Financial Aid Information

Student Financial Aid

The objective of the financial aid program at Middlesex Community College is to provide financial assistance to students who, without such assistance, would be unable to attend the College. Financial aid is any grant, loan, or employment offered as part of a “package” to meet college expenses. It is based on the student’s calculated “need” as determined by the federal needs analysis system. Students awarded aid will receive notification via the college assigned email address and will be directed to view their financial aid award on the myCommNet Self Service portal.

How to Apply

To be considered for financial assistance, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), each academic year. The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The application process begins January 1 for the academic year that begins in August. The results of the federal need analysis system are transmitted to the College, and are also sent to the student in the form of a Student Aid Report (SAR) via email or regular mail. Students should check the SAR for accuracy. If any information is inaccurate, the student should make a correction to the application immediately.

The Federal Processor selects approximately 30% of all applications for verification, to determine the accuracy of the information submitted on the FAFSA. The Financial Aid Services Office may also select applications for verification, if it has reason to believe that an error has been made, or has conflicting information. If selected for verification, a student will be asked to provide additional information such as IRS Tax Transcripts, a Verification Form, as well as other documents and forms. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Financial aid is not automatically renewed each year. To be considered for aid from one academic year to the next, students must reapply. The amount and type of aid programs awarded are contingent upon the family’s financial situation each year, and the funding sources that are available.

Application Priority Deadlines

Students are expected to complete the annual financial aid application within the published timeframe. All students are encouraged to file well in advance of those dates. Late applications will be processed based on the availability of funds at the time the application is reviewed:

August 1           Fall and Spring Semesters

December 1       Spring Semester Only

May 1               Summer Term

Description of Financial Aid Programs

Grants

Grants are gifts of aid to students, which normally would not have to be repaid. However, if a student completely withdraws from classes before the 60 percent point of the semester, the student will owe a partial repayment to the Federal government for any Title IV funds received (Federal PELL Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)),* and Federal Direct Loans. Other available grants include the Governor’s Need-Based Scholarship and Middlesex Community College (MxCC) Grant.
*For more detailed information, please see Return of Title IV Funds Policy in this catalog or contact the Financial Aid Office.

Federal Pell Grant 

The program provides need-based grants to low income undergraduates, to promote access to postsecondary education. The amount of money a student can receive is dependent upon the program funding for the year, the family’s expected family contribution, cost of attendance, and whether the student is enrolled full–time or part–time. The student must be in an aid eligible degree or certificate program. A student is eligible for the Pell Grant until a first bachelor’s degree is earned. Please note that students are limited to 6 years of full-time Pell Grant eligibility (or its equivalent).

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The FSEOG Program provides grants to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s degree and demonstrate exceptional need. Exceptional need is defined as those students who are Pell eligible and exhibit the lowest estimated family contributions (EFC) at the College.

Governor’s Need-Based Scholarship   

The program provides need-based grants to Connecticut residents who are enrolled full-time or part-time and are pursuing their first associate degree. Applicants must have an EFC equal to or below the eligible cutoff, as determined by the Office of Higher Education. Students must be enrolled in a degree program.

MxCC Grant

The program, which is funded by the College, provides need-based grants to Connecticut residents who demonstrate need and have not earned a bachelor’s degree. Students must be enrolled in an aid eligible degree or certificate program.

Loans

All loans certified and issued by the college must be repaid. Loans are repaid with accrued interest. Eligibility for loans is not automatic. Students interested in borrowing loans, must contact the Financial Aid Services Office directly.

Federal Direct Loan Program

This loan is also known as the Stafford Loan. Students who apply for federal student loans will be awarded either a subsidized or unsubsidized loan based on financial need. Students must be enrolled in at least six credits and maintain satisfactory academic progress. During the in-school period, interest is paid by the federal government on subsidized loans. Interest on unsubsidized loans will accrue from the time the loan is disbursed to the student. Students will have the option of paying the interest while in school or deferring the interest until repayment is required. Repayment begins six months after the student graduates or ceases attendance at the College. Students must complete the FAFSA in order to apply for a Direct Loan.

