Information for Parents and Guardians

Parent Information Page images

Starting college is an exciting time, but we also know the transition can be a source of uncertainty for both students and their families. To help families in supporting their students, we created this page of helpful information covering a variety of topics such as campus resources and programs, college life, and paying for college. As a parent or family member, your support is key to your student’s success at Manchester Community College,  so we encourage you to review the information provided below. Welcome to MCC!

Looking for enrichment programs for your elementary, middle school or high school student? Explore Excursions in Learning.

Applying to MCC

Is there an admissions deadline for MCC?
MCC accepts applications year-round though, close to the start of a semester, the ability to apply online may be limited. Future students can apply online on the college’s student information system – myCommNet – and learn more about the admission process on the college’s website. While most new students start in the fall, there is no barrier to a student beginning at MCC in the spring semester.  
What is needed to apply?
In addition to the application, there is a one-time, non-refundable $20 application fee and required proof of measles/rubella, mumps and varicella immunizations. 
How is my child's placement at MCC determined?
MCC requires all incoming students to take math and English placement tests in order to best determine their level of study. Those who have taken the SAT may be granted an exemption.
Is MCC a part of any programs that would allow my child to earn college credit while still in high school?
MCC is part of both the College Career Pathways program and the High School Partnership program. The High School Partnership program is available to high school juniors and/or seniors with a “B” average or higher who wish to study subjects not offered by their high school, broaden their education, earn college credits, explore career options or build on their skills. For more information, contact a participating high school’s guidance department or MCC’s Admissions department at 860-512-3210. Additionally, MCC accepts Advancement Placement test scores for credit. More information is available in the college catalog.
My child has been home schooled. Is there anything special I should know?
Applicants to MCC who have completed home schooling must meet the same requirements as any other applicant. In addition, the applicant must submit either a federal or state equivalency diploma or a summary of the secondary program of study they pursued, and a certificate of successful completion thereof, signed by the parent or other provider of the homeschooling. Applicants who have attended a secondary school must also submit a copy of that transcript, whether or not they may have graduated from there. Applicants who are in the process of home schooling, but who have not as yet completed the equivalent of a high school education, should contact the Admissions office at 860-512-3215.
How can I find out more about MCC?
The Admissions office offers monthly information sessions as well as weekly tours. Each spring, a college-wide open house is held, and future students and their families are welcome to attend to find out more about admissions, financial aid and program offerings. The college website also has a wealth of information and parents can contact the Admissions office at 860-512-3215 at any time for assistance.  

Tuition and Payment

How much does it cost to attend MCC?
For Connecticut residents, the cost to attend MCC full-time is $2,104 per semester (Non-residents: $6,272.00). For more detailed information on tuition and fees, including part-time study, see the Tuition and Fees page.
What forms of payment do you accept?
At the Bursar’s (Cashier) window, next to the Cougar Cave, we accept cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. Non-cash payments can be made outside office hours using the Drop Box that is next to the window. Visa, Mastercard, and Discover payments are also accepted online on myCommNet.
What other options are available to pay my child’s tuition and fees?
Prior to registering for classes, your child must establish a method of payment. During approximately the first six weeks of registration, fees are due at the time of registration; after that date, tuition and fees are due.   Financial aid awards (please review Financial Aid FAQs below for more information), scholarships, or veteran’s benefits may all be available. Payment may also be made on an installment plan through the student information system, myCommNet. If your child’s financial aid award doesn’t cover all the expenses, the remainder can be financed through the installment plan. Your child may authorize you to view bills, make payment, and even sign up for the plan.
What is the deadline for payment and how can my child avoid being dropped?
Payment is expected at the time of registration. You child should not register until he has arranged for payment, either in full or installment plan. If your child will be using financial aid, we encourage him to start the process early so that he can use his award to cover tuition and fees. If your child is struggling to make payment, please encourage him to contact the Bursar’s Office staff to explore the options for financing his education.
What’s the difference between general fund and credit extension tuition?
 General fund and credit extension courses are both credit-bearing offerings. However, since their funding source differs, they are governed by separate fee schedules. Tuition charges are typically associated with credit courses offered during the fall and spring semesters. Extension fees apply to accelerated credit classes, which are 3- 6-, 8- and 12-weeks in length and offered during the summer and winter terms,  as well as in fall and spring. Extension courses have stringent guidelines for withdrawal. For example, once an extension course meets there can be no refund of tuition.
My child withdrew from a course before the class even met. Will he receive a refund?
College service and student activity fees are non-refundable. Tuition charges are 100% refundable, but only if you drop your class before the first day of the semester, which may take place before the first day of your class.
My child never attended the class. Does she really still owe the charges?
Yes, she still owes the charges. Charges are based on the number of credits you register for, not the number of credits you complete. Failure to attend is not considered an official drop or withdrawal. Once she registers, she’s obliged to pay for all charges whether she attends the class or not. In addition, not attending and not withdrawing frequently result in a grade of “F”, which can lead to probation or suspension status.
When and how will my child receive a refund?
Refunds are automatically paid by check at the end of the official add/drop period or, if receiving financial aid, after the disbursement date unless we are directed otherwise. Checks are processed in Hartford and mailed to the student’s permanent mailing address on file in the Registrar’s Office . To assure prompt payment, students are encouraged to verify their permanent contact information, including address, phone number(s) and personal email on myCommNet.

