Frequently Asked Questions


What is the FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the yearly application completed by students or prospective students to determine their potential Financial Aid eligibility. Your school may have additional requirements you must complete to be eligible for financial aid.
Do I need to do anything before I can apply?

Yes. First get admitted to MCC. We cannot receive your FAFSA information if you are not in our system. Second, create your FSA ID. Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when you complete your FAFSA. Lastly, gather the documents you will need when you complete your FAFSA. This will make completing the FAFSA easier. If you’re considered a Dependent student your parent will also need to create a FSA ID and provide their information on your FAFSA. So have your parent(s) gather the documents they will need to complete the parent information on your FAFSA.

How long will it take for me to get my financial aid?

The average Financial Aid process time can vary from 3-8 weeks depending on what additional information is required by the school and when you submit it. If you are selected for verification, or need to appeal for not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress, this can lengthen the processing time. Students who complete the FAFSA or submit required documents after the priority filing date will have a longer processing time. This is why we strongly urge you to complete the FAFSA early and to complete ALL requested items as soon as possible. You can check your To Do List items by logging in at your Student Center

You can review the MCCCD administrative regulations governing Student Financial Assistance here.

Does it cost anything to apply for financial aid?
No. Completing the FAFSA is free of charge. However, be aware of certain websites that charge a fee to complete the application for you. The authentic FAFSA website is:
How often do I have to apply for financial aid?

The FAFSA needs to be completed once a year. To meet the Priority Filing Date it is best to complete the FAFSA between February and May for the upcoming academic year. MCC’s academic years starts in late August with the fall semester.

What’s the deadline to apply for financial aid?
The FAFSA deadline is June 30, which is at the end of the academic year for which you apply. However, you can complete the FAFSA as early as January for the upcoming academic year (starts in August with the fall semester). Completing the FAFSA and all items on your To Do List by the Priority Filing Date will allow us the processing time to ensure you are offered financial aid before your tuition is due. The fall semester Priority Filing Date for MCC is July 1. MCC’s spring semester Priority Filing Date is November 1st.
Why do I have to include my parent income information on the FAFSA when I don’t live with them?
The FAFSA determines dependency status for each student based on a 10 questions listed below. If the FAFSA has determined that you are a dependent student you will be required to provide parent information on your FAFSA.
  • Will you be 24 or older by Dec. 31 of the school year for which you are applying for financial aid?
  • Will you be working toward a master’s or doctorate degree (such as M.A., M.B.A.,, J.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., etc.)?
  • Are you married or separated, but not divorced?
  • Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you?
  • Do you have dependents (other than children or a spouse) who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you?
  • At any time since you turned age 13, were both of your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a ward or dependent of the court?
  • Are you an emancipated minor or are you in a legal guardianship as determined by a court?
  • Are you an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training?
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?

If you are determined to be a dependent student but still have questions regarding your status, please contact the financial aid office.

I entered the incorrect Social Security Number on my FAFSA. What should I do?
If you can still access your FAFSA information online you can print off a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR). On your SAR you can correct your SSN, sign the form, and mail it to the address indicated on your SAR.
If you’re a dependent student have your parent sign your SAR also, before mailing it. If you cannot access your FAFSA information you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-43-3243 and request to have a copy of your Student Aid Report mailed to you.
When you receive your SAR in the mail, make the correction to your SSN, sign it and mail it back to the address indicated on your SAR. If you’re a dependent student have your parent sign your SAR also before mailing it back.


Will I be eligible for financial aid?
Financial Aid eligibility is determined by many factors. To learn about the financial aid criteria you must meet click here.
Why do I have to appeal for not meeting academic progress?
Anytime a student does not meet the academic requirements to maintain their financial aid they will have to complete the Academic Appeal process. The requirements are that a student has to complete at least 2/3 of the credits they attempted with a 2.0 GPA or better. Withdrawals from classes may not affect the GPA, but they do have an impact on financial aid eligibility because they are counted as a class that was attempted but not completed. For more information on Academic Appeals click here.
How do you determine my financial aid eligibility?
Financial aid eligibility is based on the income information provided on your FAFSA as well as other factors (i.e. household size, number in college) the FAFSA Processor will determine your family’s expected family contribution (EFC) using that information. The school then takes the difference between the cost of attendance budget and your EFC to come up with your financial need. Most financial aid will be based on your financial need and EFC; however, some forms of aid, such as merit-based scholarships, and unsubsidized federal loans are not dependent on financial need.
Why do I have to do a Maximum Time Frame (MTF) appeal?

The Department of Education requires us, MCC Financial Aid Office, to monitor the academic progress of students receiving financial aid. Students are allowed to attempt 1.5 times, or 150%, the number of credit hours it takes to complete their program of study. Since we are a two year college this amount is usually the number of credits required to complete an Associate’s degree or the amount of credits that will be accepted by public 4 year colleges towards a bachelor’s degree.

If a student meets or exceeds this amount they will be required to complete the Maximum Time Frame process. Academic withdrawals from courses are counted in this total. Students who already have a bachelor’s degree will automatically be required to complete the MTF process. For more information on MTF's click here.

