FAQ’s and Resources

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The North Central Educational Opportunity Center (NCEOC) team at MWCC provides free and confidential financial aid, and academic, and career counseling for adults living in the 29 cities and towns of North Central Massachusetts. Students hoping to apply for MassReconnect are also eligible for support from the NCEOC team. You don’t have to go it alone, we’re here to help!

Visit the FAFSA website and create an FSA ID (username and password) for you and your parent, if required. If you have a Federal Student Aid PIN, you will be able to enter it and link it to your FSA ID. You can still create an FSA ID if you have forgotten or do not have a PIN. Keep your FSA ID in a safe place as you will need it each year to sign your FAFSA. Apply as early as possible as early applicants have access to the most funding sources. The FAFSA is now available beginning on October 1 prior to the academic year. The deadline for the Massachusetts State Grant is May 1, however, we recommend you complete the FAFSA no later than April 1. You MUST re-apply each year!

Be sure to list the Federal School Code for MWCC: 002172

You must:

  • 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.

It takes a few 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 Office of Financial Aid. Once your file is complete and financial aid is awarded, we will send a notice to your MWCC email account so you may view your award online on MWCC Web Connect. No award letter or additional mail will be sent to you; everything is online!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 online on our Web Connect system. Students may complete a Student Record Information Waiver available from the MWCC Records Office or found in the Forms and Documents folder on iConnect. The waiver releases specific information to a specific person(s) for a one-year time period.

Applicants filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can manually provide the requested financial information from copies of their tax returns. The online FAFSA remains operational, and applicants can continue filing the FAFSA as they normally would.

If you are selected for verification and did not originally 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 online or by calling 1-800-908-9946.