Financial Aid and FAFSA

What is FERPA and why won't anyone talk to me?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Schools must have written permission from the student in order to release any information from a student’s education record to the parent, including financial aid information.Students may use the FERPA Release Form if they would like to give permission for the college to release their financial aid information to a parent.
What is financial aid?
The first step to apply for financial aid is to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at www.fafsa.gov. The application is free. Please be sure to go to the official website, as there are some sites which will ask for a fee, To ensure that MCC receives the FAFSA, be sure to add our school code 001392. In most cases, students who are under age 24 are considered dependent students, and must include parents’ information, even if they do not live with parents. The following information is necessary for completing the FAFSA:

  • Federal tax return for you and your student
  • W-2 forms for non-filers
  • Records of other untaxed income, such as welfare benefits, social security,
    Snap, TANF
  • Veteran’s benefits, or military or clergy allowances
  • Business or farm records
  • Permanent resident card for students who are non-citizens

Parents and student must have a PIN to sign the FAFSA. Please apply for a PIN at www.pin.gov. Keep this PIN, as you will use this same PIN to sign the FAFSA every year.

What happens after we complete the FAFSA?
After the FAFSA is completed, the student will receive an email acknowledgement from the processor within a few days. MCC will receive the information from the processor electronically within 1-2 weeks. From the information on the FAFSA, an EFC (estimated family contribution) is calculated which determines eligibility. Sometimes the Financial Aid office is able to determine a student’s eligibility and award financial aid at this time; other times, more documentation is needed. Students receive emails at their MCC email address notifying them of missing documents, so it is important for them to check their email. Students are able also to view which documents are missing on myCommNet.
What does it mean to be selected for verification?
Some students are selected by the federal processor to be verified. This is done randomly. If your child is selected for verification, the Financial Aid office is required to collect documentation, which may include a verification worksheet, tax returns from the IRS, proof of Snap benefits, etc. Students are able to see what documents are needed on myCommNet. All of the forms are available online on the Form Depot page. After the student gives all of the required documents to the financial aid office, the verification process should be completed in 3-5 business days. Often the Financial Aid staff must make corrections to the information on the FAFSA based on the documentation provided. Once it is completed, students are then awarded, if eligible, and they may see and accept their financial aid award on myCommNet.
Can the financial aid award be used to purchase books?
If students have financial aid in excess of the amount due for tuition and fees, they may use their remaining financial aid at the bookstore for books. In order to purchase books using their financial aid, students’ files must be complete (all documents received and corrected, if needed,) and the award must be accepted online, on myCommNet.
What if payment is due and my child has not been awarded financial aid?
If your child is registered for classes and payment is due, but financial aid has not been awarded, payment arrangements must be made at the Bursars’ Office . A payment plan is available. If your child is awarded financial aid after a payment has been made, he/she will be reimbursed.

Calendar

On what day do classes begin and end for the Fall and the Spring semesters?
Classes for the fall semester begin August 29, 2016 and end December 9, 2016. Spring 2017 classes begin on January 19 and end on May 8, 2017. Please see the academic calendar for more information.
Does MCC offer a summer term?
Yes! MCC offers convenient summer sessions to meet the needs of all students. When available, the most recent summer catalog may be found on the Catalogs & Calendars page.
When do final exams begin and end for the Fall and the Spring semesters?
Final exams for the fall semester 2016 begin on December 10 and end December 16, 2016. Spring 2017 final exams begin May 9 and end May 15, 2017.
What holidays does the college observe?
The academic calendar lists the holidays during which MCC is closed or classes will not be held.
On what day is graduation and where is it held?
The 2017 Commencement will be held on May 25 at the Bicentennial Band Shell. Information for students and their families will be posted to the Commencement webpage when it becomes available. In case of rain, only one Commencement Ceremony will be held inside the MCC’s SBM Charitable Foundation Auditorium. Only two guests per graduate will be admitted by rain ticket.

