The Montgomery College student financial aid program is structured to meet the College’s philosophy that no student should be restricted from attending because of limited financial resources. Financial aid programs include grants, scholarships, loans, and student employment. An Office of Student Financial Aid is located on each campus.
Definition of Financial Need
Financial need is defined as the difference between estimated student expenses at Montgomery College and the expected family contribution. When the expected family contribution exceeds the student’s estimated expenses, the student has no financial need. The College determines financial need by using the federal methodology. The amount of aid awarded cannot exceed the financial need of the student. The College offers several scholarships, loans, and work programs where financial need is not required. For further information, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Students should check with the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine which degree or certificate programs are eligible for assistance. Currently, students enrolled in the following programs are not eligible for financial aid: all letter of recognition programs; specialized art certificate; electronic photography certificate; photographic techniques certificate; portrait, fashion, and photojournalism certificate; undeclared certificates requiring fewer than 16 credit hours; and old degree programs not in the current catalog.
New certificates may not yet be approved for eligibility; please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to confirm the eligibility status of any program not listed here.
Financial Aid Procedures
Application forms for financial aid are available January 1 for the following academic year, and it is highly recommended that all students apply for assistance as early as possible.
For priority consideration, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be completed and submitted no later than May 15 for the fall and spring semesters, or November 1 for the spring semester only.
To expedite processing, students are encouraged to file the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov. Students should list Montgomery College (Title IV code 006911) on the FAFSA as the first-choice college for the academic year. Students should read the directions for the application carefully and complete it accurately. For questions about the FAFSA, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid. Additional information about federal student assistance programs and the FAFSA is available at www.studentaid.ed.gov.
Students applying for Maryland state financial assistance must complete the FAFSA. It must be received by the federal processor or submitted online by March 1 to receive maximum consideration for Maryland state aid.
After the campus financial aid counselor receives the required forms, along with the appropriate documentation to verify the information reported, the counselor will determine whether the student is eligible for aid and which financial resources are available. The financial aid office will then notify the student of the award(s).
A student who files an application for financial aid in accordance with the above instructions and the policies adopted by the College will be considered for all types of financial aid programs for which he or she may be eligible if funds are available.
Financial Aid Appeals
The College has established an appeals process for students who feel that their financial aid application was not given proper consideration.
- The student should request a review conference with a financial aid counselor.
- If the student disagrees with the decision of the counselor, the student may appeal the decision in writing to the campus director of student financial aid, who will render a written decision.
- An appeal may be presented to the Financial Aid Professional Judgment Committee for final decision.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students applying for financial aid and those who are awarded financial aid are required to make satisfactory academic progress as defined in the Montgomery College Office of Student Financial Aid Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress. The policy is available in any campus financial aid office or online at www.montgomerycollege.edu/heoa.
Grants and Scholarships
Conditions and characteristics of all federal and state programs described below are subject to change without notice. Individual departments and organizations offer many other scholarships and awards, which are announced periodically.
Board of Trustees Scholarship - Academic Potential
The Board of Trustees awards a scholarship to one graduating student from each Montgomery County public high school based on academic potential demonstrated in high school. The scholarship may cover county tuition and fees for up to 15 hours per semester for one year only, pending available funding. The student must be nominated by the high school and then approved by the Admissions and Records Office and the Office of Student Financial Aid. A limited number of second-year awards may be available pending sufficient funding.
Board of Trustees Scholarship - Academic Specialty
The Board of Trustees awards approximately 100 scholarships based on academic specialty to graduating Montgomery County high school students who have demonstrated academic potential. The scholarship may cover up to 15 hours per semester of county tuition and fees for the first academic year depending on available funding. Applications are available from the Office of Admissions and Records and the Office of Student Financial Aid. A limited number of second-year awards may be available pending sufficient funding.
Board of Trustees Student Tuition Grants - Need Based
The College’s Board of Trustees established a tuition grant program to assist students with financial need, particularly those who qualify for little or no federal grant money. Students must maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average to continue receiving this grant. Applicants must follow the previously explained steps for applying for aid, must demonstrate academic potential, and must have financial need as defined by the College.
