Financial Aid Policies

Due to the nature of financial aid, there are many different policies in place to help protect you in the best way possible. We also have policies regarding academics, progress, refunds, and privacy to name a few.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 helps protect the privacy of student education records. Read more about FERPA.

Withdrawal Policy

During the first 14 calendar days of the semester, courses that a student drops or courses for which a student receives a refund will be removed from the student’s schedule and will not appear on his/her transcript. After 14 days, a student who wishes to withdraw from any course must obtain a withdrawal form from the Registrar’s office or withdraw online by the withdraw deadline. After the deadline, a student who wishes to withdraw from a course(s) must obtain an Instructor Approval Course Withdrawal form from the Registrar’s office or academic offices. A request for a withdrawal after the deadline does not guarantee an approval. Be sure to check with the Registrar’s office for specific deadline dates each semester.

Credit extension courses have different withdrawal policies. Please refer to the Withdrawal and Refund Policies.

Add/Drop, Census, and Late Start Courses

Once the semester begins, there is a short period of time called “Add/Drop,” typically only the first week of classes, when students are allowed to make schedule changes.  Once Add/Drop ends, the Registrar and the Financial Aid Office take a snapshot of the enrollment for all students.  This is called the “census” or “enrollment freeze” date.  Financial aid disbursements are based on the enrollment credits frozen at the census date.

Students should be cautious during the Add/Drop period, as their enrollment status and financial aid eligibility could change when courses are added, dropped, withdrawn, or substituted.  Students should always check with the Financial Aid Office before making any registration changes once the semester has started, as aid eligibility hinges on certain enrollment requirements.  If courses are dropped once the semester has started (even if on the very first date of the semester), the student will be responsible for non-refundable fees and portions of tuition as described in the college Refund Policy.

Accelerated “Late Start” courses:  Students need to be registered for all courses before the census date so the courses may be taken into account for disbursement.  While the college offers late start courses that may begin as late as October in the fall or March in the spring, these courses must be part of the student’s schedule ahead of census to qualify.  If a student registers for a course after census, the course will not be eligible for financial aid coverage.  It is the student’s responsibility to cover the cost of courses added after census.

Academic Engagement and Attendance Policy

Students are not eligible for financial aid for courses where there is no evidence of academic participation.  Students are required to attend class and engage academically in order to receive financial aid. Instructors will report students not academically engaged; and it may result in a cancellation of financial aid funds for the course(s) reported, and the student may be dropped from the course(s).  Students should not make assumptions about being dropped but are encouraged to track their enrollment status as well as their financial aid eligibility through myCommNet.  Note, simply logging into Blackboard is not considered academic participation.

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. Any attempted credits at the college must be included in the calculation. This 150% maximum credit hours rule is applicable to students who change majors or who pursue a double major.

Maximum Credit Hours Communication

A student will receive notification prior to the start of a period of enrollment via postal 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.

Maximum Credit Hours Appeal Process and Probation

A student may request consideration for reinstatement 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 Administrator 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. If the appeal is approved, the student will be eligible and given a status of Financial Aid Probation. Students must continue to pass all classes to remain eligible.

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, a Financial Aid Administrator 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:

  • Register and successfully complete a minimum of six (6) credits; and
  • 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 minimum requirements for academic progress are met. 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 CT 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.

Student Withdrawal and the Federal Title IV Funds Return Policy

Any student who is attending MCC and is receiving student financial assistance under the federal Title IV Programs may incur a financial obligation to the college if they completely withdraw from their program, as funds may need to be returned to the Title IV Program in the case of a complete withdrawal after disbursement within a given semester. The percentage of the period that the student remains enrolled is derived by dividing the number of days the student attended by the number of days in the period. Calendar days are used, but breaks of five consecutive days are excluded from both the numerator and denominator.

During the first 60 percent of the period, a student ‘earns’ Title IV funds in direct proportion to the length of time he or she remains enrolled. That is, the percentage of time during the period that the student remains enrolled is the percentage of disbursable aid for that period that the student earned. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60 percent point earns all aid for the period.

Students who withdraw from a program are subject to a calculation that determines the amount of money that they may be required to pay back to the college or the federal government. This calculation will be in accordance with formulas and guidelines established by prevailing federal regulations, and funds will be allocated in the following order (not to exceed the original allotment from each source): Federal Direct Loan Program (unsubsidized and subsidized), Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant and other funds.

In the case when R2T4 is performed and it results in the student owing money to the college, the Financial Aid office will mail a letter to the student with detailed information regarding the bill resulting from the R2T4 calculation.

Concurrent Enrollment

Students are not eligible to receive financial aid from more than one institution at a time. Students must consult with the Financial Aid Office to discuss how aid and disbursements may be affected by attending more than one institution. (See information related to consortium agreements.)

When multiple schools report disbursements for a student, a federal system identifies a potential concurrent enrollment and sends a warning message to all schools involved. The Department of Education expects all schools involved to cooperate in resolving the concurrent enrollment issues. At times this results in a cancellation of funds by one institution where the student will be required to cover the balance out-of-pocket.

In their award of Pell funds to a student, schools are required to ensure that they do not originate awards that would result in a student receiving more than 100% of the student’s scheduled award for the year (or 150% in the case of summer Year-Round Pell).

Consortium Agreements

Occasionally, due to a scheduling conflict or other exceptional circumstance, students need to take a class at another Connecticut community college.  A consortium agreement allows the financial aid office at the Home school, where the student is pursuing a degree, to count these credits taken at a Host school in building the student’s financial aid package.  Because financial aid cannot be disbursed at more than one institution, a consortium agreement authorized by the Home school, allows for combined enrollment between multiple schools, as long as all courses are approved as part of a student’s declared major.

Consortium Agreements for students whose Home school is MCC  are available at the Financial Aid Office.  If MCC will be your Host school, please visit the Financial Aid Office at your Home school for eligibility information.

Consortium Agreement Policies

  • Students must be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program, have been approved for financial aid, and be making Satisfactory Academic Progress at the Home School (MCC) during the semester they are participating in this agreement.
  • Students are required to maintain at least one class at the Home School (MCC).
  • Course(s) taken at the Host School must be required for the completion of your certificate or degree program at your Home School. The Home school will require the approval of an authorized official, often an Academic Advisor.
  • Upon completion of the course, students must submit a grade transcript from the Host School to the Home School Registrar’s Office.
  • Books are not covered by financial aid under the Consortium Agreement. Students are responsible for purchasing any books associated with courses covered by this agreement.
  • Financial aid is awarded and disbursed by the Home School only.
  • The Host School may require payment of tuition and/or fees from students at the time of registration regardless of their financial aid status.  If the Consortium Agreement is completed late, the student may be required to pay the Host School.
  • The Home School will make every effort to transfer the funds directly to the Host School. However, if the Host School does not bill, or bills late, the Home School will disburse the award directly to the student, and the student will be responsible for paying the Host School directly. If the eventual aid award is insufficient to cover all costs, the student will be responsible for all remaining expenses due to the Home and/or Host School.

Students must work with their Host institution to successfully admit and register for their desired courses.

For students whose Home school is MCC, the Financial Aid Office will communicate with the Host institution, informing them of the amount, if any, to be disbursed.  MCC will also confirm enrollment and academic engagement in all classes after the start of the semester.  Students taking courses at MCC as the Host school to fulfill requirements for four-year universities will be required to make the necessary payment out-of-pocket to reserve the seat in the class.  If eligible, the university will then reimburse the student.

Allow three to five business days for the processing of submitted Consortium Agreements.

It is advised that all students consult with the Financial Aid Office before enrolling for classes at two or more institutions within the same enrollment period.