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, determined through completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 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; electronic photography certificate; photographic techniques certificate; portrait, fashion, and photojournalism certificate; undeclared certificates, and 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.
The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.gov beginning October 1 for the following academic year. It is highly recommended that all students apply for assistance as early as possible. Students should list Montgomery College (Title IV code 006911) on the FAFSA as their first-choice college. 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.
For priority consideration, the FAFSA along with any additional required documentation should be completed and submitted to the financial aid office no later than March 1 for the fall and spring semesters, or November 1 for the spring semester only.
After the financial aid office receives the required forms, along with the appropriate documentation to verify the information reported, a determination will be made whether the student is eligible for aid. The financial aid office will then notify the student of their 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. Federal and State financial aid cannot pay for classes that are not included in a student’s Program of Study.
Maryland State Student Financial Assistance
The General Assembly of the State of Maryland created several scholarship and grant programs both need and non-need based to help those who need financial assistance for a college education. The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) awards various categories of scholarships for which Montgomery College students are eligible to apply. List of MD programs:
Career/Occupation-Based Grants & Scholarships
Loan Assistance Repayment Programs
Additional information and specific program eligibility for these programs is available at the website: http://mhec.maryland.gov/preparing/Pages/FinancialAid/descriptions.aspx. Students applying for Maryland State financial assistance must complete and submit the FAFSA by the March 1 to be considered for most MD funding.
District of Columbia Student Financial Assistance
The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s (OSSE) Postsecondary and Career Education division manages financial assistance programs for District residents who are enrolling in college. Financial assistance like scholarships and grants help students enroll in college and increases chances of success. List of DC programs:
Additional information and specific program eligibility for these DC programs is available at the website: https://osse.dc.gov/page/scholarships-and-grants-students. Students applying for District of Columbia financial assistance must have completed the FAFSA and submitted the DC OneApp with all supporting documentation to the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) by June 30 to be considered for most DC funding.
Financial Aid Appeals
The College has established an appeals process for students who feel that there has been a considerable change in their financial situation or 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 under Financial Assistance Information. Students who fall below the standards have the ability to appeal their loss of aid eligibility. Appeal forms can be found on the MyMC Financial Aid Page under General Financial Aid Forms.
Grants and Scholarships
Conditions and characteristics of all 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 - 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 Scholarship Office. 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. A limited number of second-year awards may be available pending sufficient funding. The application is available online at www.montgomerycollege.edu/scholarships
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 $5920 (2017-18 figures) per year, plus up to an additional 150% of this amount if enrolled in summer school for a minimum of six hours.
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. The amount received is based on the number of credits enrolled and the cost of education at the College as well as on availability of funds. Students may be enrolled on a full-time (12 or more credit hours), three-quarter-time (9-11 credit hours), or half-time, (6-8 credit hours) or less than half-time (1-5 credit hours) basis. Students enrolled for fewer than 12 credit hours may not be eligible the lower their 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.
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. The Montgomery College Foundation online scholarship application is available on the scholarship web page at www.montgomerycollege.edu/scholarships.
Programs for High School Students
High school students dually enrolled at MC are not eligible for federal financial aid (i.e. FAFSA). However, students may be eligible for a need-based Montgomery College High School Grant to cover portions of required College tuition and fees. For more information go to the Dual Enrollment website at www.montgomerycollege.edu/dep or the scholarship website page at www.montgomerycollege.edu/scholarships
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.
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. 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 halftime 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, in this program and other non-need based employment, 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.