The Board of Trustees grants are generally available to full-time and part-time students who demonstrate financial need based on available funding. The amount of the grant is also based on availability of funds.
Federal Pell Grant
Undergraduate students attending an institution of higher education may be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant of up to $5,645 (2013-14 figures) per year, based on the number of credits enrolled and the cost of education at the College and based on availability of funds.
Eligibility is determined on a yearly basis, and it is the student’s responsibility to reapply each year. Eligible students must be in a program that is at least one year long and leading to a degree or certificate, and the students must demonstrate financial need. Students may be enrolled on a full-time (12 or more credit hours), three-quarter-time (9-11 credit hours), or half-time (minimum 6-8 credit hours) basis. Students enrolled for fewer than 6 credit hours may be eligible if they have a maximum need factor. The amount of the grant to which a student is entitled under this act in any academic year is determined annually by Congress. Application is accomplished by completing the FAFSA.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
Students who demonstrate exceptional financial need may be eligible for a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) based on availability of funds. Preference is given to Pell-eligible students who have exceptional financial need. Students apply for the FSEOG by completing the FAFSA. Students must reapply every year.
Federal TEACH Grant
The Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides non-need-based grants of up to $4,000 per year, based on availability of funds, to students who intend to teach in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. Students must complete the FAFSA, be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens, meet all other requirements for federal financial aid, and enroll at the College in teacher education transfer programs in mathematics (605), physics (603), or Spanish (602). These are the only programs approved by the U.S. Department of Education for TEACH Grants at Montgomery College. Other qualifying criteria apply; please see a campus financial aid office for additional information. This grant requires a four year teaching service commitment for any amount of grant a student may receive. If students receive a TEACH Grant but do not complete the required teaching service, they are required to repay the grant as a federal unsubsidized Stafford Loan, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.
Montgomery College Foundation Scholarships
Many organizations, businesses, and individuals make generous gifts to the Montgomery College Foundation, which fund the scholarships that help Montgomery College students achieve their educational goals. Qualifications for each scholarship vary according to criteria established by the donors. One application entitles a student to be considered for all scholarships for which he or she may be qualified. To obtain the Montgomery College Foundation Scholarship please visit www.montgomerycollege.edu/finaid.
Special Programs for High School Students
Students currently enrolled in high school and taking classes at the College may apply for the following need-based grants:
Montgomery College Board of Trustees High School Grant. This grant can be used to pay for the cost of Montgomery College tuition and fees for one three-credit-hour class per semester. Students who are currently homeschooled are eligible for this grant.
Concurrent Enrollment Grant. Applicants must be Montgomery County Public School students enrolled at the College through the Office of Concurrent Enrollment Programs. This grant pays for Montgomery College tuition and fees, as well as a book allowance that is determined by the scholarship coordinator. The maximum grant per student depends on financial need and available funds.
Current high school students must complete the Montgomery College High School Grant Application, available at campus financial aid offices or on the web at www.montgomerycollege.edu/finaid.
Direct PLUS Loans
Parents of undergraduate students may borrow in the Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Program. Parents may borrow up to the entire cost (minus any aid) of the attending College per student. Repayment will begin 60 days after disbursement.
Federal Perkins Loans
The Federal Perkins Loans are low-interest (5 percent) loans designed to help students pay for their education. A student may borrow up to a total of $8,000 for the equivalent of the first two years of a four-year degree program while attending the College, provided that he or she has not received loan funds from another institution and meets the following eligibility criteria:
- The student must demonstrate exceptional financial need in order to receive first priority for a Federal Perkins Loan.
- The student must have been accepted for enrollment as an undergraduate at the College in an eligible degree or certificate program.
- The student must not be in default on any federal Title IV loan or owe a refund on any federal Title IV grant which may have been received at any postsecondary educational institution as evidenced by the National Student Loan Data System.
- The student must maintain satisfactory academic progress according to the standards listed in the College’s financial aid packet.
Before Federal Perkins Loan funds are issued, the student must complete a Master Promissory Note. Students are given specific instructions on how and when this procedure will take place.
