Financial Aid

Defaulting on Your Loan

What Does It Mean to Default On Your Loan?

When a student loan has gone into default, it means that the borrower has failed to make payments on time. This does not mean missing one or two payments. This means that you have failed to make payments for 270 days consecutively.

Why do Student Loan Defaults Happen?

Student loan defaults happen for a variety of reasons. Usually misinformation or lack of money to repay their student loans. Sometimes borrowers move without sending new contact information to their lender or loan servicer so they never received repayment information. Some borrowers believe that if they didn't complete their degree, or if they can't find a job, they don't have to repay their student loans.

Regardless of your situation, student loans must be repaid or other arrangements must be made with your lender or loan servicer to prevent default.

Keep Your Lender In The Know

Whenever anything changes about your life that may affect your loan, make sure you notify your lender right away. For instance, if you’re moving, let them know your new address. Or if you have graduated college. Likewise, let your lender know if you have dropped out of school or plan on transferring to a different school. It is vitally important to let your lender know anything and everything that may affect your ability to repay your loan. It would be really unfortunate if you went into default because you didn't receive your bill!

Consider Deferment or a Forbearance

One way to avoid default is to apply for student loan deferment or forbearance. This helps to postpone your loan payments until you can afford to do so once again. However, you will need to plan a bit ahead. While you are still making payments, ask about deferment. I know it can be hard to foresee circumstances that could prevent you from making timely payments, but as soon as you know something will interfere, let your lender know. That way, they can do their best to help you come up with an alternative repayment plan.

Make Special Arrangements, If You Can

If deferment is not an option, or you can afford to make payments just not in the same amount as before, talk to your lender about different repayment options such as income sensitive repayment. These options make repaying your loans much easier, especially during a time of financial struggle. Again, so many people go into default because they didn't know they had any other option. However, if you knew you could lower your monthly payments, then wouldn't you do it to avoid default?

Consolidate Your Student Loans

Another way to avoid going into default is to consolidate your student loans. If you have taken out more than one loan over the course of your college career, you may be faced with many bills that are all due around the same time each month. By consolidating your loans, you make it so you only have one loan payment each month. You might even be able to extend the repayment time on your student loans making your monthly payments smaller. This is by far one of the best ways to beat defaulting if your payments were just too high before.

Consequences of Defaulting On Your Loan

You already know that defaulting on a loan is bad, but do you know how bad? Just look at some of the consequences:

  • A collection agency will take over your loans
  • Legal fees and late fees will be added to the loan amounts you owe
  • You could be sued
  • Your wages from working may be garnished
  • Your federal income tax returned may be kept to offset your student loan debt
  • Social Security benefits could be withheld.
  • Future federal loans are out of the question.
  • Deferments are no longer an option
  • It could prevent you from getting credit cards, auto loans a mortgage or even a job.

The experience of having a student loan should be a positive one. You get to pay back your debt, build your credit and make your first venture out into responsible adulthood. Going into default is not the way to do this. In fact, it may very well set you back for years because of it. Don’t let limited funds ruin your credit. There are alternatives to default, some of which might even improve your credit!

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

Student Loans

Student loans are available to students who need additional funding to help cover the cost of attending college.

To be eligible for a federal student loan you must meet the basic eligibility criteria for Federal Student Aid and the following:

  1. MCC must have your FAFSA information

  2. All items on your Student Center To Do List must be completed

  3. You must be enrolled for 6 credit hours, or more

  4. You must maintain enrollment of 6 or more credit hours per semester

Once you’re out of school, student loans must be repaid. However, the interest is typically lower than consumer rates.

MCC offers the following loans:

  • Federal Direct Subsidized loan – You must have financial need to be eligible for a subsidized loan. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan while you’re in school for at least half-time enrollment, and for the first 6 months after you leave school.
  • Unsubsidized Direct loans – There is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. The U.S. Department of Education will not pay interest on an Unsubsidized Loan.
  • Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loan) – A federal loan parents of dependent students can borrow to help pay for college. The parent borrower must apply for a PLUS Loan and meet the credit requirements. The amount a parent can borrow will depend on the student’s Cost of Attendance and other aid the student has been offered. Click here to complete the PLUS Loan Request for your dependent student. The form must be signed and submitted to us.
  • Private Education Loan - Nonfederal loans made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, or state agency. Requirements to receive a private loan at MCC:
  • You must apply for a private loan and meet the credit requirements
  • You must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • You must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits per semester in which you’ll receive private loan funds

The private loan amount you can borrow will depend on your Cost of Attendance and the amount of other aid you’ve been offered. We recommend that you start with federal student loans due to the benefits they offer. Compare the difference between federal and private loans.

