Parent FAQs

MWCC Mother and Son

Top 25 Questions by Parents and Guardians

1. What type of college is MWCC?

Personalized attention and small class sizes are hallmarks of MWCC. Professors know their students’ names and care about their success. Unparalleled student services are readily available whether your son/daughter needs academic support, transfer or career counseling, or job placement assistance. Also, MWCC offers over 70 associate degree and certificate programs and over 35 clubs and organizations to participate in. MWCC is dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable education opportunities that prepare students whether they want to transfer to a four-year college or to begin a career. Many courses are transferable to colleges nationwide and cost significantly less. The 269-acre, scenic main campus is located in Gardner, Massachusetts; satellite sites are located in Leominster, Fitchburg, and Devens. MWCC’s facilities include the 515-seat Theatre at the Mount, a Fitness & Wellness fCenter, art studios, science and computer labs, and more.

2. What is the process for my son/daughter to enroll at MWCC?

MWCC’s friendly staff will help make the process of applying and enrolling as simple as possible. View the complete Steps to Enroll.

3. My son/daughter is still in high school but is ready to attend college. Are there any options?

Through the dual enrollment program, high school students can complete their junior or senior year of high school and their first year of college simultaneously at MWCC. Students must meet established guidelines of MWCC and their participating high school. Students enrolled in the dual enrollment program are not allowed to participate in classes beginning after 6PM without permission from the sending high school and the student’s parent or guardian.

4. Will our family be able to afford MWCC?

MWCC is one of the best values in higher education. Students who start at MWCC often save thousands of dollars over those who attend private colleges and universities. The courses students would take toward an associate degree at MWCC parallel the courses they would take during the first two years at most four-year colleges and universities. MWCC’s career-focused programs are equally as economical, and high quality, as other private two-year career programs. All students are encouraged to apply for financial aid.

5. My son/daughter is unsure of a major. Will MWCC be a good fit?

Many students aren’t sure of their academic and career goals. MWCC is a perfect place to start. At significantly less cost, students can explore different subjects, change their major, and decide what path is best for them. Personalized academic and transfer counseling services can help students decide.

6. My son/daughter has a disability. Is MWCC a good fit for him/her?

MWCC has various types of assistance available to support qualified students with disabilities. Appropriate documentation of a disability is required. Available support services include, but are not limited to, reserved parking, elevator privileges, note takers, scribes, extended time exams/alternative testing, tutorial services, readers, study skills, taped lectures, computer-assisted instruction, consultation with faculty addressing individual issues, assistance in obtaining auxiliary aids, and adaptive computer technology. For more information, contact the coordinator for students with disabilities, 978-630-9330.

7. My son/daughter plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree. What programs are available for students who want to transfer?

MWCC students transfer seamlessly to many public and private colleges and universities every year. They often save thousands of dollars by starting at MWCC. Also, if students meet certain qualifications, they will be guaranteed admission and/or thirty-three percent off tuition at participating Massachusetts public colleges and universities. MWCC has transfer agreements with many colleges and universities.

8. My son/daughter wants to start a career after graduating from MWCC. Is MWCC a good fit?

Students aiming to enter the workforce after graduation can enroll in one of MWCC’s career programs, which in many cases, can be completed in as little as two years. Check out our degree and certificate list to view student career and transfer options.

9. Is MWCC a safe environment for students?

MWCC is one of the safest places you can be. Professional police officers are dedicated to maintaining a safe learning environment and offer crime prevention programs and services such as safety escorts. For detailed information on security at MWCC, you can view the college’s annual security report (PDF).

10. What if my son/daughter needs a tutor or extra help with a class?

Staff in the Academic Support Center can help! Writing and math tutoring is available on a drop-in basis. Tutoring in other subjects is arranged by appointment. Services include a writing center, online writing lab, math lab, and individual and group tutoring sessions. All services are provided free of charge to MWCC students. The center is located in the LaChance Library on the first floor. For more information, access the Library and Academic Support Center website.

11. What are MWCC’s payment policies?

Paying for college is a big responsibility. Payment of all charges is due in full by the due date specified on the student’s bill. Students whose accounts have not been paid in full, or otherwise cleared through commitments by other sources will be subject to cancellation of class enrollment. Students will not be allowed to re-enroll without proper payment. Payment is accepted via cash or credit card; waivers, scholarships, and financial aid; through third party payments (such as through an employer); and through an affordable monthly payment plan. For more information and payment resources, go to the Student Account page.

12. Is financial aid available?

Most students attending MWCC benefit from some form of financial aid. Most financial aid is need-based and begins with the student applying through the federal financial aid form. Once the results of the FASFA are received by the MWCC financial aid office, each student’s application is reviewed and their awards are made. Students may be eligible for grants, loan, or work-related aid. Timing is everything, and with financial aid, earlier is always better. Students should adhere to all published deadlines to receive their optimal financial aid awards. For more information go to the Financial Aid.