- Repayment begins nine months after the student drops below half-time status (six credit hours) or leaves school for other reasons.
- During the repayment period, five percent interest will be charged on the unpaid principal balance. The amount of repayment depends on the size of debt. Check www.montgomerycollege.edu/finaid for changes to the Perkins Loan Program.
- Upon leaving the institution, the student will be notified of the exit interview process and given specific payment schedule information.
- A description of the various loan deferment, forbearance, and cancellation options is provided on the loan promissory note and issued to the student.
Check www.montgomerycollege.edu/finaid for changes to the Perkins loan program.
Direct Subsidized Loan/Direct Unsubsidized Loan
The Direct Subsidized Loan Program is part of the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. The loans are borrowed directly from the federal government. The undergraduate student borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, have financial need, and maintain satisfactory academic progress. The student must be enrolled for at least six credit hours in each semester.
The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on financial need, but all students must file a FAFSA to apply for a loan. The amount students may borrow depends on their eligibility for the Direct Subsidized Loan Program and their dependency status. Dependent students may borrow $5,500 as a freshman and $6,500 as a sophomore, and independent students may borrow $9,500 as a freshman and $10,500 as a sophomore. These annual maximum loan amounts are a combination of both the subsidized and unsubsidized loan programs.
Students should expect fees to be deducted from the loan proceeds by these programs for loan origination. The amount of these fees varies depending on the amount borrowed. All first-time borrowers at Montgomery College must complete an in person financial literacy session before receiving any loan proceeds. All students who borrow under these programs must complete an exit interview when they drop below half-time enrollment (six credit hours) in a semester.
Direct Subsidized Loan and Direct Unsubsidized Loan repayment begins six months after the student ceases to be at least a half-time student in an eligible program. Interest accrues during this six month grace period for any new Direct Subsidized Loans disbursed on or after July 1. The minimum repayment is $50 per month, and the interest rate varies. The actual amount and length of the repayment period are determined by the U.S. Department of Education and the borrower.
The Direct Unsubsidized Loan principal may be deferred while the student is in school. Interest must be paid while the borrower is in school, during deferment, and during grace periods, according to the repayment schedule. The Direct Unsubsidized Loan interest can be paid according to a payment schedule or be accrued and added to the principal while the student is enrolled for at least six credit hours in a semester.
College Student Assistantship Program
Each year a number of qualified students receive approval to work on the College campuses as student assistants. Special emphasis is placed on skills, grade point average, relevancy to field of study, and the hiring unit’s needs. To learn about available jobs, students should check individual departments and check the MC ejobs website through MyMC.
Federal Work Study Program
Federal Work Study (FWS) employment may be awarded to students who
- complete the FAFSA and have demonstrated financial need,
- are in need of employment in order to pursue a course of study at this College, and
- are capable of maintaining good academic standing in the course of study while employed.
Under the FWS program at the College, students usually work an average of 15 hours per week during the school year. Summer employment is also available. Interested students should see the student employment specialist in the campus financial aid office and check the MC ejobs website through MyMC.
DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG) Program
DC residents must use the DC Office of the State Superintendent’s DC OneApp to apply for this grant. The DC OneApp is the single access to the District of Columbia’s major grant program, the DC Tuition Assistance Grant Program.
This application is only available online. Students should apply and submit required documentation before June 30 each year or they will be placed on a waitlist. However, it must be noted that funds are extremely limited and early application submission is strongly encouraged. The DC Office of the State Superintendent may change the application deadline annually.
These awards are for current residents of Washington, D.C., and who have lived in the District of Columbia for at least 12 months prior to beginning their first year in college. Students must be high school graduates or GED recipients, 24 years of age or younger before the application deadline, accepted for enrollment in-or working toward-a first time undergraduate degree, and maintain at least half-time enrollment status (six credit hours per semester) in order to receive $1,250 per semester. The award amount varies by students’ credit hour enrollment. Further details can be found on https://dconeapp.dc.gov or by calling the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent (OSSE) at 202-727-2824.
