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, federal work-study, 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.
Available Financial Aid
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.
This program provides a direct grant to the student 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 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 or eligible non-citizens, eligible for a Federal Pell Grant during the same period, enrolled in a degree program, attending at least half-time and have a GPA of at least 3.0.
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 will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Amounts of these awards will be sent to the student in writing once the student has completed the financial aid process and has 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 the student who is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and meets the priority deadline for the Summer quarter each year. Students must be enrolled full-time to receive an FSEOG.
Nebraska State Grant (NSG)
Nebraska residents with exceptional financial need are eligible for 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) 457-2330. The student must be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours each quarter to receive an NSG.
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 fees and any tuition not covered by the grant. A student who has already attained a bachelor’s degree is not eligible to be awarded these funds.
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, nonprofit community service jobs are available. Additional information about terms and conditions of employment are available from Financial Aid. Since the funding available for these programs is limited, eligible students will need to request information on eligibility and jobs available from Financial Aid. A student who has already attained a bachelor's degree is not eligible to apply for these funds.
Federal Direct Loan Program or Stafford Loans
This federal program provides low interest loans to students. 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 per year for the first 44 earned credit hours. A second loan for earned credit hours of 45 and beyond is limited to $4,500 per year. 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 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 credits per quarter.
Federal Direct PLUS Load
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 credit hours.
Information about the terms of both of these loans and sample repayment schedules are available from Financial Aid.
Financial assistance information is also available from any Financial Aid staff member and the Financial Aid web site, www.mccneb.edu/fa.
To apply for financial aid, a student must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (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 will be guaranteed that funding for which they are eligible will be 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 (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). Students who are unable to complete a FAFSA on the web may complete a paper FAFSA and submit it to Financial Aid 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. 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. A student may call the office to re-activate the file at any time during the current academic year once all documents are received.
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-citizen
- Be enrolled as a regular student pursuing an associate degree, certificate or specialist diploma in an eligible program
- Have high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate or pass the ASSET/COMPASS assessment test, used by MCC approved by the Department of Education, with specified test scores or complete and pay for a minimum of six credit hours of college-level courses
- 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)
- Meet the College and Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress requirements
When all appropriate information, forms or documents have been received by Financial Aid, the student’s financial aid file is considered complete and ready for verifying and awarding to the extent funds are available.
Financial Aid uses the following criteria to award funds to financial aid applicants:
- Must have financial need;
- Must have an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) that Financial Aid 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 priority deadline of April 1 will receive consideration for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Nebraska State 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 and the Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant can be applied for throughout the award year; however, Financial Aid 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
Financial Aid will adjust students’ quarterly award amounts based on the enrollment level as of the financial aid census date. Students should contact Financial Aid 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
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.
The student should contact Financial Aid for further information, especially when adding or dropping classes.
The financial aid rules for overlapping enrollment periods are very complex. If you have an overlapping enrollment period (even one day), it can severely affect your financial aid eligibility. Contact Financial Aid 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, any remaining credit balance is issued in the form of a check and mailed directly to the student, typically within two weeks of the financial aid census date. Single quarter loans must be disbursed in a minimum of two disbursements.
Return of Federal Funds
Federal Title IV regulations require a certain percentage of Title IV funds be returned to the Department of Education or to a student loan 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 (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, FX, and W grades is considered to have unofficially withdrawn from classes. A student receiving federal financial aid funds who drops out without notifying the institution may be subject to repayment of federal funds. 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 Financial Aid or Student Accounts.
Standards of Satisfactory Progress Requirements and Procedures
Federal financial aid regulations require MCC to establish a Satisfactory Academic 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 familiarize themselves with the policy and to ensure that the standards are met. Failure to meet the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards may place a student’s financial aid in jeopardy.
There are academic progress rules students must follow to remain eligible for financial aid. It is important to know and understand them. There are four rules to financial aid standards of progress, outlined below. All students (new and returning) must meet all four rules to be eligible for financial aid each quarter. Questions about these rules can be directed to Financial Aid.
Rule 1: Grade Point Average Requirements for All Students
All students who receive 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. At the end of each quarter for which a student is enrolled and receiving financial aid, the cumulative total of attempted credit hours and GPA will be calculated.
|GPA Requirements For Financial Aid
|Credit Hours Attempted
|Minimum cumulative GPA required
|Associate Degree Programs
|Credit Hours Attempted
|Minimum cumulative GPA required
Students who are awarded financial aid for the current award year must have the required GPA for their attempted hours prior to having their aid posted to their student account each quarter. The cumulative GPA is checked at the end of each quarter in which the student is enrolled and receiving financial aid. If a student does not meet all Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress including the GPA requirements, he/she will be suspended from financial aid eligibility at the end of the quarter in which he/she fails to meet the requirement.
Rule 2: Sixty-seven percent course completion requirement
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. If they receive an F, FX, W, I or V grade for any credit hours, these will be considered unsuccessful grades and reduce the completion rate.
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 those students who receive financial aid must complete their program of study. That maximum number of credit hours is 150 percent of the published number of credit hours for a program.
Example: If a program of study requires 98 credit hours to graduate, the maximum credit limit a student could take and receive financial aid would be 147 (98 x 150 percent). All credit hours attempted will be included in this calculation.
At the end of each quarter, the total number of attempted credit hours will be counted to see if a student has reached the maximum number of credit hours for the program of study. This includes:
- Credit hours attempted in quarters a student did not receive financial aid.
- Credit hours attempted prior to a change of program of study or a certificate/degree.
- Credit hours transferred from another institution into a program of study at MCC.
