Financial aid is assistance available to help students with the costs of attending college. This assistance comes from the federal and state government, MCC, and private sources. Financial aid includes grants, federal work-study, student loans, and scholarships. The federal and state grants are only available to students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree.
The fundamental philosophy guiding MCC financial aid is that no student should be denied an education due to the lack of financial resources. Financial aid eligibility is determined and awards (grants, loans, work-study, and scholarships) made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. MCC is committed to assisting eligible students in obtaining financial assistance to meet primary financial need (tuition, books, fees, and transportation). Secondary costs of education (room, board, and personal expenses) may be considered in financial aid packages based on availability of funds.
Federal Pell Grant
This program provides a direct grant to students to help pay college costs. Amounts awarded to all federally eligible students depend on financial need (as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid [FAFSA]) and students' enrollment status.
The programs listed below are campus-based financial aid programs funded by federal and state governments and by MCC. Since the funding available for these programs is limited, eligible students are awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Amounts of these awards are sent to students in writing once they have completed the financial aid process and have been awarded all financial aid.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Students with exceptional financial need are eligible for this grant. Priority is given to students who are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and meet the priority deadline for the Summer quarter each year. Students must be enrolled full-time to receive a Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant.
Nebraska Opportunity Grant (NOG)
Nebraska residents with exceptional financial need are eligible for this grant. Students must also be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. Students who are not Nebraska residents and would like information about state grant programs in their state may call the Financial Aid office at 402-457-2330.
Students must complete a minimum of 6.0 credit hours per quarter to receive a Nebraska Opportunity Grant.
Selected Grant/Scholarship Programs
Many scholarships are offered at MCC at various times during the year. Several are listed below.
- Board of Governors Scholarship for graduating seniors — Public and private high schools in the four-county area can present a two-year full-tuition scholarship to selected graduating seniors. Applications are available from high school guidance counselors. Recipients are responsible for paying fees and any tuition not covered by the scholarship.
- Board of Governors Scholarship for GED graduates — A two-year full-tuition scholarship is awarded each year to graduating GED students from MCC and other adult education programs in MCC's four‑county service area. Recipients are responsible for paying fees and any tuition not covered by the scholarship.
- Board of Governors Tuition Grant
Recipients must have financial need based on their FAFSA data and be legal residents of Nebraska. This grant can only be used to pay tuition. Recipients are responsible for paying fees and any tuition not covered by the grant. Students who have already attained a bachelor's degree are not eligible to be awarded these funds.
Many other scholarships are offered to MCC students based on financial need and require an official and valid electronic federal Student Aid Report (SAR) to be on file in the Financial Aid office. Students should complete the FAFSA each year after Jan. 1 if they plan to apply for any scholarships. Students should contact the Financial Aid office or visit the MCC website on a regular basis to view the current scholarships.
Students are encouraged to inquire about and apply for scholarships offered by the Metropolitan Community College Foundation, as well as several other outside foundations. Visit www.mccneb.edu/scholarships for additional information on the application process and deadlines.
The Federal Work-Study program provides part-time employment for eligible students. Work-study positions are located both on and off campus. A number of reading and math tutoring positions and off-campus, nonprofit community service jobs are available. Additional information about terms and conditions of employment are available from the Financial Aid office. Since the funding available for these programs is limited, eligible students need to request information on eligibility and jobs available from the Financial Aid office. Students who have already attained a bachelor's degree are not eligible to apply for these funds.
Federal Direct Stafford Loans
This federal program provides low-interest loans to students. Students must file the FAFSA to determine their eligibility for this program. Students who have already attained a bachelor's or professional degree are eligible to apply for this loan.
There is a limit of $3,500 per year for the first 44.0 earned credit hours. A second loan for earned credit hours of 45.0 and beyond is limited to $4,500 per year. Students who are considered independent by Title IV definition may request additional unsubsidized loan funds beyond these limits.
Students must be registered for a minimum of 6.0 credits per quarter each quarter they request a loan to be eligible for either type of loan. Repayment of the loan begins at the end of a six-month grace period after students graduate, stop attending, or are registered for fewer than 6.0 credits per quarter.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan
This loan program is designed to assist the parent(s) who wants to borrow money to help pay for the educational expenses for each child who is a dependent undergraduate student. Students must be enrolled for at least 6.0 credit hours.
Information about the terms of both of these loans and sample repayment schedules are available from the Financial Aid office.
Financial assistance information is available from any staff member in the Financial Aid office and the Financial Aid office website, www.mccneb.edu/fa.