Can I get financial aid if I already have a bachelor’s degree?
Yes, students who complete the Maximum Time Frame process may be eligible for Financial Aid, however it will be limited to student loans due to the fact that student who have obtained a Bachelor's Degree are automatically ineligible to receive the Pell Grant or State Grants.
I'm attending two schools; can I get financial aid at both schools?

Student cannot receive Federal Student Aid at two schools for the same semester. However, for students taking a minimum of 6 credits at MCC and attending another accredited college, we can accept a consortium agreement that will allow us to base your financial aid award on the classes you are taking both school.

You can review the MCCCD administrative regulations governing Student Financial Assistance here.


Do I have to be a US citizen to apply for financial aid?

To be eligible for financial aid you must be a US citizen or eligible noncitizen. You must meet one of the following criteria to be considered an eligible noncitizen:

  • Be a US permanent resident with an Alien Registration Card (I-551).
  • Be a conditional permanent resident with an I-551C card.
  • Have an Arrival Departure Record (I-94) from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) with any of the following labels: Refugee, Asylum, Parole, or Cuban-Haitian entrant.
I’m a DACA (Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals) student, am I eligible for Federal Student Aid?
At this time DACA recipients are not eligible for federal student aid. However, there are private scholarships you may be eligible for.
What if my parents are concerned about providing their information because of their citizenship status?

If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, your parents’ citizenship status will not affect your eligibility for federal student aid. In fact, the FAFSA doesn’t even ask about your parents’ status.

Note: If your parent does not have a Social Security number, you may enter all zeroes for him or her on the FAFSA where it asks for that information.

Determining Financial Need

How do I determine my financial need?
  • Before you borrow, determine how much you think you can pay monthly. Calculate all other future monthly spending to make sure you will be able to pay back the loan as well as any other bills you accumulate.
  • Make a plan directly after applying for the loan to budget your income. Putting money away while you are in school will make paying loans easier when you are out of school. Keep track of your loans. Keep good record of who and how much to pay. You should also keep records of the dates that you pay in order to keep track of how much of your loan you have paid off.
  • Pay your loans on time. This will give you good credit. Bad credit can prevent you from getting loans for a house or even getting a credit card.
How much loan money can I borrow?

The loan amounts you can borrow depend on your grade level and whether you’re considered an independent or dependent student, based on the FAFSA. Review the Cost of Attendance information here.

Dependent Students

Freshmen or grade level one (0-29 non-remedial credit hours completed or transferred to MCC) dependent students may borrow up to $5500 in loans. Only $3500 of this can be subsidized. Students must have the cost of attendance (budget) to allow us to offer the full amount.

Sophomores or grade level two (30 or more non-remedial credits completed or transferred to MCC) dependent students may borrow up to $6500 in loans. Only $4500 of this can be subsidized. Students must have the cost of attendance (budget) to allow us to offer the full amount.

Independent Students

Freshmen or grade level one (0-29 non-remedial credit hours completed or transferred to MCC) independent students may borrow up to $9500 in loans. Only $3500 of this can be subsidized. Students must have the cost of attendance (budget) to allow us to offer the full amount.

Sophomores or grade level two (30 or more non-remedial credits completed or transferred to MCC) independent students may borrow up to $10,500 in loans. Only $4500 of this can be subsidized. Students must have the cost of attendance (budget) to allow us to offer the full amount.


What is the Pell Recalculation Date?

The Pell recalculation date is the deadline to increase the Pell Grant amount we have offered you after you have been awarded (please reference the Important Dates chart.) If you add any classes to your schedule after the Pell Census date has passed, we cannot increase the amount of your Pell grant award.

You can review the MCCCD administrative regulations governing Student Financial Assistance here.

What is a (Pell) Grant?

A federal Pell grant is need based aid (as determined by the FAFSA) that does not have to be repaid. Pell grants are usually only offered to undergraduate students who have not already earned a bachelor’s degree.


What happens if I do not pay back my loan?

The consequences of not paying back your loans can be serious. Being in default on a federal student loan can have the following consequences:

  • Your credit score will reflect the default.
  • You will not be able to receive additional federal student aid.
  • You will not be eligible for federal loan forgiveness programs, forbearances or deferments.
  • Collections fees may be added to the amount of your loa.n
  • Your federal tax refund may be taken and applied to your student loan debt.
  • You may have your wages garnished.
What is a 30-day delay?
Federal student loan regulations require that freshman students, who are 1st-time student loan borrowers must wait 30 days after the semester has started to receive their first student loan disbursement. A freshman is a student who has completed less-than 30 credits from 100 level or higher courses. E.g. ENG 101 or HIS100. Credits must be earned here at MCC, or transferred in and accepted from another college.
Why do I have to complete the entrance counseling session?
Before receiving a Federal student loan, Federal regulations require all first-time borrowers to complete a loan entrance counseling session. The Entrance Counseling Session provides information concerning rights and responsibilities, deferments and forbearances, and repayment options. Complete the Entrance Counseling Session for MCC.
What's the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans?

