Financial Aid FAQs
What is a Book Voucher and when is it available?
Students who do have Financial Aid awarded in excess of their tuition and fee charges can view their BOOK STORE CREDIT ELIGIBILITY on iConnect by following these on-line steps during the appropriate timeframe below:
- Go to www.mwcc.mass.edu
- Click on the iConnect icon, Log into iConnect
- If you have a Book Voucher available, click on “You are eligible for a Bookstore Credit” and scroll down to see the amount of your credit.
NO VOUCHER is actually given; your refund information is already available at the bookstore.
BOOK VOUCHER DATES for Fall
August 20, 2014-September 17, 2014
How do I apply for Financial Aid?
Go on-line to www.pin.ed.gov and obtain a Federal Aid Personal Identification Number (PIN) for you (and your parent, if required). Keep the pin(s) in a safe place as you will need the pin number each year to sign your FAFSA. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on-line at www.fafsa.gov. Apply as early as possible, early applicants have access to the most funding sources. The deadline for the Massachusetts State Grant is May 1 – however, we recommend you complete the FAFSA, between February 1 and April 1. You MUST re-apply each year!
- Be sure to list the Federal School Code for Mount Wachusett Community College: 002172
Who is eligible to apply for financial aid?
- Be accepted to the college in an aid-approved degree or certificate program
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident
- Demonstrate financial need by completing the FAFSA and all subsequent requirements.
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress according to college policy
- Not be in default on a previous student loan or owe financial aid refund to government
Do I have to provide my parents information on the FAFSA? Am I an Independent student?
To qualify as an independent student for federal financial aid purposes, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Have a dependent that you support more than 50%
- Be a veteran
- Be married
- Be at least 24 years of age or older
- Be an orphan or ward of the court
If you do not meet any of these criteria, you are not an independent student; you will be considered a dependent student and will be required to supply parent(s) information on the FAFSA. Due to federal regulation, even if you do not live with your parents or they do not support you financially, you must provide their information.
What happens after I submit my FAFSA online?
It takes many weeks for MWCC to electronically receive your FAFSA results. Once we receive it, if you are selected for verification, MWCC will mail you the additional required forms that you (and your parent, if applicable) must complete and return to the MWCC Financial Aid Office. Once your file is complete and financial aid is awarded, we will send a notice to your MWCC e-mail account to view your award on-line, at MWCC Web Connect. No award letter or additional mail will be sent to you; everything is on-line!
How many credits must I register for?
To be eligible for financial aid, usually you must enroll in a minimum of 6 credits each semester. There is limited financial aid for Pell Grant eligible students who enroll in 1-5 credits. To be a full-time student (for insurance purposes, for example) you must enroll in 12 credits or more each semester.
Do my grades matter?
Yes, the government has strict academic standards for students. To remain eligible for financial aid, you must pass 67% of your attempted courses and earn a minimum of a 2.0 (C) grade point average. You must also complete your program of study within 150% of the program length. For example, if your associate degree program is 60 credits long, you must finish the program before attempting a total of 90 credits (60 x 150 = 90). Financial aid will only cover courses required for completion of your current degree or certificate program. Once a passing grade is received in a course, it can only be repeated one additional time with financial aid coverage. Withdrawing from classes will affect the aid you receive during the semester and future financial aid eligibility. Only enroll in the number of classes that you feel you can complete.
I need help filling out my FAFSA and documents. Who do I contact?
Students can make appointments with The North Central Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) by calling 978-630-9823. The EOC and Financial Aid Office are two separate offices with different purposes. The EOC is a grant funded program that provides students with assistance getting into college; including completing financial aid applications and follow- up paper work. The Financial Aid Office reviews financial aid applications, processes all financial aid paperwork, upholds federal regulations and college policies regarding financial aid, and completes all financial aid awards. If you need assistance completing paperwork it is recommended to make an appointment with the EOC.
How much financial aid will I receive?
Your financial aid eligibility is determined by a standard federal formula that measures your family’s ability to pay for your education. The results of this formula are used to provide a financial aid package that will consist of any grants, scholarships and loans that you may qualify for. The goal of the Financial Aid Office is to offer adequate financial aid funds to assist with tuition, fee and book expenses. A community college education is an affordable higher educational option, and we strive to graduate students with low overall educational debt. We discourage borrowing for additional expenses whenever possible.
What is Buttonwood?
Mount Wachusett Community College has partnered with Higher One to offer the Everfi “Buttonwood” financial literacy program online. This interactive course can be accessed via iConnect and offers students 7 modules about personal financial management topics. Completion of the program will provide participating students with the knowledge and tools necessary to manage their personal finances and student loans. Completion of the Buttonwood program is mandated for students seeking to borrow student loans in greater than average amounts.
Release of Information (FERPA)
Due to strict federal privacy laws, college personnel cannot release billing information, financial aid status, awards, grades, etc. to anyone other than the student. Students can obtain all data on-line on our Web Connect system. Students may complete a RECORD INFORMATION WAIVER available from the MWCC Records Office. The waiver releases specific information to specific person(s) for a one-year time period.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool
www.fafsa.gov allows applicants to access their IRS tax information and have it automatically inserted into their FAFSA. Not all individuals will be able to use the IRS data retrieval (such as someone who amended his/her tax returns or filed separately from his/her spouse.) The IRS data retrieval will save time and confusion, so we recommend using it if you are eligible. If you are selected for verification and did not use the IRS data retrieval, the Financial Aid Office will be unable to accept copies of your federal tax returns. Official tax transcripts from the IRS will be required of students selected for verification. You can obtain a tax transcript by calling 1-800-908-9946 or go to www.IRS.gov and click on the “Get Transcript for My Tax Records” link.