Parents may choose to borrow the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for students enrolled at least half-time. Eligibility is based upon an approved credit check. Students must complete the FAFSA to apply for the PLUS loan.

Federal Work–Study

Students may be awarded a Federal Work-Study award as part of their financial aid package. This federal program provides funds for students to be employed while enrolled, at least half-time, in an eligible program of study. Students may gain part-time work experience through employment opportunities at the Middletown campus, Meriden Center, or through the Community Service Program (typically off-campus).

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Recipients

A student receiving Federal Title IV financial aid or other financial aid directly administered or certified by the college must maintain satisfactory academic progress towards the completion of a certificate or degree program of study. Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid recipients is measured by using a quantitative and qualitative standard and is an assessment of a student’s cumulative academic record at the college.

A student must successfully complete two-thirds (66.66 percent) of the credits (earned credits/attempted credits) s/he attempts. All attempted credits resulting in either an academic grade or administrative transcript notation will be included in the quantitative calculation. Incomplete courses, course withdrawals, course repetitions, noncredit remedial courses (with appropriate credit equivalency evaluation), and ESL courses will also be included in this assessment. Transfer credits will be counted as attempted and earned credits in the calculation for determining satisfactory academic progress.

A student must also maintain a cumulative minimum grade point average (qualitative standard) as noted below in order to be making satisfactory academic progress and be eligible to receive financial aid.

Earned Credits Minumum GPA
      <=15.99          1.50
       >=16.00          2.00

A student’s cumulative academic history will be evaluated at the end of each enrollment period and prior to the subsequent term’s financial aid disbursement. This policy will be used to evaluate all students; regardless of their enrollment level.

Repeated/Audit Coursework

Financial aid recipients are limited to one repetition of a previously passed course in their program of study. A second repetition of a previously passed course will not be eligible for financial aid payment. Audit courses are not financial aid eligible.

Maximum Credit Hours

A student may receive financial aid for any attempted credits in his/her program of study that do not exceed 150% of the published length of the student’s educational program at the college. For example, a student enrolled in a 60-credit degree program may receive financial aid for a maximum of 90 attempted credit hours. Similarly, a student enrolled in a 30-credit certificate program may receive financial aid for a maximum of 45 attempted credit hours. Any attempted credits at the college must be included in the calculation. The 150% maximum credit hours rule is applicable to students who change majors or who pursue a double major.

Communication

A student will receive notification prior to the start of a period of enrollment via postal mail or email that will describe any changes to the status of their academic progress. Updates to academic progress standing may also be made available to students through the use of myCommNet online access (http://my.commnet.edu).

Financial Aid Warning

Any student who fails to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. The Warning period will be the student’s next semester or period of enrollment at the college. The college will communicate the Warning status to the student and inform the student that s/he must meet the academic progress standard by the end of the subsequent enrollment period in order to maintain eligibility to participate in the financial aid programs at the college.

Termination

Any student who fails to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard at the end of the Warning period will become ineligible from the financial aid programs at the college. The college will communicate the Termination status to the student and inform the student of the available Reinstatement and Appeal Process.

Reinstatement Policy

A student’s financial aid eligibility will be automatically reinstated at such time as the student meets the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard. Reinstatement to the financial aid programs may also occur upon a successful appeal by the student (see Appeal Process below).

Financial Aid Probation

Any student who fails to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard at the end of the Warning period will become ineligible from the financial aid programs at the college. Ineligible students have the opportunity to file an appeal regarding their termination from the financial aid programs. Students that have failed the academic progress standard and have been approved with a successful appeal will be considered on Financial Aid Probation.

Appeal Process

A student may request consideration for reinstatement to the financial aid programs through the following Appeal Process:

If the student feels his/her failure to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standard was the result of an unusual or extraordinary situation that affected successful progression, the student may appeal to the Financial Aid Office. Some personal mitigating circumstances could include illness or injury of the student or dependent of the student; a death in the family; or other undue hardship as the result of special circumstances. An appeal form is available in the Financial Aid Office.

