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Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Aid

Here you can find answers to commonly asked financial aid questions and definitions for common financial terms.

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What is Financial Aid?


Who can receive financial aid?


How do I apply for financial aid at MCC?


Do I need to submit other documents to MCC?


I'm moving out of my parents' house and will support myself from now on. Do my parents still have to fill out the financial aid application?


How can I get the best financial aid award package?

What happens if I apply for financial aid after MCC's first processing date?

How will I know that MCC has received my application?

What is a student loan?

What kinds of loans are available?

How do I apply for a student loan?

What is the difference between the two types of Federal Stafford loans?

How will my grant or loan money be disbursed?

What is the interest rate?

Are there any other costs associated with these loans?

Am I eligible for these loans?

How will I know what types of Aid I will be receiving?

Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year?

What kinds of aid can I expect to see on my Award Letter?

What steps do you follow to determine my eligibility?

How do I accept an award?


What if my family's situation changes after we apply for aid?


My parents refuse to give me the information I need to fill out my financial forms?

My parents are separated/divorced. Whose information should be given on the FAFSA?

Am I required to use my parent(s) information on the FAFSA?

What is Verification?

What is Federal Work Study?

After I've returned all my paperwork, what happens next?


I have a bachelor's degree. Am I completely out of luck?

How is my expected family contribution (EFC) determined?

What if my financial situation has changes after filing my FAFSA?

Why can't you tell my spouse, parents, or outside agencies what kind of aid I have been awarded?

How are Financial Aid funds awarded?

When will I receive my money?

How do I pay for my classes?


How do I pay for my books?  

What is an official withdrawal?

What affect does withdrawing from school have on my financial aid?


What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is money available to assist students with the costs of attending college. Financial aid comes from the federal government, state government, the College, and from private sources in the form of scholarships. Grants and scholarships are assistance you don't have to pay back. Federal Work-Study allows you to work and earn money to help pay for school. Loans are borrowed money that you must repay with interest. The Federal Student Guide provides greater detail on Federal Student Aid.

Who can receive financial aid?

In general, all U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens who are enrolled in an approved degree or certificate program. Refer to the student eligibility criteria listed on the front of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

 

APPLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID

How do I apply for financial aid at MCC?
Apply using FAFSA or RENEWAL FAFSA ON THE WEB as soon as possible after January 1 for the coming academic year.  When in doubt, call or visit the Financial Aid Office.

Do I need to submit other documents to MCC?
If you are selected for verification you must submit all documents that are requested. Remember to include your name and Metro student ID on all documentation submitted, including parent documents. Keep copies of all forms completed and any materials used to prepare the forms, such as tax returns.

When should I apply for financial aid?
As soon as possible after January 1 of the school year you plan to attend.

How can I get the best financial aid award package?
Apply early - some grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Note - Grant funds are need-based and are awarded to the neediest students first. (To be eligible for aid for the 2010-11 school year, the 2010-11 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be processed by the Central Processor no later than the last day of the Spring quarter, 2011). MCC also has priority deadlines.

What happens if I apply for financial aid after MCC's first priority deadline?

You may apply for financial aid at any time throughout the academic year. If your file is completed after April 1 of the award year, the funding in some programs may already be depleted.
 
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How will I know that MCC has received my application?

You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). An electronic version of your SAR will also be sent to MCC. Review the information listed for accuracy and be sure that MCC is listed in the college choice section (MCC's school code is 004432). If you do not receive a Student Aid Report within 4 weeks of filing, you must follow up with the processor by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

If you provide a valid e-mail address on your FAFSA application, you will receive back an e-mail that contains a secure link so you can access your SAR on the web.  You'll get this link in one to five days. Be sure to print a copy for your records.

If your application has been selected for a process called verification, MCC will notify you and request the additional documentation that is needed to complete your processing. MCC does not require that you submit your SAR to our office if you have listed MCC on your FAFSA. If you did not originally list MCC you can add MCC's school code - 004432.

