Financial aid is money available to assist the student with the costs of attending college. This assistance comes from the federal and state government, the institution, and private sources. Financial aid includes grants, a work-study program, student loans, and scholarships. The federal and state grants are only available to the student who has not earned a bachelor’s or a professional degree.
- The fundamental philosophy guiding Metropolitan Community College 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) are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. Metropolitan Community College 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 the student to help pay college costs. Amounts awarded to the student depend on the cost of education, financial need, and student’s enrollment status.
- Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
- This program is for students who are enrolled full-time in their first and second academic years and have graduated from a rigorous high school program of study. Students must be U.S. Citizens, eligible for a Federal Pell Grant during the same period, enrolled in a degree program and have a GPA of at least 3.0 as of the end of their first academic year.
- Campus-Based and Work Student Programs
- The programs listed below are campus-based financial aid programs funded by the federal and state governments and by the institution. Since the funding available for these programs is limited, eligible students who have completed their financial aid file by March 15 will be given priority for these grant programs and work-study funds.
- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Students with exceptional financial need are eligible to be awarded this grant. Priority is given to the student who is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant.
- Nebraska State Grant (NSG)
- Nebraska residents with exceptional financial need are eligible to be awarded this grant. The student must also be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. The student who is not a Nebraska resident and would like information about state grant programs in his/her state may call the Director of Financial Aid at (402) 457-2723.
The student must be enrolled in a minimum of six (6) credit hours each quarter to receive a Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant and Nebraska State Grant.
- Board of Governors Tuition Grant (BGTG)
- A recipient must have financial need and be a legal resident of Nebraska. This grant can only be used to pay tuition charges. The recipient is responsible for paying any fees. A student who has already attained a bachelor’s degree is eligible to be awarded these funds.
- Federal Work Study (FWS)
- The Federal Work-Study program provides part time employment for the eligible student. Work study positions are located both on and off campus. A number of reading and math tutoring positions and off campus, non profit community service jobs are available. Additional information about terms and conditions of employment are available from the Financial Aid office. This employment grant is awarded to the student who indicates on the FAFSA that she/he wants student employment.
A student who has already attained a bachelor’s degree is eligible to apply for these funds.
- Federal Stafford Student Loan Program (FFEL)
- This federal program provides low interest loans to the student from lenders such as banks, credit unions, or savings and loan associations.
Students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine their eligibility for this program. A student who has already attained a bachelor’s or professional degree is eligible to apply for this loan.
There is a limit of $3,500 for the first 44 earned credit hours. A second loan for earned credit hours of 45 and beyond is limited to $4,500. The student enrolled in a certificate program is not eligible for $4,500. The student who is considered independent by Title IV definition may request additional unsubsidized loan funds beyond these limits.
The student must be registered for a minimum of six (6) credits per quarter for the entire loan period to be eligible for either type of loan. Repayment of the loan begins at the end of a six-month grace period after the student either graduates, stops attending or is registered for fewer than six (6) credits per quarter.
- Federal 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.
The student must be enrolled for at least six (6) credit hours. MCC requires the student’s Federal Pell Grant eligibility be determined prior to processing this application.
Information about the terms of both of these loans and sample repayment schedules are available from the Financial Aid office on the campuses.
Financial assistance information is also available from any staff member of Financial Aid and the Financial Aid website, www.mccneb.edu/fa.
The student begins the application process when she/he completes and submits the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students are encouraged to complete this application as early as possible after January 1.
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- 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 on the web, www.fafsa.ed.gov. A paper FAFSA may be requested by calling 1-800-433-3243. This application is submitted directly to the Department of Education’s Central Processor. 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 College’s Financial Aid Office. The ISIR must be processed and have a valid Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Financial Aid Office before a student’s eligibility for any financial aid funds can be determined.
- Verification Process
- Additional information may be needed to process a student’s financial aid request. Students selected for this verification process must provide the requested information within 14 days or the Financial Aid office will not process the financial aid application. The information requested may be tax returns and/or other financial/family information. No financial aid disbursements will be made until the verification process is complete.
GENERAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
A student 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-resident.
- Be enrolled as a regular student pursuing an associate degree or a certificate in an eligible program.
- Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate or pass the ASSET/COMPASS assessment test, used by MCC and approved by the Department of Education, with specified test scores.
- Have a valid Social Security number.
- Is not in default on a federal student loan or do not owe a repayment on a federal grant.
- Is registered with Selective Service if required.
- Has met and is maintaining the College and Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress requirements.
- Have financial need as determined through the federal methodology formula.
When all appropriate information, forms, or 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.
The Financial Aid office uses the following criteria to award funds to financial aid applicants:
- Must have financial need;
- Must have an EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) 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 March 15 will receive priority consideration for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Nebraska State Grant, Board of Governors Tuition Grant and Federal Work-Study. Failure to meet this priority date may result in some program funds not being available to applicants. Federal Pell Grant and Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant can be applied for throughout the award year. However, the Financial Aid office must electronically receive the student’s SAR information no later than the last day of Spring quarter of the current award year to determine his/her Federal Grants eligibility for the award year.
GRANT PAYMENT AUTHORIZATION AND DISBURSEMENT PROCEDURES
- Authorization Procedures
- The Financial Aid office will authorize the student’s quarterly award amount(s) based on his/her enrollment level on the financial aid census date. The student 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
- Repeat of courses already completed with a P, C, or better
- Enrollment in MAT 093
- Courses for which an Instructor Withdrawal (IW) is processed before the census date. If the student receives an IW and, within the same quarter, is reinstated into the course after the relevant census date, the financial aid payment will not be increased for the re enrollment into the class
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% refund, aid is reduced to reflect the new enrollment status. Official holidays when the College is closed will not be counted in determining the census dates.
The student should contact the Financial Aid office for further information, especially when adding or dropping classes.
- Overlapping Enrollment
- The financial aid rules for overlapping enrollment periods are very complex. If you have an overlapping enrollment period (even one day), it can severely impact your financial aid eligibility. Please contact your financial aid specialist with questions about overlapping enrollment periods.
- Disbursement Procedures
- After all charges (i.e. tuition, books, and supplies) have been deducted from the total amount of the quarterly award, the remainder is issued in the form of a check and mailed directly to the student about six (6) weeks into the quarter. If a student is enrolled in classes/sessions shorter than the standard quarter/term, the student’s check may have a different disbursement date.
- Return of Federal Funds
- Federal Title IV regulations require a certain percentage of Title IV funds must be returned to the Department of Education or to a student loan lender when a student completely withdraws from all classes. Federal funds that may have to be returned are Federal Stafford and/or PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grant, Federal ACG, Federal SEOG and NSG (which includes Federal program funds). The Board of Governors Tuition Grant and Federal Work Study are not affected by this requirement.
A student who receives all "F" grades or a combination of “F”, "W", and “IW” grades is considered to have unofficially withdrawn from classes. A student receiving federal financial aid funds who drops out without notifying the institution is considered to have withdrawn at the midpoint of the payment period unless the institution can document a later date. The student 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 or Student Accounts Office.
STANDARDS OF SATISFACTORY PROGRESS REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES
Four Rules of Eligibility
There are four rules to financial aid standards of academic progress. Every student (new and returning) must meet all four rules to be eligible for aid.
Rule 1: Grade Point Requirements. Each student who receives federal, state, and/or institutional financial aid must have a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) that is related to the total number of the student’s attempted credit hours. Prior to the start of each quarter the student is enrolled and receiving financial aid, the student’s total attempted credit hours and GPA are compared. To figure out “attempted hours” for the requirement, MCC does not count the following classes as hours attempted:
- Developmental or ESL classes
- Deleted or audited classes
- Classes from which the student withdraws (W)
GPA REQUIREMENTS FOR FINANCIAL AID
|Credit Hours Attempted
||Minimum cumulative GPA required
Associate Degree Programs
|Credit Hours Attempted
||Minimum cumulative GPA required
A current student who is awarded financial aid for the current award year must have the required GPA for his/her attempted hours prior to having aid posted to his/her student account. A student’s cumulative GPA is checked at the end of each quarter she/he is enrolled and is receiving financial aid. If the student does not meet all Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress, including the GPA requirements, the student is suspended from financial aid.