Other Important Loan Information

Entrance Counseling

Student loan borrowers at MCC are required to complete online Loan Entrance Counseling every academic year they borrow a student loan. Failure to complete loan entrance counseling will prevent you from receiving your loan funds. When you accept a student loan, the Loan Entrance Counseling item will be added to your Student Center To Do List. You can click on the To Do List item for information and the link to complete the loan counseling.

Private Loan Entrance Counseling Requirement

Students who wish to receive a Private/Alternative Education Loan will be required to complete a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification and a mandatory online Entrance Counseling Session specifically for Private and Alternative Loan borrowers. This session is designed to help you make the right choices in securing additional or private loans.

We are notified on who has completed the online Entrance Counseling, on a daily basis.

30-Day Delay

If you’re a freshman, first-time, student loan borrower, your 1st loan disbursement will be applied to your student account 30 days after the start of the semester.

Dual Disbursements

Federal regulations require student loans to be released in 2 disbursements within the loan period. If your loan period starts in the fall semester and ends in the spring semester, you will receive your 1st disbursement in the fall semester and the 2nd disbursement in the spring semester. One semester loan awards will be released in two disbursements within the semester; one after the start of the semester and one in the middle of the semester.

Late-Start Classes

Students must be registered in 6 credit hours that have starting dates the first week of the semester for financial aid funds to be disbursed. If you are not actively enrolled in 6 credit hours, your financial aid funds will be held until the 5 days after the start date of the 6th credit hour.

Loan Award Amounts

Student loan amounts offered are based on the student’s grade level at MCC. Freshman students will be offered $1750 per semester ($3500 for the academic year). Sophomore students will be offered $2250 per semester ($4500 for the academic year). Only freshman and sophomore grade levels are recognized at MCC. If a student needs more loan funds than they have been offered, additional loan funds can be requested online by completing the Addition Loan Request on the Student Loan Borrowing Information webpage. For more information on loan amounts please visit

The National Student Data System (NSLDS) is a central database that tracks your Title IV federal student aid history. Your NSLDS information can only be accessed and reviewed by you and authorized agencies including lenders, educational institutions, and loan servicers. All Title IV loans, PLUS Loans, and federal grant information will be submitted to NSLDS. To view your NSLDS information go to

Watch Videos About Student Loans

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Mesa Community College Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid

Federal regulations (CFR 668.32(f) and 668.34) require a student to move towards the completion of a degree, or certificate, within an eligible program when receiving financial aid. Specific requirements for academic progress for financial aid recipients are applied differently than Scholastic Standards.

Failure to meet any of these minimum standards will result in loss of title IV, HEA program (federal financial aid) eligibility. This policy affects any student that has or will apply for financial aid. Federal regulations state that Academic Progress Standards must include a review of all periods of enrollment, regardless of whether or not aid was received.

Students will be evaluated using the standards described below.

Evaluation Period

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be evaluated at the end of each semester: fall, spring and summer. Non-standard sessions will be evaluated at the completion of the session

Satisfactory Academic Progress Measurements

There are three measures Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). are evaluated on each of the three measurements outlined below. Failure to meet any of the Standards of SAP will result in suspension of eligibility for financial aid.

Note: Course grades of F, I, N, W, X, Y, Z, and courses not yet graded are considered attempted but not meeting SAP progress standards for the purposes of financial aid.

Grade Point (GPA)Measurement

Students must meet the minimum appropriate cumulative GPA to meet SAP.

Total Credits Attempted*

Minimum Cumulative GPA



16 - 30.75


31 -45.75




*For which grade points are computed. Only credits taken at MCC will be used to determine your GPA.

Pace Measurement

To meet SAP, students must successfully complete 2/3 (66.67%) of all credits they've attempted.

Maximum Time Frame

Students who have attempted 150% (or more) of the published credits needed to complete their degree or program plan will have reached their Maximum Time Frame (MTF). Students who has reached their MTF are considered to not be meeting SAP.

Coursework Treatment in SAP Calculation

Coursework taken during the semester that is also included in the evaluation:

  • Courses funded through a consortium agreement
  • All attempted remedial credits
  • Repeated coursework

Coursework included in the Maximum Time Frame evaluation:

  • All of those included in the semester evaluation
  • All evaluated transfer credits
  • A bachelor's degree or higher earned will be considered to have exhausted maximum timeframe eligibility.

