What is a Financial Aid Offer Letter?
The financial aid offer letter is the notification to the students to inform them of the type and amount of financial aid they are eligible to receive while attending MCCC. Students will login into myWebPAL to review and accept their financial aid offer. The financial aid offer letter has several parts:
Budget: Estimated costs for a student to attend college for the period of enrollment. The budget takes into consideration expenses a student will owe the school (e.g. tuition and fees), as well as outside expenses a student may have that are not part of the student’s MCCC bill (e.g. books, room/board, transportation.)
EFC: The EFC stands for Expected Family Contribution. This number is calculated from a student’s FAFSA information. The EFC is NOT the amount of money the family will have to pay for college. Rather, it is a measure of the family’s financial strength. MCCC uses the EFC, following U.S. Department of Education rules, to determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid.
Types of Financial Aid:
- Gift Aid: Grants and scholarships are forms of financial aid that do not have to be repaid.
- Loans: Student loans are funds that a student borrows and must repay with interest.
- Work Study: Students can earn money to help pay for school by working at MCCC as a student assistant.
Enrolling for less than 12 credit hours may result in a reduction in the amount of financial aid a student will receive. Students should contact the Financial Aid Office for information about how changing their class schedule (adding or dropping classes) may impact their financial aid.
Students who experience special circumstances that affect their ability to afford the cost of attending MCCC should contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance. These circumstances could include a change in family income due to unemployment, a reduction in work hours, or a family's unusual medical or dental expenses. The U.S. Department of Education gives financial aid administrators discretion to review on a case-by-case basis whether data elements on the student's FAFSA can be adjusted, with appropriate supporting documentation from the student, to more accurately reflect the student's current financial circumstances.
U.S. Department of Education regulations require that a student must be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program to receive federal financial aid. Additionally, only classes that are required for the student to earn the degree or certificate are eligible for federal and state financial aid funding. (Note: Developmental courses are eligible for financial aid funding, up to a maximum of 30 attempted credits of development coursework.)
If a student is enrolled in any courses that do not count toward fulfilling the requirements of the student’s degree or certificate program, those courses cannot be used to determine enrollment status for federal or state financial aid. While students may take classes that are not required for their degree or certificate program, MCCC cannot award federal or state financial aid for those classes.
What programs are eligible for federal financial aid?
All associate degree programs at MCCC are eligible for federal financial aid. Most certificate programs that meet a minimum of 15 weeks and are at least 16 credit hours in length are eligible for federal financial aid. Contact the Financial Aid Office for questions about whether a certificate program meets the minimum requirements to qualify for federal financial aid.
The initial financial aid offer letter for students is prepared based on anticipated full-time enrollment for the Fall and Winter semesters. If a student’s enrollment is less than full-time, the financial aid offers will be adjusted accordingly.
Pell Grant Adjustments (Fall and Winter)
Each semester, MCCC sets a day after which Pell Grants will not be recalculated for enrollment status changes. This is known as the Census Date. For the Fall and Winter semesters, this date is the last day of the 100% tuition refund period for 15-week classes. This means that Pell Grant payments will be based on the number of credit hours for which a student is enrolled as of the end of the 100% tuition refund period of 15-week classes for the semester.
- Dropping or Adding Classes Before and During the 100% Tuition Refund Period of 15-Week Classes: If a student drops or adds any classes before or during the 100% tuition refund period of 15-week classes, the Pell Grant will be recalculated and adjusted accordingly due to the change in the student’s enrollment.
- Dropping or Adding Classes After the 100% Tuition Refund Period of 15-Week Classes: If a student drops or adds a class after the end of the 100% tuition refund period of 15-week classes, the student’s Pell Grant will not be adjusted due to the change in the student’s enrollment. The exception to this would be if a student drops all classes, in which case the Pell Grant must be recalculated based on the number of days the student attended for the semester.
The Census Date for Fall 2020 is Tuesday, September 1, 2020
The Census Date for Winter 2021 is Thursday, January 14, 2021
Pell Grant Adjustments (Summer)
The Census Date for Pell Grant funds for the Summer semester is the last day of the 100% tuition refund period for 8-week classes. This means that Pell Grant payments will be based on the number of credit hours for which a student is enrolled as of the end of the 100% tuition refund period of 8-week classes for the semester.
The Census Date for Summer 2021 is Thursday, May 13, 2021
Direct Loan Adjustments (Fall, Winter, Summer)
For Direct Loans, if a student is enrolled less than full-time, the student’s Direct Loan may be decreased from what was on the initial offer letter, because a student’s costs for part-time enrollment are less than for full-time enrollment. The Financial Aid Office will review a student’s enrollment status after the Census Date and make any adjusts to loan amounts prior to the disbursement of the funds.
For Direct Loans, the student must be enrolled at least half-time (a minimum of six credit hours) for the semester. The Financial Aid Office checks the student’s enrollment status at the time of the loan disbursement. (Note: Classes added after the Census Date will count toward the enrollment requirement for Direct Loans.)
If a student drops below half-time enrollment at any point during the semester, the student becomes ineligible for any additional Direct Loan disbursements for that semester while at a less-than-half-time enrollment status. (Note: The student is eligible to keep any Direct Loan funds that had been disbursed earlier in the semester while the student was enrolled half-time. The exception to this would be if the student drops all classes, in which case the Direct Loan must be recalculated based on the number of days the student attended for the semester.)
Students who receive financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Office prior to dropping or adding classes to confirm how an enrollment change will impact their financial aid.