Veteran Financial Services
The Veteran Financial Services office provides advisory services relating to educational benefits and periods of earned entitlement to VA-eligible students planning to enroll or already enrolled at MCC. Forms and applications needed by veterans eligible for educational benefits are available from the Veteran Financial Services office.
Veterans educational benefits
Due to the number of veteran educational programs, students should contact Veteran Financial Services for detailed information. In general, the following information applies:
- in order to receive benefits, entitled students must be in a specific program of study and be eligible to receive benefits only for the courses required in that program. Students are required to attend all classes for which they are registered and maintain satisfactory academic progress. Eligible veterans normally receive a monthly check that may vary in amount since it is determined by class load.
- if possible, new veteran students should apply for benefits 30‑60 days prior to the start of the quarter they plan to attend; however, application can be made at any time during the quarter. Students who have attended other institutions must request that official transcripts of credit earned at the institution(s) be sent directly to the Records office for evaluation of prior credit into their current program of study. Certain veterans and veterans' dependents may be eligible for additional benefits.
Veteran Work-Study program
Some veteran students qualify for the VA Work-Study program that provides funds for part-time positions at various locations on campus serving veterans. Any questions should be directed to Veteran Financial Services.
Some restrictions apply to all VA educational programs. For more information, contact Veteran Financial Services at 402-738-4619.
To apply for financial aid, students must submit the FAFSA and include the MCC school code, 004432. Students are encouraged to complete this application as early as possible after Jan. 1 each year. Students who meet the priority deadline for the earliest quarter they wish to enroll are guaranteed that funding for which they are eligible is in place prior to the quarter start. The priority processing deadlines for each quarter are as follows:
- Summer quarter – April 1
- Fall quarter - July 1
- Winter quarter - Oct. 1
- Spring quarter - Jan. 1
Free Application for Federal Student Aid
This application is used to apply for all types of federal, state, and institutional aid awarded by the College. Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA online (www.fafsa.gov). Students who are unable to complete a FAFSA online may complete a paper FAFSA and submit it to the Financial Aid office for processing. Once the FAFSA is processed by the U.S. Department of Education, a Federal Student Aid Report (SAR) is sent to the student. An electronic Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR), which duplicates the information on the student's SAR, is sent to the Financial Aid office. The ISIR must be processed and have a valid expected family contribution (EFC) before a student's eligibility for any financial aid funds can be determined and an award issued.
Thirty percent of all federal aid applicants are selected by the Department of Education for verification. Verification requires that documentation be provided to verify the information submitted on the FAFSA. Students are required to submit a verification worksheet, tax information, and any other necessary documents in order to complete the required process. Any documentation requested by MCC must be provided within 14 days of receipt of the request or the student file may be inactivated. No financial aid disbursements can be made until the verification process is complete. Students may call the Financial Aid office to re-activate the file at any time during the current academic year once all documents are received.
General Eligibility Requirements
Students must meet the following general requirements to be eligible for federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs:
- be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident or eligible non-citizen;
- be enrolled as a regular student pursuing an associate degree (certificates and specialist diplomas may be concurrently pursued as a part of the governing degree program);
- have a high school diploma or a GED certificate;
- have a valid Social Security Number;
- not be in default on a federal student loan or owe a repayment on a federal grant;
- be registered with Selective Service (unless a female); and
- meet the Financial Aid Standards of Progress requirements.
When all appropriate information, forms, and documents have been received by the Financial Aid office, the student's financial aid file is considered complete and ready for verifying and awarding to the extent funds are available. Student financial aid records are retained for three years plus the current year.
The Financial Aid office uses the following criteria to award funds to financial aid applicants:
- must have financial need;
- must have an EFC that the Financial Aid office has determined to be valid; and
- must have a complete file for the new award year.
Students who have completed financial aid files by the Summer quarter priority deadline of April 1 receive consideration for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Nebraska Opportunity Grant, and Federal Work-Study. Failure to complete the financial aid process by the Summer priority deadline may result in some program funds not being available to applicants. The Federal Pell Grant can be applied for throughout the award year; however, the Financial Aid office must electronically receive students' SAR information no later than the last day of Spring quarter of the current award year to determine their federal grants eligibility for the award year.
Grant Payment Authorization And Disbursement Procedures
The Financial Aid office adjusts students' quarterly award amounts based on the enrollment level as of the financial aid census date. Students should contact the Financial Aid office for more information about the census dates for the current award year.
Payment cannot be authorized for the following situations:
- Audited courses
- More than one repetition of a course after passing with a P, C, R, or better
Award amounts are not adjusted after the appropriate census date for any increase or decrease in a student's enrollment level. There are two exceptions to this policy:
- If a student completely withdraws from all classes, Title IV Return of Federal Funds regulations may require that a portion of a student's aid be returned to the Department of Education by the institution and by the student. (See Return of Federal Funds for more information.)