Health and Safety

What steps can my child take to ensure his personal safety on campus?
Your child is strongly encouraged to always be aware of his surroundings, not leave valuables (especially, textbooks, phones, and mobile devices) unattended, and to keep car doors locked at all times. Students who alone on campus and feel uncomfortable walking to their cars can contact the MCC Police at 860-512-3680 for an escort.
Do you offer health insurance for students?
Students are automatically covered for accidents on-or off-campus during events sponsored by the college. Students may also purchase an optional, affordable 24-hour accident and health insurance plan with dependent coverage. Information about the policy and applications are available in the Dean of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management office. Please note that under the Affordable Care Act students are eligible to remain on their parents’ health insurance policy through the age of 26.
Where can I find reports required for compliance with the Student Right-to-Know Act?
According to the Student Right-to-Know Act (P.L. 101-542) of 1990, colleges and universities that administer Federal Title IV funds must disclose certain information (e.g., Clery Act reports, Fact Books, Financial Aid) to prospective and enrolled students, parents and employees. The Student Right-to-Know Act page on the MCC website provides simple way to access all of the required information from one point.

Courses of Study, Credits, and Degrees

What is a credit and how many credits make up a course?
All courses are measured in credits, which are generally equal to hours. For example, a three credit course meets for approximately three hours per week. Most courses are three credits, but can range from one credit to six credits. Lab courses are often four credits, with three hours of lecture and three hours of lab. Lab hours are usually more per credit, with most labs being 2-3 hours.
What is the semester and how many semesters does it take to graduate?
A semester is how courses are grouped. MCC runs two 15-week semesters, the fall (August-December) and spring (January-May). We also run winter (3-week) summer (3-, 6- and 8- week) sessions that are accelerated offerings. Accelerated courses (8- and 12-week) are also offered during the fall and spring. Students who are highly motivated and don’t have many other responsibilities are able to complete an associate degree in four semesters, although that is not required or even “usual”.
What is a major? How does a student choose a major? What if my child wants to change their major?
A major is the course of study, such as criminal justice or environmental science. MCC offers majors in more than 40 areas. Students choose a major based upon their goals and interests. Students often change majors, and this is easily done with the help of an academic advisor or faculty member. Curriculum sheets, which list the courses required to complete an associate’s degree or certificate, are available online in the course catalog or within Advising and Counseling Services, located in the Student Services Center in L120. If your child has not decided on a major, he or she should contact Advising and Counseling Services at (860) 512-3320 to schedule an appointment.
What is Academic Advising?
Academic Advising is a process by which an academic advisor, whether it be a professional academic advisor, faculty advisor, or program coordinator, meets with the student to discuss the student’s short and long-term educational goals. The advisor will assist in determining the sequencing of required courses in the student’s program of study/major, help resolve potential holds in the student’s account, and select the appropriate courses for each semester.  As students progress through their degree or certificate program, advisors are also able to perform a curriculum check  of their unofficial transcripts to determine exactly what remaining courses need to be completed to fulfill degree requirements. Advisors provide encouragement, as needed, and refer students to support services within the college. For more information about advising programs and special events, visit the Advising and Counseling web page.
What are my child's responsibilities in the academic advising process?
One of the most important responsibilities is keeping scheduled appointments.  If your child is not able to keep an appointment, he or she should contact the advisor by phone or email as soon as possible. Your child should be prepared with any relevant information (unofficial transcript, etc.) to ensure the appointment will be productive, as well as any questions that will help him or her make informed decisions. Your child should also keep the academic advisor abreast of any new developments that may prevent him/her from being a successful student. Students should aim to meet with an advisor once per semester. If the student plans to transfer to a four-year institution, he or she is highly encouraged to meet with an academic advisor early on and continue to do so throughout his or her course of study at MCC. 
What is a GPA?
GPA is the student’s grade point average. It is a number that equates to the grades earned in a class over time. At MCC, the highest GPA that a student can earn is a 4.0 which means that the student has earned an “A” in every class.
What is the syllabus? Why is it important?
The syllabus, or course outline, is the agreement between the professor and the class about what material will be learned, the classroom policies and procedures, and the grading system. Each professor develops their own way of teaching the class in line with the course objectives. Students must pay close attention to the syllabus because it will differ in each class and it will explain how students earn their grades in the class.
Is there tutoring available for my student?
The college offers free tutoring for students provided by professional tutors. This is a great option for all students. Tutoring appointments and walk-in hours are offered by the Academic Support Center.
What is the homework like? What about tests and make-up work?
Homework in college is very different than homework in high school! Usually student  grades are not as dependent upon handing in homework for a grade, but students must complete a good deal of work at home to be successful in a class. Students are expected to do 2-3 hours of work outside of class for each hour spent in class. Being a student is a full time job! Make-up work in college is not usually allowed. Most professors build into their grading system a way to accommodate for a missed assignment.
Can I contact my child’s professor?
Professors are not allowed to speak to anyone but the student about the students’ progress or situation in a class. This is a federal law (see FERPA section). So the short answer is no, you really should not contact the professor – this is a good opportunity for your student to be independent and to advocate for themselves!
What about attendance?
Attendance does not count for a grade, but professors are united in the belief that attendance is mandatory if a student expects to be successful in college.
What are developmental courses? Why must a student take a course which does not earn credit?
Developmental courses are non-credit courses that must be taken in order to progress to college level work. Sometimes students need a refresher of high school material or need to learn something that was missing in their previous education.
What is a prerequisite or corequisite course?
Prerequisites are courses that are required to provide foundational skills and knowledge before a student can take a higher-level course. Prerequisites are important to student success and are usually required because faculty have found that, without the previous knowledge base, students cannot understand or apply the information in their class. Corequisite courses are those that must be taken concurrently.
Can a course be taken more than once?
Students may take a course up to three times. If a student is not successful after those attempts, there is academic advising and counseling available to assist students in looking at their options.
How does my child withdraw from a class? Is that a good thing or bad thing to do?
Every semester, there is a deadline to withdraw from the class without financial or academic penalty. If a student withdraws, they will generally lose their time spent and their tuition dollars. This is generally not a good thing to do but, due to extenuating circumstances, there are times when it must be done. Good advice can be gotten from the professor in the class or an academic advisor. Sometimes, there are also financial aid implications to withdrawal from class, so this too must be considered. If a student fails to withdraw by the deadline, the student’s grade will reflect what the student has earned in the class.
What about things like disciplinary action, probation or dismissal from the college?
Students who are involved in disciplinary action will work through the Dean of Student Affairs Office to remedy the situation. The Student Handbook outlines the policies related to these topics, and the college will contact the student to meet about these situations if they apply.