How will I know what types of aid I will be receiving?

You will receive a Financial Aid Award Letter from the Financial Aid Office. This will detail all aid for which you are eligible for the entire school year. You may not receive aid in excess of your cost of attendance.

How do I accept an award?
You do not have to return the Financial Aid Award Letter to the Financial Aid Office. If you do not want to accept a certain award you must notify the Financial Aid Office.

What kinds of aid can I expect to see on my Award Letter?

The kind of financial aid you receive is based upon your level of need and your application's completion date. You will receive an aid package that may be a combination of Federal and state grants and/or Federal work study. Grant dollars are limited, so apply early. Federal Work Study employment opportunities are available beginning July 1 of each academic school year. Federal Work Study jobs are posted in each campus Financial Aid Office.

What is Federal Work Study (FWS)?
This program provides part-time employment for students who demonstrate financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Positions are available both on and off campus.  A separate application process is required.  In order to be considered for work-study students must have submitted their FAFSA by April 1, 2010 and be in Good Standing for Financial Aid Standards of Progress.  Refer to the Metro Financial Aid website at www.mccneb.edu/fa for additional information.

 

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What is the cost of education?

Average annual costs (tuition, books, fees, room and board, transportation, etc.) determined to be necessary to attend MCC. These figures are subject to change.

How is my expected family contribution (EFC) determined?

Your (and your spouse's, if married) income, assets, number in household, number in college, and your state of legal residence are used in determining the expected family contribution. The formula applied to your information is determined by the federal government.

What if my financial situation has changed since I filed my FAFSA?

You may request a form from the Financial Aid Office that will allow our office to reevaluate your financial aid eligibility due to unemployment, loss of benefits, divorce or other special circumstances.

Since financial aid may not cover my entire living and educational costs, what else can I do?

Seek non-work study employment. Use savings. Ask clubs, organizations, churches to which you belong if they have any scholarship funds. Apply for scholarships. You may look for scholarship source books in the library or check at the financial aid office. Consider living at home or with relatives to save on rent and utility costs.

Why can't you tell my spouse, parents, or outside agencies what kind of aid I have been awarded?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies. For more information on your rights under FERPA, go to the Department of Education website.

Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year?

Yes. However, once you have filed a FAFSA, you may be able to file a Renewal FAFSA the next year. It won't be nearly as complicated the second, third, or fourth time around. The Renewal FAFSA contains about 75% of the information on the form pre-filled and the same as the information you filed the year before. Be sure to correct any information that has changed since the previous year, especially new financial data.
 
 
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INFORMATION FOR PARENTS ABOUT THE FAFSA

Am I required to use my parent(s) information on the FAFSA?

The instructions in the FAFSA application will explain whether or not you must include parent information. If you have been declared independent by a financial aid administrator in the past, or if you think your special situation merits a review, request and complete a Request for Dependency Override Form from the Financial Aid Office.

My parents refuse to give me the information I need to fill out my financial aid forms.

Contact the Financial Aid Office at the College. A staff member can review your circumstances and explain your options.

My parents are separated/divorced. Whose information should be given on the FAFSA?

On the application, information should be given for the parent you lived with the most in the last 12 months. If you don't live with either parent or lived with both parents for an equal number of days, information should be given for the parent who provided the greater amount of support to you during the last calendar year. FAFSA instructions have information that will be helpful if you have questions about providing information from separated or divorced parents.

I'm moving out of my parents' house and will support myself from now on. Do my parents still have to fill out the financial aid application?

Students under 24 years of age are considered dependent on their parents by federal law no matter where they live (there are limited exceptions--please note them in the FAFSA instructions). If your parents do not provide their information on your application, you probably cannot be considered for aid. If you have special circumstances which make it impossible for your parents to complete the application, contact the financial aid office and discuss it with them.

What if my family's situation changes after we apply for aid?