13. Are scholarships available?

Scholarships are another form of financial aid which includes a review of the student’s academic, personal and financial information. Depending upon the scholarship, students may need to document volunteer and community service activities and write a personal statement describing their reason for enrollment at the college or other related information. Scholarships are awarded to eligible students in January and in April for use during the following term. Ask for a scholarship brochure from the admissions or financial aid office, or access the information through our academic catalog.

14. My son/daughter is covered by my health insurance. Do we need to purchase the college health insurance plan?

Health insurance is required by state law for all students registering for nine or more credits. To ensure that students have proper health insurance, the college provides students with the Community College Health Insurance Plan. Students will see a fee for this on their tuition and fees bill. If you have comparable health insurance through another carrier, students may waive the charge. This must be done no later than the first day of classes or your name will be submitted to the insurance company. Once submitted there will be no waiver or refund of the fee. Please note: free care does not constitute comparable coverage. For more information, go to the Student Accounts page.

15. How do students buy textbooks?

Books and supplies may be purchased from the bookstore, operated by Barnes & Noble, at the Gardner campus. The bookstore has extended hours each semester to accommodate evening, Devens, and Leominster campus students. For information, call 978-632-8238. Regular hours are Mon. – Thurs., 8:30 am – 4:00 pm & Fri., 8:30 am – 3:00 pm. Bookstore staff can advise students on how to purchase software at an educational discount (through the bookstore, or elsewhere) as well as how to access low-cost Internet Service Providers that offer institutional discounts to students.

16. How can I support my son/daughter to be a successful college student?

College is a pivotal time in a student’s life. MWCC expects students to be responsible and to do their best in their academic and co-curricular work. Parents and guardians can help their sons/daughters to be successful by attending the Family and Support Network Orientation and encouraging students to attend the New & Transfer Student Orientation, join clubs and activities, and to work to their potential. For more information about orientations, contact our Student Life office.

17. Can I access college information about my son/daughter?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. The college cannot legally release information to anyone except for the student, including but not limited to grades, attendance records, and payment information. The only information that can be released, with the student’s permission, is “directory” information, which may include the student’s first and last name and middle initial, the city and state of the student’s billing address; the student’s declared programs of study; the student’s enrollment status (full or part time); and degree or certificate earned and academic honors. For a full explanation of this policy, go to our policies and procedures. 

18. How does MWCC communicate important information regarding a student’s enrollment to the student?

Phone, mail, email, and online.Many services related to student enrollment at MWCC may be accessed online by students using an assigned student ID and personal identification number (PIN). To access these services, students must go to our website and click on “iConnect” to:

  • Register for courses
  • Add/drop courses
  • Open and/or forward your student email account
  • Review your financial aid information
  • View and print your class schedule, grades, and transcripts (grades are not mailed)
  • Review and pay your bill online (after registering)
  • Access MWCC library web services
  • Find the most up-to-date credit course listings
  • Review the college catalog
  • Run a degree evaluation

19. Where can I access an academic calendar?

The college’s academic calendar can be accessed using this link. 

20. What is the college’s class attendance policy?

Success in college is often related to class participation and attendance. Students are expected to attend ALL scheduled class meetings. If a student is unable to attend a class, it is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the instructor and makeup work that was missed as a result of his/her absence. Absence does not constitute an excuse for academic work due. Excessive absence is defined by each faculty member and included in the course syllabus. If a student is excessively absent, he or she may be withdrawn or receive a failing grade for the course.MWCC supports the individual attendance policy as stated in every course syllabus. In the case of emergency or illness that will cause a student to miss three or more consecutive sessions, the student should notify his or her specific instructors. If a student expects to be absent for an extended period due to illness, accident, etc., he/she should notify the student services office (students need not call for an absence of one day).

21. How are course schedules set up?

Courses typically run on Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday. There are some Friday and Saturday courses. Community Time occurs each day between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm when few classes are scheduled and campus groups and clubs often meet.

22. Is there computer access on-campus?

Open access computers are located in the library for academic and educational use. Computers are also available in the Academic Support Center and in labs on the second and third floors. Students can do research, homework, and prepare for presentations using these electronic resources. Wireless access is available to students wishing to access the college’s network capabilities; you can get more information on this service and sign up through the Information Services department, email helpdesk@mwcc.mass.edu.

23. Will my son/daughter have access to the fitness center at MWCC?

Full-time MWCC students (12 credits or more) have access to the Fitness & Wellness Center at a discounted rate. The center features state-of-the-art equipment in a clean and friendly environment. The center is staffed with professional and certified personnel trained to assist your son/daughter in their recreational and fitness activities.

24. Is public transportation available?

The following transportation possibilities are available: MART Gardner Intra-City Busses; MART Fitchburg/Leominster Busses; MBTA Commuter Rail Service to Fitchburg only; Northern Tier and Vermont Transit Bus Lines. Further information on each is available in the student services office, room 141 or by calling MART at 978-345-7711.

25. What is parking like on-campus?

There is ample parking for students, faculty, and staff and reserved parking for the disabled. Parking stickers are not required for general student parking. Carpools may be facilitated by contacting the student services office. Special parking stickers for students with temporary or permanent disabilities are available in the health services office. Parking rules are defined in detail in the MWCC Traffic Rules and Regulation Booklet.