- If a student drops a class that has not started and receives a 100 percent refund, aid is reduced to reflect the new enrollment status.
Students should contact the Financial Aid office for more information, especially when adding or dropping classes.
Overlapping enrollment for transfer students
The financial aid rules for overlapping enrollment periods are very complex. Transfer students who have an overlapping enrollment period (even one day) can severely impact financial aid eligibility. Contact the Financial Aid office with questions about overlapping enrollment periods.
After all charges (i.e., tuition, books, and supplies) have been deducted from the total amount of the quarterly award, the Student Accounts office issues any remaining credit balance to the student and disburses it according to students' indicated preference. Initial refunds are issued within two weeks from the census date. After the initial refund date, refunds occur weekly each Friday.
Return of federal funds
Federal Title IV regulations require a certain percentage of Title IV funds be returned to the Department of Education when students completely withdraw from all classes. Federal funds that may have to be returned are Federal Stafford and/or PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, and NOG. The Board of Governors Tuition Grant and Federal Work-Study are not affected by this requirement.
Students who receive all F grades or a combination of F, FX, and W grades are considered to have unofficially withdrawn from classes. Students receiving federal financial aid funds who drop out without notifying MCC may be subject to repayment of federal funds. Students may owe the College for charges no longer paid by financial aid.
For more information and examples of the return of federal funds calculations, contact the Financial Aid office.
Financial Aid Standards Of Progress Requirements And Procedures
Federal financial aid regulations require MCC to establish a Satisfactory Progress policy for students receiving financial aid. MCC must notify students of that policy and monitor the progress of all students receiving financial aid to ensure their continued compliance with the policy.
It is the responsibility of all students receiving financial aid to be familiar with the policy and to ensure that the standards are met by monitoring their own progress. Failure to meet the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress standards may place students' financial aid in jeopardy. For this reason, students should regularly check their MCC student email and My Services for updates. To be considered in good standing, students must meet all criteria outlined in the Financial Aid Standards of Progress. Questions about these rules should be directed to the Financial Aid office.
Criteria 1: Hours completed
All students who have financial aid must receive passing grades (A, B, C, D, P, or R) in at least 67 percent of the credit hours in which they were enrolled. For example, if 80.0 credit hours have been attempted, 54.0 of the credit hours must be completed to be considered as successfully meeting the minimum completion rate. If students receive an F, FX, W, I, or V grade for any credit hours, these are considered unsuccessful grades and reduce the completion rate.
Course completion evaluations occur after final grades are posted at the end of each quarter:
- Audited courses
Audited courses are ineligible for financial aid funding and do not count toward the total number of earned credit hours for that quarter; however, they do count toward the maximum cumulative credit hours.
- College Level Examination Program
CLEP credits are not eligible for financial aid funding but do count as attempted and earned credits when calculating completion rates.
- Repeat courses
Repeat courses are counted in the total number of credit hours for the quarter and no more than one repetition is funded after passing with a P, C, R, or better with federal, state, and/or institutional financial aid.
- Transfer courses
Credit hours transferred from another institution count as attempted and earned hours when calculating completion rates.
- English-as-a-Second Language courses
Students taking ESL courses may receive federal, state, and institutional financial aid up to a limit of 100.0 attempted ESL credit hours. Attempted credit hours means all ESL classes that students have registered for and have received a grade of P, R, F, or W. The Financial Aid office counts the total number of attempted credit hours in ESL classes at the end of each quarter for students enrolled and receiving financial aid. Students may regain eligibility for federal and state aid when they start developmental classes or college-level courses.
- Developmental classes
Students admitted into eligible programs who are taking developmental courses within the program are eligible for federal aid, but they are subject to certain limits. MCC allows up to one academic year of developmental courses, with a limit of 45.0 credit hours as defined by federal regulations.
- GED/high school classes
MCC cannot count noncredit developmental hours to determine students' enrollment statuses if the course is part of a program that leads to a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent. Students are never permitted to receive funds for GED training or for coursework prior to the completion of high school even if the GED or high school training is offered at MCC. All dual credit courses at MCC are ineligible for federal aid.
Criteria 2: GPA
All students who receive federal, state, and/or institutional financial aid must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA for each quarter of enrollment. The exact cumulative GPA to be maintained depends upon the number of credit hours attempted.
|GPA requirements for financial aid
|Credit hours attempted
|Minimum cumulative GPA required
|Associate degree programs
|Credit hours attempted
|Minimum cumulative GPA required
NOTE: Students on appeal approval or those granted a monitoring period must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA for all courses completed in that quarter.