A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. You won't be charged any interest before you begin repayment or during deferment periods. The federal government "subsidizes" the interest during these periods. Read more here.

An unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan (UFSL) is not awarded on the basis of need. You'll be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it's paid in full. If you allow the interest to accrue (accumulate) while you're in school, or during other periods of nonpayment, it will capitalized. This means the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan, and additional interest will be based on that higher amount.

If you have both subsidized and unsubsidized loans you will need to complete a Master Promissory Note for each type.

Maintaining Eligibility

What will delay my money?

Below is a list of items that may delay your financial aid disbursement. If you have not received your financial aid and none of the following applies to you please contact our office.

  • Changes in your enrollment status such as adding, dropping, or withdrawing from a class(es).
  • Special student status: MCC Admissions & Records Office must classify you as a "regular" degree-seeking student.
  • Having all late-starting classes (classes that start after the 1st week of the semester).
  • Having Consortium Agreement credits not yet transferred to MCC.
  • For Student Loans only:

What happens to my academic progress if I withdraw from school or from some of my classes?

Changing your class schedule after the drop/add dates may affect your academic progress and your financial aid funds. In order to receive financial aid a student must meet all the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) which includes the following:

  • Keeping your cumulative GPA above the academic standards listed in the MCC catalog
  • Completing at least 2/3 of all the credits you attempt
  • Completing your program of study within 150% of the allotted time frame.

SAP is monitored for all semesters of attendance at MCC including semesters you did not receive financial aid. For more information see the SAP policy, the MCC Catalog or contact the Financial Aid Office.

What happens if I drop/add a class or have a class canceled?
  • Make it official at the Admissions & Records Office
  • Do so by the end of the drop/add period if you can.
  • Your enrollment level at the end of our Pell Recalculation Date will be the amount of Pell Grant we will pay you for the semester. If you add another class after the Pell recalculation date we can not increase the amount of your Pell Grant.
  • Class Cancellation - If a class that was scheduled to start prior to the Pell recalculation Date is canceled, you must register for another class before the end of the Pell Recalculation Date, otherwise you risk a reduction of your Pell Grant
  • Class Cancellations for a late starting class or classes (classed starting after the Pell Recalculation date)- You have must register for a replacement class within 2 days of the cancellation, otherwise your Pell Grant amount may be altered.
  • Notify our office about any change to your schedule, or if the credit hours on your Award Notification Letter do not match the credits you are registered for. See chart below:
Enrollment Level Credits Required
Full-time 12 credit or more
3/4 time 9 - 11.5 credits
1/2 time 6 - 8.5 credits
Less than 1/2 time 5 credits or less

To maintain eligibility for SEOG, LEAP, student loans and FWS, halftime enrollment is required.

You can review the MCCCD administrative regulations governing Student Financial Assistance here.

What happens if I completely withdraw or just stop attending my classes?

Federal Student Aid is given to you at the start of your classes with the assumption that you will be attending school for the full semester or the entire time you were scheduled to attend. When you withdraw there is the possibility that you may no longer be eligible for the full amount of financial aid funds that were awarded to you. To determine if you are still eligible for your full financial aid award, federal regulations require that we follow the Return of Title IV funds calculations and procedures. Click here to read the full Return of Title IV funds policy.


When does my financial aid money get disbursed?

Financial aid disbursement dates are determined by class start dates, whether you’re a first-time, freshman loan borrower (if receiving student loans), and the type of aid you are receiving. To see the disbursement dates go to the Financial Aid Important Dates.

What if I need childcare?
The MCC Children's Center offers quality Childcare Services right on campus and if you qualify for a Pell Grant you can receive reduced rates. Read more here.
What if I need books now?
You may qualify for the book advance program which will allow you to purchase your textbooks before your financial aid is disbursed. Read more about the book advance program here.
What are the priority filing dates? When do I have to have my paperwork in?
Review the Important Dates to see dates and deadlines that may affect your financial aid.
Why am I getting my loan in two disbursements?
The Department of Education requires that federal education loans be issued in a minimum of two disbursements for the loan period. Students awarded for both the fall and spring semesters will receive one disbursement in the fall and one in the spring. Students awarded for one semester only will have two disbursements within the same semester.
What if I attend more than one school?

Students can only receive financial aid funds from one school per semester. However, with a Consortium Agreement it may be possible to count credits from another school as part of your total enrollment for financial aid here at MCC. To do this you must:

  • Enroll at the participating school before the end of MCC's drop/add date.
  • To be considered for a Pell grant and student loans you must be enrolled in at least 6 credits at MCC.
  • Submit a completed Consortium Agreement to our office by September 4 for the Fall semester.
  • At the end of the semester, you will have to provide an unofficial transcript with your grade(s) for the consortium class(es).

You can review the MCCCD administrative regulations governing Student Financial Assistance here.

What is PII?

Protecting your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) PII refers to information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, either alone or when combined with other personal or identifying information that is linked or linkable to a specific individual. More complete information is available here.

MCC does not accept personally identifiable information through email or fax. Documents sent in this manner will not be processed.