Give the new information to the financial aid office. That office can determine if the change will affect your eligibility for assistance.

 

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VERIFICATION

What is Verification?

Verification is a process, initiated by the U.S. Department of Education or by the Financial Aid office, requiring you to verify the information that you provided on the FAFSA. You are required to submit signed copies of income tax returns and other documents to the Financial Aid Office. If your application is selected for verification, you will not be eligible for federal aid until this process is completed. About 30% of all financial aid applicants at MCC are selected at random each year for verification when their application is processed. The following items must be submitted if your application is selected:

  • A signed copy of your (and your spouse's, if married) prior year Federal income tax return, and schedules.
  • A signed copy of your parents' prior year Federal income tax return, and schedules (for student's who were required to provide parent financial information on the FAFSA).
     - A completed Verification Worksheet.
     - Other supporting documents that may be requested
    • Child support paid and/or received
    • AFDC/ADC/TANF
    • Immigration
    • Social Security
    • Birth Certificate(s)
    • Divorce/Separation
    • Social Security Card (must have correct, current name)
    • Veteran benefits
    • Ward of court
    • DD-214

To avoid unnecessary delays, please submit all required documents promptly. Also, be sure you have filled out the Verification Worksheet completely, and that all documents are signed by the appropriate parties. Documents with blanks and missing signatures will be returned!

After I've returned all my paperwork, what happens next?

When the Financial Aid office receives your completed Verification Worksheet and tax returns, we compare the information on these documents to the information you provided on your original FAFSA. If information from documents you submit conflicts with your FAFSA, we may require additional information to clear up the discrepancy. The Financial Aid Office will contact you by mail to request additional information. Responding quickly to any requests for additional information will help avoid further delays.

In some cases, the changes made during verification require resubmission of data to the U.S. Department of Education. If these changes affect your eligibility for assistance, you will receive a revised Financial Aid Award letter.

Note - After verification is completed, household size and number in college cannot be adjusted.

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DETERMINING FINANCIAL AID AWARDS

What steps do you follow to determine my eligibility?

First, we assign you a Cost of Education budget based on your dependency status.  This budget is based on the full-time cost of tuition, books and supplies and an estimated cost for living expenses. Second, we subtract the EFC that was reported on your Student Aid Report. The result is your Estimated Financial Need. You will receive funding, as available, up to this remaining need amount.

How are Financial Aid funds awarded?

The Federal Pell Grant is subtracted from the remaining financial need.  If there is remaining need, funding may be awarded:

               1.   NSG - Nebraska Scholarship Act Grant
               2.   FSEOG - Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
               3.   BGTG - Board of Governors Tuition Grant
               4.   FWS - Federal Work Study

All of these funds are limited and are awarded until they are depleted. In addition, there is a maximum limit for each award.   This means that it is possible for you to have remaining need even after all funds have been awarded.

I have a bachelor's degree.  Am I completely out of luck?

No, you are not out of luck.  Students with bachelor's degrees usually qualify for federal student loans. 

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LOANS

What is a student loan?

A student loan is money borrowed for educational purposes that must be paid back with interest. The specific sum of money borrowed is called the principal. Interest is a percentage of the principal which is paid as a fee for borrowing. When it comes time to pay back the principal and interest it is usually paid in monthly installments. If a borrower fails to repay (or default) the government may penalize the borrower.

What kinds of loans are available?

All qualified financial aid students may borrow through the Direct Loan Program. Federal Direct Stafford Loans allow the student to borrow money from the U.S. Department of Education via the Direct Loan Program to help pay for education costs. Under this program, Direct Loans will make a loan directly to you through the school. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program includes Subsidized loans and Unsubsidized loans.

Parents can borrow a Direct PLUS Loan (Parent Loan) to help pay education expenses if the student is a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time in an eligible program at an eligible school. Also, parents generally will be required to pass a credit check. If parents don't pass the credit check, they might still be able to receive a loan if someone, such as a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check, agrees to endorse the loan. An endorser promises to repay the loan if the parent fails to do so. Parents might also qualify for a loan without passing the credit check if they can demonstrate that extenuating circumstances exist. Students and parents must also meet other general eligibility requirements for federal student financial aid.

