Financial Aid and Scholarships
Paying for school can be the most difficult part of your academic endeavors. Fortunately, for eligible students, there are quite a few sources of financial aid available, in terms of both grants and loans. You should carefully consider all your options before pursuing financial aid.
Overview of Financial Aid at MCC
The financial-aid program at Martin Community College was established to ensure that qualified students have the opportunity to continue their education. Financial aid is awarded largely on the basis of need, which is the difference between a student's annual cost of education and the amount the student (and his or her family) can reasonably contribute toward his or her education. Need is determined by a formula established by the United States Congress.
To talk to someone about financial aid at MCC, please call the MCC Financial Aid Office at 252-789-0245 / 252-789-0204, or see the MCC Contact page for more contact options.
Applying for Financial Aid
If you wish to apply for financial aid, you must do so each year by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which you can complete for free online (http://www.fafsa.gov/). Complete the application as soon as possible to ensure you receive any eligible awards; at the latest, you should submit an application by May 1, for the following academic year.
Approximately six to eight weeks after submitting the FAFSA, you will receive a document called a Student Aid Report (SAR). This document should be checked for accuracy, and any necessary changes should be corrected immediately. The MCC Financial Aid Office can make these changes electronically if MCC's school code is listed on the application. Other documentation may be required and will be requested from you, as necessary. After all documentation has been submitted, the MCC Financial Aid Office will process your financial-aid application, verify your academic eligibility, and send you an award letter indicating the financial aid awarded for the current academic year.
Types of Available Assistance
Financial aid is awarded in the form of grants, scholarships, and part-time employment (also called "work-study"). Grants and scholarships are gifts that do not have to be repaid, whereas work-study is money that a student earns by working part-time for the College or a governmental and/or a nonprofit agency. Financial-aid awards are mailed to your address on record in the MCC Registrar's Office. It is your responsibility to keep your information current.
Check the following PDFs for information about federal loans, how to repay your loans, and what to do if you are having problems repaying your loans:
- Overview of Federal Student Loan Programs
- Information About Repaying Federal Student Loans
- Trouble Making Your Federal Student Loan Payments?
For more information on repaying federal student loans, see the Finding the Right Repayment Plan for You web page, and for information on all loans see the Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy web page that has resources on borrowing, repayment, and consumer protection.
Basic Requirements for Maintaining Financial Aid
Simply obtaining financial aid is not enough; you also must maintain your standing while taking classes. During your academic career, if your cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below the 2.0 as required for satisfactory progress by the College, then you will be placed on financial-aid probation for the next semester. If you do not meet the minimum GPA standards at the end of the probationary semester, then all federal aid will be withheld until GPA standards are met. Aid provided by the State, College, foundation, or other financial-aid award may also be withheld, depending on the requirements of the specific award program.
You must be enrolled in a curriculum program and must meet all academic requirements, which includes making satisfactory academic progress as defined by the MCC Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid. Changes to your major can impact your financial aid; if you wish to either double major or change your major, you should see the Financial Aid Director to ensure continuation of your financial-aid funding.
Generally, visiting/special-credit students are not eligible for most types of financial-aid.
The following grants may be available to you, if eligible:
- Education Lottery Grant: The North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship (ELS) was available for the 2007-2008 academic year and was created by the 2005 General Assembly to provide financial assistance to needy North Carolina resident students attending eligible colleges and universities located within the state of North Carolina. Student must complete the FAFSA, be a North Carolina resident, enroll for at least six credit hours per semester in a curriculum program, and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress. The value per grant will vary according to information that is generated from the FAFSA. Grants will range from $100 to $2,300 for the year.
- Federal Pell Grant: The Federal Pell Grant program is designed to be the foundation of a financial-aid package. The U.S. Department of Education calculates the expected family contribution for each student using a standard formula. The College uses the student's expected family contribution and his or her cost of attendance to make an annual award. All students are encouraged to apply for a Federal Pell Grant each year that they will be enrolled in college.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant: The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is a federally funded program that provides grants for students of exceptional financial need with priority given to Pell Grant recipients. A Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant does not have to be paid back.
- North Carolina Community College Grant: The North Carolina Community College Grant is a state, grant program that is available to the neediest students whose (a) Federal Pell Grants are less than the "required educational expenses" and (b) estimated income tax liability (according to federal guidelines) is too low for the family to be eligible for the Federal Tax Credit. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for this grant.
- North Carolina Student Incentive Grant: The North Carolina Student Incentive Grant is a state and federal grant program available to exceptionally needy students. It is administered jointly by the College Foundation, Inc. and the College Financial Aid Officer. Students must be North Carolina residents and must apply by March 15 of each year for the following fall semester.
MCC has a limited number of institutional scholarships which are generally awarded to students with exceptional academic averages. In selecting recipients, the MCC Financial Aid Director reviews all applications and presents award candidates to the MCC Financial Aid Committee based on the student's academic record, financial need, and other requirements as described for the individual scholarships. The MCC Financial Aid Committee and/or appointed Scholarship Committee makes the final decision on scholarship awards. Contact the MCC Financial Aid Office for more information.
Additional scholarships are available from various public and private foundations, organizations, businesses, etc. MCC encourages students to explore other financial-aid opportunities in addition to federal and state awards and grants. The links provided to these other scholarship announcements do not constitute an endorsement by MCC of the associated organization. Read all instructions carefully; if you choose to disclose personal information, do so only to sources you have determined to be trustworthy.
The Federal Work-Study program provides part-time jobs for students with financial need. It allows students to earn money to help pay their educational expenses while enhancing their work experiences. Students who are accepted in this program work approximately 10 to 12 hours per week, earn minimum wage, and are paid on a monthly basis. Contact the MCC Financial Aid Office for more information.
Under MCC's loan program, students may borrow money to pay tuition or book expenses. Monies have been made available from the following sources for short-term loans for students: Martin County Chamber of Commerce, Clarence E. Biggs (Emergency Loan Fund), Trustees/Friends, and the North Carolina Community College Loan Program. Contact the MCC Financial Aid Office for more information.