To provide consistency in decision-making, a Financial Aid Appeals Committee will make all appeal decisions in a timely manner after the receipt of the appeal form. The student must: 1) explain the extenuating circumstances causing the non-compliance; 2) substantiate it with third party documentation, (i.e. letter from the doctor who treated the student); and 3) give a detailed explanation of specifically what has changed that will allow satisfactory progress to be demonstrated at the next evaluation.

Should an appeal be approved and the student is not mathematically able to return to satisfactory academic progress at the conclusion of subsequent enrollment period, the Financial Aid Appeals Committee will devise an appropriate academic plan for the upcoming semester with the student. For example, the terms of an academic plan may be as follows:

  1. Register and successfully complete a minimum of six (6) credits; and
  2. Successfully complete these courses with a minimum GPA of 2.0.

At the end of the semester, grades will be evaluated. If the student has met the required terms of the academic plan, the student may continue to receive financial aid the following semester. If the student fails to meet the terms of the academic plan in any subsequent semester, the student will become ineligible to participate in the financial aid programs until the student is able to once again meet the minimum requirements for academic progress. The student’s progress will continue to be monitored at the end of each semester with the same terms in place until the student is in compliance with Connecticut Community Colleges’ satisfactory academic progress policy.

If the student’s appeal is denied and the student is already registered for the upcoming semester, the student is responsible for any monies owed to the college. If the student pays for the next semester and successfully completes all classes with a GPA of 2.0 or better, the student may appeal again after that semester.

Withdrawal from Classes

Financial aid is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws or stops attending, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of the aid that the student was paid or scheduled to receive. Withdrawals from courses after the semester begins will have a negative impact on the student’s academic progress and future financial aid eligibility. Students who never attend classes are ineligible to receive any financial aid that was awarded for the academic period. Students who plan to withdraw from any classes must complete the appropriate Withdrawal Form available in the Records Office, and report to the Financial Aid Services Office. Please refer to the section on “Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients” and the “Return of Title IV Funds” policies for “Official” and “Unofficial” Withdrawals.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy for Official Withdrawals

Students who received, or are eligible to receive, federal Title IV financial aid funds, and officially withdraw from all classes, prior to the 60 percent point in the semester, are subject to a pro-rated calculation to determine the amount of earned and unearned Title IV aid they are eligible to receive. Any unearned portion of Title IV aid must be returned to the Title IV program(s). This is the responsibility of the student. If the student owes a refund to any federal aid program, the student is not eligible to receive Title IV funds, and possibly other forms of financial aid, until this is resolved. The Title IV programs include the Federal Pell and FSEOG grants and Direct Loans.

The formula is as follows:
The percentage of Title IV aid earned equals the number of days in attendance, divided by the number of days in the semester, times the amount of Title IV aid received. The unearned Title IV aid is calculated by deducting the amount of Title IV aid earned from the total amount of Title IV aid received. Any student allowances are deducted from this amount to determine the amounts to be returned to the Title IV programs, per federal regulations.

Owing a refund to one or more of the Title IV programs, will result in the student having an outstanding debt to the College. This is the student’s financial responsibility. The student will be notified in writing, according to federal regulations, of the amount of earned and unearned Title IV aid and the amount of outstanding debt to the College. The student is responsible for contacting the institution to make satisfactory repayment arrangements to Title IV programs and the institution. All funds will be returned to the appropriate Title IV funds according to federal regulations.

Students who withdraw from classes beyond the 60 percent point in the semester will have earned 100 percent of the Title IV financial aid and will not owe a refund to any financial aid programs.

