Frequently Asked Questions

Applying

Do I need to do anything before I can apply?
Yes! The first thing you need to do is get admitted to the college. This is included as a part of the New Student Checklist. MCC has an open admissions policy. If you have not officially been admitted to the College you need to do that first before you apply for financial aid.
How long will it take for me to get my financial aid?
The Financial Aid process can vary from 4-8 weeks from the time you complete the FAFSA (Free Application to Federal Student Aid) to the time we offer you a financial aid award.  Certain things, such as being selected for verification or needing to appeal can lengthen the processing time.  Also, students who complete the FAFSA or submit required paperwork close to the start of a new semester will have a longer processing time.  This is why we strongly urge you to complete the FAFSA early and to submit ALL requested documentation as soon as possible. You can check your financial aid status by logging in at: My.maricopa.edu.

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: www.fafsa.ed.gov
How often do I have to apply for financial aid?
The FAFSA is filed once a year. It is valid for one academic year. MCC’s academic year starts in the fall semester (August) and concludes in the summer.
What’s the deadline to apply for financial aid?
The FAFSA deadline is June 30th of the following year. However, by applying early and completing the financial aid process requirements for our office, you allow us the processing time to ensure you are awarded your aid before the tuition due dates. If you also file by the Priority Filing Date you may be eligible for additional grants. The fall semester Priority Filing Date for MCC is the first Friday in April. MCC’s spring semester Priority Filing Date it the first Friday in November.

Eligibility

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.

Citizenship

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, Cuban-Haitian entrant.

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

Determining Financial Need

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.

Why do I have to include my parent income information on the FAFSA when I don’t live at home?

When you apply for Federal student aid your answers to questions in Step three on the FAFSA determine whether you are considered a dependent or independent student. Not living with parents or not being claimed on tax forms does not determine dependency for Federal Student Aid.

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

Grants

What is the Pell Census Date?

The Pell Census 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.

Loans

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.

What happens if I do not pay back my loan?

The consequences of not paying back your loans can be serious. Defaulting on your student loans can impact your credit rating and more. Read more here.

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

Maintaining Eligibility

What will delay my money?
  • See the Disbursement Information for the 2011-2012 academic year..
  • Changes in your enrollment status: If you drop, withdraw or classes are canceled.
  • Special student status:
    MCC Admissions & Records Office must classify you as a "regular" degree-seeking student. 
  • An incorrect or out of state address:
    Provide MCC Admissions & Records Office with your current information.
  • Financial Aid "holds" due to lack of:
    • The Loan Entrance Counseling
    • Necessary financial aid documents or forms.
    • Un-graded and incomplete classes from previous semester
    • A new Department of Education regulation now prohibits our office from disbursing additional financial aid until all classes have been completed and graded from previous semesters.
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 Census Date will be the amount of Pell Grant we will pay you for the semester. If you add another class after the Pell census 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 Census Date is canceled, you must register for another class before the end of the Pell Census Date, otherwise you risk a reduction of your Pell Grant
  • Class Cancellations for a late starting classes (classed starting after the Pell Census 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.

Other

When does my financial aid money get disbursed?
For the 2012-2013 academic year, most financial aid is for each of the semesters is disbursed 11 days (2 weeks) after the start of the semester. Click here for more information.
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. Student’s 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.