Jul 23, 2024  
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog 2017-18 
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog 2017-18 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid

Middlesex Community College is committed to providing access to higher education by helping to reduce economic barriers. Approximately 53 percent of MCC students currently receive financial aid. The role of MCC’s Financial Aid Office is to provide information about student aid programs and to assist eligible students in accessing these programs.

Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid to help meet the expenses of attending college. Financial aid awards are based on financial need, enrollment status in an eligible program, and availability of funding. MCC’s academic year for financial aid begins with the fall semester and concludes with the summer semester. Students who apply for financial aid must apply every academic year after January 1. MCC’s priority filing date is May 1 for each upcoming academic year and December 1 for students who are registering for the spring semester only.

General information about financial aid is available in MCC’s Student Information Centers or by contacting the Financial Aid Office. In Bedford, the office is located in the Enrollment Center (Building 9); 781-280-3650. In Lowell, the office is located on the third floor of the Cowan Center; 978-656-3242. Both Financial Aid Offices are open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the e-mail address is financialaid@middlesex.mass.edu.

Eligibility Requirements


In order to be considered for most federal, state and institutional financial aid, a student must:

  • be accepted to and enrolled in an eligible program of study at MCC;
  • have a valid Social Security number;
  • be a citizen, national or permanent resident of the United States or its trust territories;
  • maintain at least half-time enrollment status (except for most Federal Pell Grant awards);
  • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (see SAP policy);
  • maintain compliance with Selective Service registration requirements;
  • not be in default on any previous student loan or owe a repayment of an educational grant.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)


To be eligible for federal student financial aid, students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. All recipients of all financial aid programs, including state-funded programs, are subject to these standards for financial aid eligibility. Permission to enroll does not equal financial aid satisfactory academic progress.

Satisfactory academic progress evaluation is based on cumulative MCC coursework, as appearing on the student’s official academic transcript, and will occur at the end of each spring semester. Any classes taken during any summer session (within the same summer) are considered during the next review cycle. Only credit courses are considered for satisfactory academic progress evaluation.

The minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress are evaluated by the following criteria:

  1. Grade point average (GPA): Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average based on the total attempted credits to not be placed on academic probation.
Number of attempted credits Minimum Grade Point Average
  1 - 12   1.7
  13 - 24   1.8
  Above 24   2.0
  1. Completion rate percentage: All students must successfully complete 66.7 percent of their MCC attempted credits, as appearing on their official academic transcript, as well as transfer credits.
  2. Maximum timeframe requirement: The student must complete his or her educational program of study within a timeframe no longer than 150 percent of the published length of the educational program, as measured by credits attempted and including transfer credits.

Additional information on satisfactory academic progress can be found on the college website: www.middlesex.mass.edu/financialaid (click on Financial Aid Eligibility). A paper version of the policy is available in the Financial Aid Offices.


Determining Financial Need


A student’s financial need is determined by subtracting the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), as determined from the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), from the cost of attendance, as determined by program of study, enrollment status and residency status (resident of Massachusetts, New England states, or out of state):

Cost of Attendance
- Expected Family Contribution

Financial Need

The cost of attendance includes charges that are billed directly by MCC (direct costs), such as tuition and fees, as well as indirect expenses that students may need to consider, such as books, supplies, transportation and various personal living expenses. If your enrollment status changes from the time of application, your student budget and financial aid award may also change.

Application Process


To apply for financial aid at MCC, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA may be completed online at the federal FAFSA website: www.fafsa.gov.

MCC’s Financial Aid Office must receive a FAFSA with a valid Expected Family Contribution (EFC) while the student is enrolled and attending MCC, and before the end of the term of the student’s enrollment. Additional information may be required from the student to complete the student’s financial aid file. The Financial Aid Office will mail a Missing Information Letter to notify the student of the documents that are needed to complete the student’s application. (It is the student’s responsibility to keep MCC informed of any address or telephone number changes to their account.) Financial aid files must be completed before any aid may be disbursed to a student’s account with the Student Accounts Office.

Types of Aid Available


MCC participates in most federal and state grant, scholarship and loan programs that are available to students attending a post-secondary institution. The majority of these programs are limited to students who demonstrate financial need, as determined through the financial aid process.

A listing of the major financial aid programs follows. Specific information regarding terms, conditions and eligibility for each of these programs is available on the Financial Aid Office website at www.middlesex.mass.edu/financialaid or in one of our Financial Aid Offices.

Grants and Scholarships

Only undergraduate students with no prior bachelor’s or professional degrees from a U.S. college or university (or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution) may demonstrate eligibility for the following federal and state grants:

  • Federal Pell Grant: Grant from the federal government to students with high need. These grants are based on the student’s enrollment status.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG): Grant from the federal government to students with high need. Priority is given to students who are Pell Grant recipients.
  • MASSGrant: Grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to full-time (12 credits or more each semester) undergraduate students who are residents of Massachusetts and demonstrate exceptional financial need. Recipients  must have their FAFSA processed by the federal processor by May 1.
  • Tuition Waiver: Need-based grant aid from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to students who are residents of Massachusetts.
  • Cash Access Grant: Need-based grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to students who are residents of Massachusetts.
  • Part-time Grant: Need-based grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to students enrolled in six to 11 credits each semester. This grant is for Massachusetts residents who are Pell Grant eligible. 
  • Foster Child Grant: Grant from Commonwealth of Massachusetts for foster children to help pay for an education beyond high school. Recipient must have signed an agreement with Department of Social Services for care and services beyond age 18.
  • Early Childhood Educators Grant: Commonwealth of Massachusetts scholarship for currently employed early childhood educators and providers who enroll in associate degree programs in Early Childhood Education or related programs.
  • Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant: Grant for Massachusetts residents who are currently employed as paraprofessionals in Massachusetts public schools but wish to become certified as full-time teachers.
  • John and Abigail Adams Scholarship: Non-need based tuition waiver for full-time students who have been awarded the John & Abigail Adams Scholarship by the Massachusetts Department of Education. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

Student Employment

  • Federal Work Study (FWS): A part-time job funded by the federal government. Students receive a paycheck for the hours worked. Due to this, FWS cannot be deducted from your bill. Students interested in this aid program should contact the Financial Aid Office directly.

