Types of Aid

There are two main types of aid:

Merit-based Aid is given to students who have a special characteristic, skill, talent or ability. A scholarship is an example of merit-based aid. Merit-based aid is usually a gift that does not have to be paid back, although students who get merit aid sometimes have to promise to teach or perform some other service when they finish school.

Need-based Aid is given to students who can show they need financial assistance to pursue an education beyond high school. Most financial aid is awarded on the basis of need. There are three kinds of need-based aid:

  • Grants are gifts that do not have to be paid back. Federal grant programs include the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). Grants may also be funded by the State of Connecticut and MCC.
  • Work-study is money that students must earn by working at a part-time job. Funds used to pay the major portion of a student’s work-study earnings come from the Federal or State Work-Study Program.
  • Loans are borrowed money that have to be paid back over a period of time, usually after the student leaves school. Currently, MCC participates in the Federal Direct Loan program.

One of the principles behind need-based aid is that students and their families should pay for educational expenses to the extent they are able. If you think your educational expenses are more than you and your family can afford, you should apply for need-based financial aid.