.
  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Be a citizen, national or permanent resident of the United States or its trust territories.
  • Maintain at least half-time enrollment each semester. Financial aid might be available to students enrolled less than half time in some programs.
  • Maintain federal standards of satisfactory academic progress.
  • Comply with Selective Service registration requirements.
  • Not owe a refund on Title IV money, or be in default on any previous student loan.
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate.

What factors are considered in determining eligibility for financial aid?

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Information, such as parent and student taxable and non-taxable income, family size, number of family members in college, age of older parent, and asset information are included in the calculation of a student's financial need.

What if my family financial circumstances have changed?

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Since financial need is determined based on the family's gross annual income for the previous year, your circumstances might have changed. If you, your spouse, or your parent(s) income has recently decreased or you have special financial circumstances that were not reflected on your FAFSA, we may be able to recalculate your financial need based on your family's projected gross income for the current tax year. Students who find themselves in this situation should complete the Reduction in Family Income form and submit all the required documentation, or contact your financial aid counselor if you have questions.

Is there aid available for summer session?

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Yes. Limited funding is available. Students must enroll first for summer courses before a determination of aid eligibility is determined. A processed FAFSA for the previous academic year must be on file with the college and all requested documents must be received. Please note: Bookstore advances are available in summer on a limited basis to Pell Grant eligible students only.

Can financial aid help me buy my books?

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Yes, financial aid can help you pay for the cost of books and supplies if you have more financial aid than your billed charges of tuition and fees. The amount of financial aid in excess of your billed charges is called a credit balance. Book store advances in the amount of your credit balance are available at the start of the fall, spring and nonstandard term semesters.

Can part time students receive financial aid?

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Yes, however, a student must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis to be eligible to receive student loans. Some Massachusetts grants and the federal Pell Grant program can be awarded to students who are less than half time.

What’s the difference between a dependent and an independent status?

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Answering YES to ANY of the questions below from the 2013-2014 FAFSA means you are Independent and you are not required to report your parent's financial information on the FAFSA. If you answer NO to ALL of the questions below, you are considered dependent for financial aid and you must provide parental information even if you do not reside with them at this time.

  • Were you born before January 1, 1990?
  • At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate, etc.)?
  • As of the day you sign your FAFSA, are you married?
  • Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you?
  • Do you have dependents other than your children/spouse who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30 2014?
  • At any time since you turned 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2012, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2012, did the Director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program (funded by Federal Government) determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2012, did the Director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?

Does financial aid change if I withdraw from a course or withdraw totally?

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If you withdraw from a course, which results in your enrollment status changing from full time to part time, or half time to less than half time, it may be necessary to reduce your financial aid. Some financial aid programs are full time only, while other programs are for those students whose enrollment is half time or greater. If you totally withdraw from Middlesex during the first 60 percent of the term, your financial aid eligibility must be recalculated and reduced.

Withdrawing from courses and withdrawing completely from all your semester courses are academic actions that might affect your future financial aid eligibility due to falling below federal standards of satisfactory academic progress. Please contact your financial aid advisor before taking these actions.

Can I get financial aid to repeat a previously passed course?

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Yes, you can, but only once.  If you take a class you already received a passing grade and you're taking it for the third time or more, you cannot receive financial aid to pay for it.  If your awards are based on taking such a class, your financial aid will be reduced.

Last Modified: 2/28/14