Student Loans

  • Federal Stafford Loan: A low-interest ( 6.8%) student loan from the federal government for students enrolled in at least six credits each semester. Students who demonstrate financial need are eligible for the Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan. The federal government pays the interest on this loan while the student is enrolled at least half-time, and during the six-month grace period. Students who do not demonstrate financial need are eligible to borrow with the Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan. The student is responsible for the interest on the Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans, even during periods of enrollment. Borrowers may choose to defer the interest payments while in school and during the six-month grace period, but the interest will be capitalized. Repayment for both types of Federal Stafford Loans begins six months after the student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment.
  • Federal Perkins Loan: A federally-subsidized, low-interest (5%) student loan from both the federal government and MCC. Repayment begins nine months after the student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment. Eligibility is based on financial need and availability of funding.

Financial Aid Withdrawal Policy


The calculation of how much financial aid a student is eligible to receive is determined by the date the student withdrew from Middlesex Community College. Students earn financial aid each semester based upon the length of time they attend MCC. The percentage of aid earned is determined by dividing the number of days a student was enrolled by the number of days in the semester. Information on MCC’s Financial Aid Withdrawal Policy may be found on the college website: www.middlesex.mass.edu/financialaid (click on Withdrawal Policy). A paper version of this policy is available in the Financial Aid Offices.

Additional Sources of Assistance


Other financing options are available to assist students in meeting their educational costs.

  • Students from states other than Massachusetts should pursue information on grants and scholarships funded by their state of residence.
  • A variety of alternative loans are available to assist in paying for college. These loans may be borrowed in either the student’s or parent’s name. Interest rates on these loans vary, as do the lengths of repayment. Please contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss which loan may be best for your needs.
  • MCC offers a three- or four-month payment plan which allows students to spread out payments for the cost of a semester’s tuition and fees. Please contact the Student Accounts Office for more information.
  • In its commitment to maintaining access to public colleges and universities, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers Categorical Tuition Waivers to eligible students. These waivers are designed to provide financial support to individuals who might not have the opportunity to achieve higher education without such assistance. For more information about these waivers, visit the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance website at www.osfa.mass.edu or contact the MCC Student Accounts Office.

Veterans’ Benefits & Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC)


Middlesex Community College programs are approved for the receipt of veterans’ educational benefits. Students may enroll in Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) or Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (AROTC) courses at UMass Lowell through the Northeast Consortium of Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (NECCUM). These programs qualify men and women enrolled as degree candidates for commissions  as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force or the United States Army.

Students may major in any undergraduate discipline and both ROTC programs offer several types of scholarships. Details regarding ROTC programs and scholarships are available from MCC’s Academic, Career & Transfer Centers in Bedford or Lowell, or by contacting the ROTC programs directly:

  • Air Force ROTC (Detachment 345) - UMass Lowell, Mahoney Hall Bsmt. (South Campus), 1 University Ave., Lowell, MA 01854; at 978-934-2252, e-mail: afrotc345@uml.edu; website: www.uml.edu/Dept/AFROTC.
  • Army ROTC (The Bay State Battalion) - UMass Lowell, Mahoney Hall Bsmt. (South Campus), 1 University Ave., Lowell MA 01854; 978-934-4169; e-mail: Scott_Wallace@uml.edu; website: www.uml.edu/army_rotc.

 Additional information is also available at the ROTC national websites. Air force ROTC: www.afrotc.com or Army ROTC: www.goarmy.com/rotc 

Massachusetts veterans who wish to apply for a tuition-waiver exemption are advised to contact the appropriate certification center and the college Student Accounts Office before enrolling to determine benefit eligibility.

Federal Educational Tax Credits


The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 included a number of tax credits to make college more affordable. Families may be eligible for either an American Opportunity Tax Credit or a Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. Whether students can take advantage of these benefits depends on individual tax circumstances. For further information about these tax credits, consult the Internal Revenue Service or a federal tax advisor.

MCC Scholarships

The Middlesex Community College Foundation makes available a variety of scholarships each year to full-time and part-time students.  Scholarships range from $500 to more than $1,000 per year. Selection is generally based on academic merit and financial need. For more information, visit the MCC Foundation website at www.middlesex.mass.edu/foundation/scholarships/.

Transfer Scholarships

Scholarships are also available to MCC students who are planning to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program.

  • New England Transfer Association Scholarship
  • UMASS Amherst Community College Academic Scholarship
  • UMASS Boston Foster Furcolo Scholarship
  • UMASS Dartmouth Chancellor’s Transfer Merit Scholarship
  • UMASS Lowell Community College Scholarship

For more information about transfer scholarships, call an academic counselor at 1-800-818-3434.