Rule 2: Course Completion Requirement. The student who has financial aid must receive passing grades (A, B, C, D, P, or R) each quarter for at least (62%) of the credit hours for which she/he receives financial aid. If the student receives an F, W, IW, I, or V grade, it is considered an unsuccessful grade.
Rule 3: Maximum Credit Limit to Receive Financial Aid. Institutions of higher education (schools beyond high school), by Department of Education regulation, must set a maximum credit limit in which the student who receives financial aid must complete his/her program of study. That maximum number of credit hours is 150% of the published number of credit hours for a program. All credit hours attempted by the student, except for developmental and ESL classes, are counted.
At the end of each quarter, the total number of attempted credit hours are counted for each student who receives financial aid to see if she/he has reached the maximum number of credit hours for his/her program. All credit hours are counted, except for developmental and ESL classes. This includes:
- credit hours attempted in quarters the student did not receive financial aid;
- credit hours attempted prior to a change of program or prior to beginning a different program or certificate/degree; and/or
- credit hours transferred from another institution into the student’s program of study at Metro.
Rule 4: Maximum Credit Limit to Receive Financial Aid for ESL Classes. Federal and State financial aid is available to the student taking ESL (English as a Second Language) classes, but the student is limited to 100 attempted ESL credit hours. Attempted credit hours means all ESL classes a student has registered for and has received either a grade (P, R, IW, or F) or a W (withdraw). After a student has attempted 100 credit hours of ESL classes, the only aid the student is eligible to receive for additional ESL classes is Board of Governors Tuition Grant (BGTG). The student may again be eligible to receive federal and state aid when she/he is ready to take developmental classes or 1000-level credit classes. The total number of attempted credit hours in ESL classes is counted by the Financial Aid office at the end of each quarter the student is enrolled and receiving financial aid.
- Repeating Classes
- A student may not receive aid for class(es) that she/he has previously taken and successfully completed with a P grade or a grade of C or better. If receiving financial aid, a student may only take a class and receive financial aid for that class a maximum of three times if she/he has received an R, D, IW, W or F grade.
- Developmental Classes
- Developmental classes are not counted in hours attempted when counting credit hours to see if the student is making progress toward completing his/her program of study. The U.S. Department of Education allows a student to be paid financial aid for a maximum of 45 credit hours of developmental classes. At the end of each quarter the student is enrolled and receiving financial aid, the Financial Aid office counts the total number of attempted credit hours in developmental classes.
- Financial Aid Office Checks Student’s Standards of Academic Progress
- At the end of each quarter, the Financial Aid office looks at each financial aid student’s grade record and attempted credit hours record to see if the student is meeting all four Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress rules. The Financial Aid Office also determines if the student is meeting the College’s Standards of Academic Progress. The student must be meeting all requirements to be eligible for financial aid.
The Financial Aid office reviews the records of the student who has attended MCC in the past but is only now applying for financial aid. This student must meet both the College’s Standards of Academic Progress and Financial Aid GPA Requirement before she/he can be approved for financial aid. Any student who is not meeting these requirements is not allowed financial aid for the quarter in which she/he registers.
Each student who is suspended from financial aid receives a letter from the Financial Aid office stating why she/he is no longer eligible for financial aid. When the student is suspended from financial aid (including student loans), she/he is responsible for paying his/her own educational costs including tuition, fees, books, and supplies.
- Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension
- Any student who has been suspended from financial aid may appeal the suspension. The steps to follow are:
- Pick up an appeal form at a campus Financial Aid office.
- Complete and sign the appeal form.
- Attach any documentation that verifies the appeal statement to the appeal form.