Rule 4: Maximum Credit Limit to Receive Financial Aid for ESL Classes
Federal and state financial aid will be available to students taking ESL (English-as-a-Second Language) classes, but students will be limited to 100 attempted ESL credit hours. Attempted credit hours mean all ESL classes for which you have registered and have received either a grade (P, R, F) or a W (withdraw). After you have attempted 100 credit hours of ESL classes, you will not be eligible for additional aid. You may regain eligibility for federal and state aid when you are ready to take developmental classes or 1000-level credit classes. The total number of attempted credit hours in ESL classes will be counted by Financial Aid at the end of each quarter for which a student is enrolled and receiving financial aid.
Students may receive federal student aid (FSA) funds for ESL courses that are part of a larger eligible program. There are differences throughout. ESL courses do not count against the one-year limitation on remedial coursework. If an MCC student is permitted to enroll in ESL or other remedial courses that do not apply to a degree or certificate, receiving FSA loans over a series of quarters for such work can exhaust eligibility for FSA loans before the student completes his/her program. Attempted credit hours mean all ESL classes; the total number of attempted credit hours in ESL classes is counted by Financial Aid at the end of each quarter the student is enrolled and receiving financial aid.
Students may not receive aid for classes that they have previously taken and successfully completed with a P grade or a grade of C or better. Students may only take a class and receive financial aid for that class for a maximum of two times if they received an R, D, FX, W, Z, or F grade.
Students enrolled solely in remedial programs are not eligible for financial aid. If acceptance into an eligible program is contingent on completing remedial work, students cannot be considered enrolled in that program until they complete the remedial work. If students are admitted into eligible programs and take remedial coursework within the program, they can be considered a regular student even if they are taking all remedial courses before taking any regular courses. MCC counts up to one academic year’s worth of these courses in students’ enrollment statuses for federal aid. Similar to ESL, the limit is 45 quarter hours as defined by federal regulations.
MCC is not allowed to count noncredit remedial hours to determine students’ enrollment statuses if the course is part of a program that leads up 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 postsecondary schools or is required for a postsecondary program.
Quarterly Notification of Standards of Academic Progress
At the end of each quarter, Financial Aid and Veteran Services will review students’ academic record to see if they are meeting all four Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress rules. Students must meet all requirements to be eligible for financial aid. The first time a student fails to meet one or more of the rules, he/she will be granted one quarter of automatic probation. Under probation, a student is eligible to receive financial aid but may have conditions placed on his/her eligibility. If a student fails to meet the Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress rules after the second quarter, he/she will be placed on suspension from financial aid. Students on suspension are not eligible to receive any type of financial aid.
Financial Aid reviews the records of students who have attended MCC in the past but have never applied for or received financial aid at MCC. These students must meet both the College’s Standards of Progress and Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress GPA requirements before they can be approved for financial aid. Any student who is not meeting these requirements will be denied financial aid for the quarter(s) in which he/she registers.
Each student who is suspended from financial aid will receive a letter from Financial Aid stating why he/she is no longer eligible for financial aid. When students are suspended from financial aid (which includes student loans), they are responsible for paying their own educational costs including tuition, fees, books and supplies.
Any student who has been suspended from financial aid may appeal the suspension. The steps to follow are:
- Print an appeal form from the web site www.mccneb.edu/fa/documents.
- Complete and sign the appeal form.
- Attach any documentation that verifies your appeal statement to the appeal form.
- For maximum timeframe appeals, visit with Student Retention Services, Special Support Services or with an academic counselor/advisor to obtain an educational plan that lists the courses necessary to complete your degree or certificate.
- Turn forms and attachments into Financial Aid or email them to email@example.com.
Reinstatement of Financial Aid
A Standards of Progress Appeals committee will review the appeal form and documentation and then make a decision whether or not to reinstate financial aid. If the appeal is approved, the student will be reinstated for the quarter in which he/she is currently registered or the next available quarter if not currently registered for classes. Approved appeals result in a probation status. A student may be granted extended probation for each quarter after a successful appeal in which he/she has a 100 percent completion rate and an increased GPA even if he/she has not yet met all of the established rules. Once all rules are met, the status will automatically update to good standing.
If the appeal is denied or the student decides not to appeal the suspension, the student is responsible for payment of all educational costs, including tuition, fees, books and supplies for any quarters for which he/she is enrolled after suspension from financial aid.
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 GED Graduates – A two-year full-tuition scholarship is awarded each year to graduating General Education Development (GED) students from MCC and other adult education programs in MCC’s four‑county service area. The recipient is responsible for paying fees and any tuition not covered by the scholarship.
- Presidential Scholarship for Graduating Seniors – Public and private high schools in the four-county area can present a two-year full-tuition scholarship to two graduating seniors. Applications are available from high school guidance counselors. The recipient is responsible for paying fees and any tuition not covered by the scholarship.
- Board of Governors Scholarship for Graduating Seniors – Public and private high schools in the four‑county area can present a two-year half-tuition scholarship to two graduating seniors. Applications are available from high school guidance counselors. The recipient is responsible for paying fees and any tuition not covered by the scholarship.
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 Financial Aid. The student should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year after Jan. 1 if he/she plans to apply for any scholarships. The student should contact Financial Aid 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/fa/scholarships.asp for additional information on the application process and deadlines.
Veteran Services provides advisory services relating to educational benefits and periods of earned entitlement to VA-eligible students planning to enroll or already enrolled at the College. Forms and applications needed by the veteran eligible for educational benefits are available from Veteran Services.
Veterans Educational Benefits
Due to the number of veteran educational programs, the student should contact Veteran Services 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 he/she 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 he/she 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 Records for evaluation of prior credit into his/her 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 Services.
Some restrictions apply to all VA educational programs. Contact Veteran Services at (402) 738-4616 for more information.