Maryland State Student Financial Assistance
The General Assembly of the State of Maryland created several scholarship and grant programs to help those who need financial assistance for a college education. The Maryland State Office of Student Financial Assistance awards various categories of scholarships for which Montgomery College students are eligible to apply. Additional information on Maryland state programs is available at the website www.mhec.state.md.us/financialaid.
Educational Excellence Awards
Howard P. Rawlings Educational Assistance Grant. These awards are made by the Maryland State Office of Student Financial Assistance. All recipients must demonstrate a suitable level of financial need each year for new or renewal awards. Awards ranging from $400 to $3,000 can be given only to fulltime students at the College who are enrolled in a degree or certificate program. Students must file a FAFSA by March 1 each year.
Guaranteed Access Grant. The state’s neediest students are guaranteed access to postsecondary education in Maryland through this program if they meet the program criteria. All applicants must file both a FAFSA and a Guaranteed Access Grant application directly with the State Office of Student Financial Assistance by March 1 of the year they plan to attend the College. Students may also apply during their first year in college. Grants range from $400 to $15,500 per year.
Maryland Part-Time Student Grant Program. These scholarships, which are need-based, can be awarded to part-time students who are enrolled in degree-granting programs for 3-11 credit hours each semester. Awards range from a minimum annual award of $200 to $2,000. Students apply for this program by filing the FAFSA.
House of Delegates Scholarship. Each state delegate may award scholarships to residents of his or her election district. Recipients may receive a one-year award ranging in value from $200 to $9,000. The award may be offered each year for up to four years at the discretion of the delegate. Awards are not automatically renewed. Students interested in these scholarships should contact the delegate representing their election districts.
Senatorial Scholarship. Each state senator has an annual quota of scholarship units which are awarded to residents of his or her senatorial district or subdistrict. Recipients of this scholarship may attend the College either full or part time. Awards range from $400 to $9,000 per year. Students must file the FAFSA by March 1 for initial consideration. Awards are renewable for up to three years at the College.
Edward T. Conroy Memorial Scholarship Program. This award is not based on need. You must be a MD resident and you must be: the son or daughter of a member of the United States Armed Forces who died as a result of military service, or who suffered a service connected 100 percent permanent disability as result of military service, a veteran who suffers a service-connected disability of 25 percent or greater as a result of military service, and has exhausted or is no longer eligible for federal veterans’ educational benefits; the son, daughter, or surviving spouse of a victim of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks who died as a result of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the attack on the Pentagon in Virginia, or the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania; a POW/MIA of the Vietnam Conflict or his/her son or daughter; the son, daughter, or surviving spouse (who has not remarried) of a state or local public safety employee or volunteer who died in the line of duty or who was 100 percent disabled in the line of duty; or a state or local public safety employee or volunteer who was 100 percent disabled in the line of duty. The amount of your award may be equal to your tuition and fees, but the total dollar amount may not exceed $9,000, whichever is less. Contact any campus financial aid office after April 1 for applications and submit them before July 15th.
Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship Program. The Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship Program is designed to provide financial assistance to United States armed forces personnel who served in the Afghanistan or Iraq Conflicts, and their sons, daughters, or spouses who are current high school seniors, and full-time and part-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled in an eligible accredited Maryland postsecondary institution. Applicants for the scholarship must submit the Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship application, by March 1, online at https://mdcaps.mhec.state.md.us. Students must also file a FAFSA by March 1 to be considered for the award at www.fafsa.gov.
Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program. The program is for students who plan on working in specific career/occupational programs upon graduation. Eligible fields include: child care, human services, teaching, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, social work, and public service. Current high school seniors, full-time and part-time, degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an eligible accredited Maryland postsecondary institution are eligible to apply. Complete the WSSAG application online at https://mdcaps .mhec.state.md.us. To be considered based on need, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov for the application year. The FAFSA is not required; however, it will be used to determine the order in which students will be awarded. Certain majors may require additional documentation, which will be noted on the application. File the WSSAG application by July 1.
Additional criteria for all awards listed can be found on http://www.mhec.state.md.us/financialaid/descriptions.asp.