Programs, Academic Support Services and Office Contacts

What programs does MCC offer for first-time college students?
MCC offers several programs to support your new college student. The FIRST program (Foundations in Retention Success and Transition) was designed specifically for first-time, full-time students. The STARS program (Student Training and Retention Service) is designed for first-generation students who may be under-prepared and may need a little help transitioning to MCC. The college also offers mentoring programs for African American and Latin students to support their academic success. First-time students may also take advantage of MCC’s First Year Experience course (IDS101), a three-credit course that introduces new students to skills that are essential to college success. IDS101 is a required course for all students enrolled in the General Studies degree program.
My child is very motivated and a high achiever. What programs does the college offer to keep her challenged and engaged?
In order to meet the educational goals of those students who wish a unique and specialized academic experience, MCC offers the Honors College. Students in the Honors College have an opportunity to investigate topics of interest, conduct research, work on special projects, and actively share this learning process with other classmates and their professors. Students also have the opportunity to graduate from MCC ‘with honors’ and have this noted on their transcripts and diploma.

Students who have established a GPA of 3.75 or above and have earned 12 credit hours at MCC are extended an invitation to join Phi Theta Kappa. Phi Theta Kappa is the only internationally acclaimed honor society for colleges offering associate degrees.

If my child needs some extra support in his courses, where can she go for help?
Students who are struggling in a course are strongly encouraged to speak to their instructors about the options available for getting help with their coursework. They can also take advantage of academic tutoring, both on campus and online, offered by the Academic Support Center. The ASC also offers help with writing and math.Your child can bolster her study skills by attending a “Quick Tips” workshop (schedule on the ASC website), which are held on Mondays and Tuesdays from 11-11:30 a.m. during the semester. If your child needs help with a research assignment, he or she can chat with a librarian 24/7, through the Library’s Ask a Librarian service.

If your child has physical, learning or psychological disability, then we encourage her to meet with a disability specialist in Disability Services. The specialist will review supporting documentation of a disability and determine the type of academic accommodations that MCC will provide.

My child doesn't have his own computer or printer at home. Are there computers he can use?
MCC has computers available for students to use in the Open Computer Labs, Library, and Academic Support Center. The Library loans calculators, iPads and laptops. iPads and laptops can be borrowed for two days at a time. Printing, scanning and photocopying are available in all three locations. The cost is $.08 per page for black and white prints and photocopies, $.25 per page for color (Library only), and $.02 per page for scans. Each semester the Computer Repair and Share Club has a student lottery for upwards of 50 free laptops and desktops that are given away to our students. Students taking a computer, technical or engineering class may even be eligible for free software.
If students want to find a job on campus, where should they look? Is there an office on campus to help them with a job search?
There are many student employment opportunities at MCC. Openings are posted on the College Central Network.  Most positions are tied to the work-study program, but there may be a limited number of positions available for students that are not eligible for financial aid. The Career Services office runs regularly scheduled job search skills workshops, organizes job and volunteer fairs, and coordinates alumni career panels, on-campus recruitment opportunities and various career-focused special events throughout the year.