Coursework not included in SAP evaluation:

  • Audited courses
  • Non-credit courses
  • Credit by examination
  • Credit for prior learning option (as outlined in the college general catalog)
  • Academic Renewal Process

Appeal Process for Not Meeting Standards of SAP

If it has been determined that you have not met SAP due to extenuation circumstances, you will not be eligible for financial aid which includes grants, all student loans including PLUS and private loans, and federal work-study. However, you can appeal to try to reinstate your eligibility.

To appeal for not meeting the GPA or Pace measure submit the following:

  • a SAP Appeal form
  • A typed statement explaining the extenuating circumstances that caused you not to meet the Standards of SAP
  • supporting documents

To appeal for the Maximum Time Frame measure submit the following:

All Appeals must be submitted to the Enrollment Center or Enrollment Services by the semester deadline dates printed on the cover sheet or the Financial Aid Important Dates

Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility

A student who does not meet SAP will be placed on financial aid suspension and can only regain aid eligibility by:

  • Follow the appropriate Appeal Process and having their appeal approved by the SAP Appeals Committee
  • Paying for their tuition and fees until they meet the Standards of SAP

For the full Maricopa Community Colleges Standards of SAP for Financial Aid Eligibility in PDF format click here

For Students Who Had to Appeal

Your appeal decision will be sent to your Message Center on your Student Center at Please read the message to ensure that you understand the decision and any stipulations set for you by the SAP Appeal Committee. If you are placed on probation, you must meet the conditions set for you to remain eligible for financial aid. Please check with us if you do not understand your message or if you're unsure of the requirements you must meet to remain eligible for financial aid.

Academic Probation For Not Meeting Scholastic Standards

Financial aid probation or denial for failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress, and academic probation for not meeting Scholastic Standards are different issues. Students who need to appeal for academic probation for scholastic standards must do so through the Admissions and Standards Committee.

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 Student Center at

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.

Types of Aid

There are a variety of ways to supplement the funds you have set aside for your education. Many students will receive some sort of financial aid; some funds do not have to be repaid while others are loans. You’ll find information on the most common kinds of student aid below.

Student Loans

A direct student loan is aid that is deferred until you’re out of school. You must pay it back.


Grants are free aid you do not have to pay back. Essentially, they are a gift.


Scholarships are a gift - they do not need to be paid back.

Federal Work Study

FWS provides employment opportunities for students with financial eligibility, allowing them to earn money to help finance the cost of their education.

Applying for Financial Aid

What is financial aid?

Student financial aid is funding that is available exclusively to students attending college. This funding helps in covering the many costs of college. Financial aid is available from federal, state, educational institutions, and private agencies (foundations), and can be awarded in the forms of grants, education loans, work-study and scholarships. In order to apply for federal financial aid, students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Make sure you're eligible to receive Federal Student Aid

2019-2020 FAFSA 

For the fall 2019 the spring 2020 and summer 2020 complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA using your 2017 income information. If you're selected for verification after you’ve completed  your FAFSA and you filed 2017 taxes, you will need to submit your signed 2017 federal tax form if you didn't use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. To complete your FAFSA  go to

2020-2021 FAFSA

For the fall 2020, the spring 2021 and summer 2021 complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA application using your 2018 income information. If you're selected for verification after you've completed your FAFSA and you filed 2018 taxes, you will need to submit your signed 2018 federal tax form if you didn't use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.  To complete your FAFSA go to

To qualify for Federal Student Aid students must meet certain criteria set by the U.S. Department of Education. Basic Eligibility Criteria includes (but is not limited to): 

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National 
  • Must be a permanent resident or eligible non-citizen  
  • Must have a Social Security number
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Male students must be registered with Selective Service 
  • Must be enrolled in an eligible program of study and pursuing a degree at MCC to receive federal financial aid
  • Must use federal student aid only for educational purposes 
  • Cannot be in default on a federal student loan or owe a refund on a federal grant
  • Must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress

Create your FSA ID at

Your FSA ID is the username and password you create to complete, sign and access your FAFSA.  Parents of dependent students will need to create their own FSA ID so they can sign the parent portion of the FAFSA.  You will also need MCC's Federal School Code number:  001077.

IMPORTANT: Do not forget your FSA IS or your FSA ID password. We cannot reset or retrieve them for you. 

Make sure you're admitted to MCC 

In order for us to receive your FAFSA information, you must be admitted to MCC.  If you’ve never attended MCC, or if you attended MCC or another Maricopa College in the past click here to update your admissions information or to start the admissions process for MCC.

Continue to: Complete the FAFSA 

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Federal School Code 001077

Applying for financial aid for the fall 2019 semester? Make sure to complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA.

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