- Audited courses
Audited courses are ineligible for financial aid funding and do not count toward the total number of earned credit hours for that quarter; however, they do count toward the maximum cumulative hours.
- College Level Examination Program
CLEP credits are not eligible for financial aid funding and are not part of the calculated GPA.
- Repeat courses
Repeat courses are counted in the total number of credit hours for the quarter and may only be funded one additional time with federal, state, and/or institutional financial aid once a grade of R, P, C, or higher is earned.
- Transfer courses
Transfer courses do not affect cumulative GPA at MCC.
Students who are awarded financial aid for the current award year must have the required GPA for their attempted hours before having their aid posted to their student account each quarter. Cumulative GPAs are checked at the end of each quarter in which students are enrolled and receiving financial aid. Students who do not meet all Financial Aid Standards of Progress including the GPA requirements are denied financial aid eligibility at the end of the quarter in which they fail to meet the requirement.
Criteria 3: Degree completion time frame
The maximum time frame for the completion of a degree is limited by federal regulations to 150 percent of the published number of credit hours for a degree program. This includes transfer credits and all attempted credit hours including completed credits, audits, incompletes, withdrawals, CLEP, and repeated or failed classes.
For example, if a program of study requires 108.0 credit hours to graduate, the maximum credit hour limit students could take and receive financial aid would be 162.0 (108.0 credit hours x 150 percent).
At the end of each quarter, the Financial Aid office reviews the total number of attempted credit hours. Once students exceed the maximum time frame for their program, they are no longer eligible for federal, state, and/or institutional financial aid for any future quarters at MCC.
As MCC automatically allows the maximum credit hours specified by federal regulations, an appeal for an extension would only be considered for extraordinary circumstances.
Students who feel they have mitigating circumstances that should be considered by MCC when evaluating their time frame for degree completion should follow the appeals procedures found in this section of the catalog.
Notification of Financial Aid Standards of Progress
The U.S. Department of Education recently made significant changes to the Satisfactory Academic Progress policies and procedural requirements. Review the information below carefully. Students who have had a prior appeal approval and have not regained good standing as of the Fall 2011 quarter may have to appeal again. Students on probation prior to July 1, 2011, who have not regained good standing as of the Fall 2011 quarter may have to appeal.
Effective July 1, 2011
The first time students do not meet standards of progress, they are placed on warning for a quarter. Students are notified of a warning status via email and My Services. Once students are placed on warning, they must attempt to regain good standing. The warning quarter is funded, provided all other eligibility criteria are met.
Students who are unable to regain good standing during the warning quarter are denied financial aid and notified by email and by notice on My Services. To attempt to regain eligibility, students may attend courses and pay for them on their own or with private funding, or they may submit an appeal if mitigating circumstances prohibited them from maintaining satisfactory progress.
The appeal form is online at www.mccneb.edu/fa/documents/financialaidappealinstructions.pdf.
To process an appeal, follow these steps:
- Download a Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress appeal form and instructions.
- Include student name and MCC ID number on all forms and supporting documents.
- Include a statement explaining the reason(s) why satisfactory progress was not made in the enrollment period(s) in question and documents supporting the statement. It is extremely important to include documentation to support the statement. Examples: Letters from health providers, copies of medical bills showing health provider visits, any other statements or documentation to support the extenuating circumstance(s) that prevented satisfactory progress. Appeals without documentation are not reviewed by the committee.
- Include what has changed and the plan(s) for making satisfactory progress. The appeal form must include an Academic Plan Summary indicating that an academic plan based on the current program of study has been developed.
- Return the completed appeal packet to any Financial Aid office.
Once students submit appeals, a committee reviews the appeals. The committee emails their decisions to the students and posts it to students' My Services accounts. The committee's decisions are final.
Reinstatement of financial aid
The Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress committee reviews the appeal forms and documentation and then makes a decision whether or not to reinstate financial aid. If the appeal is approved, students are reinstated for the quarter in which they are currently registered or the next available quarter if not currently registered for classes. Approved appeals result in a monitoring status. Students may be granted extended monitoring for each quarter after a successful appeal in which they have a 100 percent completion rate and an increased GPA even if they have not yet met all of the established rules. Once all rules are met, the status automatically updates to good standing.
If the appeal is denied or students decide not to appeal, students are responsible for payment of all educational costs, including tuition, fees, books, and supplies, for any quarters in which they are enrolled after receiving denied status from financial aid.