What is the difference between the two types of Federal Stafford loans?

  • A Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan is based on financial need. "Need" is determined by subtracting the Expected Family Contribution (determined by federal formula) and all other forms of aid from the Cost of Attendance (COA). The federal government pays the interest for you while you are enrolled in school at least half time; during the six-month grace period after you stop attending school at least half-time; and during periods of authorized deferment.
  • An Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan is not based on financial need and is available to you regardless of income. Because this loan is not subsidized by the government, you are responsible for all interest which accrues during in-school, grace and deferment periods. You may choose to make periodic interest payments to the lender or opt to have the accrued interest capitalized (added on to) the principal loan amount.

How do I apply for a student loan?

To apply for a Stafford Student Loan you must complete the following steps:

1) Online Student Loan Counseling

2) Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)

3) Student Loan Request Form

What is the interest rate?

The interest rate is fixed at 4.5% for subsidized and unsubsidized loans made after July 1, 2010.

Are there any other costs associated with these loans?
All Federal Direct Loans are assessed a loan fee by the federal government. This fee helps reduce the cost of making these low-interest loans. The federal government will deduct the fee from the loan before the borrower receives any loan money; therefore, the loan funds received by the borrower may be less than the amount they will repay. For loans originated after July 1, 2010, the loan up-front rebate is 1%


Am I eligible for these loans?
To be eligible for these loans you must:

  • Have a completed Financial Aid file including determination of Pell Grant eligibility
  • Have a valid Master Promissory Note (MPN) on file
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program
  • Be attending at least half-time for the entire loan period
  • Not be in default on any federal student loan
  • Not owe a repayment on a federal grant
  • Be in compliance with the College's Financial Aid Standards of Progress
  • Complete Loan Entrance Counseling

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TUITION AND MONEY MATTERS

What if my tuition payment is due, but I haven't received any information about my application or my award letter/notification from MCC's Financial Aid Office?

As long as you have no balance owed to MCC from a prior quarter you may register for classes. Your tuition and fees are deferred until the last day of the quarter. You are responsible for purchasing books and supplies. Once your Financial Aid has been awarded it will be applied to the charges on your account for the current quarter. Be aware that you may be prevented from registering for future quarters if you have an outstanding balance.

When will I receive my money?
Payment is based your enrollment as of the Census Date. Your financial aid will be disbursed to your student account electronically. If your financial aid award exceeds your tuition, books and fees, a refund will be issued to you. If your award is less than tuition, fees and books, you must make up the difference. If necessary, you may consider applying for a Federal Stafford loan.


How will my financial aid be disbursed?
Your financial aid will be disbursed to your student account electronically. If you are owed a refund it will be issued to you in one of three ways 1) credited to your MCC Money card, 2) deposited in your checking account, or 3) a check will be mailed to you at the address you have on file with the College.  

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PAYING FOR CLASSES, BOOKS AND SUPPLIES

How do I pay for my classes?

Cash, check, credit card, company billing, student loan or financial aid all are acceptable forms of payment for classes.

How do I pay for my books?

Cash, check, credit card all are acceptable forms of payment for books. If you have enough in financial aid, an account will be set up at the book store so you can charge your books against your financial aid.

WITHDRAWING FROM CLASSES

What is an official withdrawal?
An official withdrawal is an instance in whichyou withdraw from a class by calling Central Registration, 457-5231, and request that you be withdrawn from a class or all of your classes.

What affect does withdrawing from school have on my financial aid?

Depending on the time of the quarter when you withdraw, withdrawal can seriously affect both your financial aid eligibility and your maintaining Standards of Progress.


Please contact the Financial Aid office before you withdraw to determine what effect your withdrawal may have on your financial aid.

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