- Visit with Student Retention Services (SRS), Disability Support Services (DSS), or an Academic Counselor or Academic Advisor.
- Take all forms to the Financial Aid office.
- The student must return the appeal form to a Financial Aid Office within ten (10) working days after she/he has received a letter saying she/he has been suspended from financial aid. A special financial aid committee reviews the appeal form and documentation and then makes a decision whether or not to reinstate the student’s financial aid. If the student’s appeal is approved, the student must register for classes before the first quarter of the next academic year which always begins with Summer quarter. The student whose appeal is approved may not process a Stafford Student Loan application until she/he successfully completes the approved appeal quarter.
- How to Regain Financial Aid Eligibility
- If a student’s appeal is denied or a student decides to not appeal their suspension, the student is responsible for payment of all educational costs, including tuition, fees, books, and supplies for any quarters the student enrolls in after suspension from financial aid.
To regain eligibility for financial aid, the student must meet all of the following requirements:
- Enrollment in a minimum of one class. This class must be:
Required for your program of study.
A prerequiste(s) for a class in your program of study, and
The class must be a three (3) or more credit hour class.
Achievement of the cumulative GPA required. ( refer to rule 1 under Standards of Satisfactory Progress )
Completion of 62% of the credit hours attempted in the quarters(s) the students pays for their own educational cost.
Notification to the Financial Aid Office when these requirements are met by submitting a "Request for Re-Instatement Form" which is available at all the Financial Aid locations.
SELECTED GRANT/SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS
Many scholarships are offered at MCC at various times during the year. Several are listed here.
- Board of Governors Scholarship for GED Graduates
- A two-year full tuition scholarship is awarded each year to graduating General Education Development (GED) students from Metropolitan Community College and other Adult Basic Education programs in MCC’s four county service area.
- Presidential Scholarship for Graduating Seniors
- Public and private high schools in the four-county area can present a two-year full tuition scholarship to graduating senior. Applications are available from high school guidance counselors.
- 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 a graduating senior. Applications are available from high school guidance counselors.
- Special Assistance Grant (SAG)
- This grant is designed to pay tuition and provide an allowance for technology service fees, books, and supplies for the underemployed/unemployed student who has financial need as determined by the Financial Aid office. The recipient may only enroll in one class or less than six (6) credit hours.
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 MCC’s Financial Aid office. The student should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year after January 1 if she/he plans to apply for scholarships. The student should contact a campus Financial Aid office on a regular basis and request the current scholarship listing. Students are encouraged to inquire about and apply for scholarships offered by the Metropolitan Community College Foundation, as well as several other outside foundations. Scholarship applications are available in January with a March 15th deadline and again September 1st with an October 15th deadline. The application can be found at www.mccneb.edu/fa/ It must be printed out, completed, and turned into a Financial Aid office. The application will also be available at any campus Financial Aid office.
The Veteran Services office provides advisory services relating to educational benefits and periods of earned entitlement to VA eligible students planning to enroll or enrolled at the College. Forms and applications needed by the veteran eligible for educational benefits are available from a Veteran Services office.
- Veterans Educational Benefits
- Due to the number of veteran educational programs, the student should contact a Veteran Services office for detailed information. In general, the following information applies:
- In order to receive benefits, the entitled person must be in a specific program of study and be eligible to receive benefits only for the courses required in that program. The student is required to attend all classes for which she/he is registered and maintain satisfactory academic progress. The eligible veteran will normally receive a monthly check that may vary in amount since it is determined by class load.
- If possible, a new veteran student should apply for benefits 30 60 days prior to the start of the quarter she/he plans to attend. However, application can be made at any time during the quarter. The student who has attended other institutions must request that official transcripts of credit earned at the institution(s) be sent directly to Admissions and Records for evaluation of prior credit into his/her current program of study. Certain veterans and veterans’ dependents may be eligible for additional benefits that include work study.
- 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 a Veteran Services office.
Some restrictions apply to all VA educational programs. Please contact Veteran Services at (402) 738-4619 for more information.