Return of Funds Policy for Unofficial Withdrawals for Title IV Student Aid Recipients

Students who withdraw from all classes without officially notifying the College (by completing the appropriate withdrawal paperwork), and do not pass any classes for the semester, will be considered unofficial withdrawals. The student will be considered to have attended 50 percent of the semester. The Financial Aid Services Office will recalculate the federal financial aid eligibility, based on the required federal formula. Owing a refund to one or more of the Title IV programs, will result in the student having an outstanding debt to the College. This is the student’s financial responsibility. The student will be notified in writing, of the amount of earned and unearned Title IV aid and the amount of outstanding debt to the College. The student is responsible for contacting the institution to make satisfactory repayment arrangements to Title IV programs and the institution. All funds will be returned to the appropriate Title IV program in accordance with federal regulations.

Student Responsibility
  • Pay special attention to your FAFSA application. Complete it accurately and submit it by the published deadline date. Errors can prevent or delay the receipt of financial aid.
  • Provide all required documentation, forms, and/or new information requested by either the Financial Aid Office or the agency to which you submitted your application.
  • Read and understand all forms that you are asked to sign, and retain a file copy.
  • Accept responsibility for signed promissory note and all other agreements that you sign.
  • If you have a loan, you are responsible for repayment. Notify the loan servicer of changes in your name, address or school status.
  • If you withdraw from classes, follow the proper institutional procedures, notify Financial Aid Services and repay any refunds due to federal financial aid programs.
  • Perform, in a satisfactory manner, the work that is agreed upon when accepting a college work–study job.
  • Know and comply with the deadlines for application. Re-file the FAFSA each academic year.
  • If financial aid funds are not applied due to an incomplete application, or if financial aid funds do not pay the student’s entire costs for attending MxCC, the financial responsibility for debts owed to the institution is the student’s responsibility.
Financial Aid Refund Checks

Financial Aid student refund checks for grant aid and student loan checks are scheduled for disbursement approximately one month into each semester for which the student received Financial Aid. The student must be currently attending classes, and the student’s financial aid file must be complete, with all necessary documentation, prior to the release of refund checks.

Scholarships

The MxCC Foundation annually awards scholarships to eligible students at its Scholarship Reception, which is usually held in early May. To be considered, students must apply. Winners are selected by the foundation’s Scholarship Committee.

Scholarship applications are posted on the foundation’s website (www.mxccfoundation.org) and distributed at prominent locations throughout campus, normally at the beginning of each spring semester. The application form lists criteria and required materials that must accompany a completed application. A strict deadline for receipt of applications is noted on the application form. Please see the Foundation Scholarship Application and web site for specific details and a complete list of available scholarships.

Private Scholarship and Financial Aid Resource Information

An extensive listing of financial assistance information and private scholarship information can be found on the college’s website. Examples of websites that are highly recommended include the following:

www.fastweb.com
www.studentaid.ed.gov
www.collegeboard.com
www.finaid.org
www.wiredscholar.com

American Opportunity Tax Credit

The American Opportunity Tax Credit allows students or parents to reduce their federal income tax by as much as $2500 per student for tuition, fees, books and supplies expenses not covered by financial aid grants. For more information, please contact the Internal Revenue Service or your tax preparer.

Lifetime Learning Credit

Taxpayers may be able to claim a tax credit up to $2000 for qualified education expenses. For more information, please contact the Internal Revenue Service or your tax preparer.

Connecticut Talent Assistance Cooperative (CONNTAC)

CONNTAC is a federally funded program in the state of Connecticut that provides free educational counseling and support services to individuals throughout the state who demonstrate financial, academic, cultural, or social need. Eligibility to use these services is determined by the CONNTAC Counselor. Colleges will waive the Admissions application fee for students referred by CONNTAC. Connecticut high school students can obtain further information about CONNTAC from their high school counselors or the college’s Admissions Office. For additional information, call the CONNTAC Counselor at the Middletown Campus at 860-343-5800, ext. 6999, or the Meriden Center at 203-238-6202.

Other

The Dean of Students is authorized to modify the tuition refund policy for specific students on a case-by-case basis under the following extenuating or extraordinary circumstances:

  • Severe illness documented by a doctor’s certificate
  • Erroneous advisement by the College
  • Military transfer