How much financial aid can you get? That depends on a number of factors. You may be eligible for a full tuition and fees award package or a partial tuition and fees award package or you may not be eligible for aid at all. The aid we disburse or authorize comes from three main sources; the federal government, the State of Maryland Higher Education Commission Scholarship Office and Montgomery College. Your financial and/or academic circumstances, and the rules of the aid programs play a big part in your eligibility to get money for college.
1. The point is to apply for the financial aid at the federal government FAFSA web site by applying every year that you think you may be attending a college.
2. After your FAFSA results are sent to the college from the federal processor, check with the college via the secure web browser MY MC to learn what other documents you must submit to be considered for aid.
3. Keep up with your mail. Check your notices and respond to requests from the college for information to complete your file.
What happens next? You will be notified in writing of the award eligibility for the academic year.
You may not be able to use all of the potential aid offered to you as different conditions apply to various programs. For an explanation of the awards please speak to a financial aid representative at the campus you attend.
Your circumstances may change. You are welcome to discuss your situation with a Financial Aid Specialist or a Financial Aid Counselor.
You may not be eligible for aid one year, but you may be eligible another year.
The laws that govern the awards may change. You can search at the MC college web site or visit other agencies such as the MD State Scholarship web site for aid programs and money to help you pay for college tuition, fees, and books for your semester(s) at college.
The financial aid application process takes time. Pay attention to deadlines. If your application is late, there may be no grant available for you. However, you may be considered for some other programs such as loans depending on the availability of funds and program policy guidelines. Ask!
Never give up on yourself. Adjust your approach, but never give up on your goals. Try to fund your education every year you go to college with financial aid in addition to your own savings and cash payments for college costs.
What you do today, and what you do this semester, and what you do this year all become the foundation for your long term educational success plan.
Are you eligible to receive a reimbursement for college courses from your employer or a parent's employer? Are you eligible for local scholarships sponsored by your place of worship or from a local civic organization or union? Maximize your options.
There are many ways to finance an education so you do not run out of options or resources before reaching your goal. For example, there are part-time academic programs, or you may want a job at a college with free or reduced tuition for employees. If you budget carefully and plan all of your big ticket purchases, you can stay on track financially to get your degree on time.
Now for the small things. The little things add up very quickly. The physical fitness gurus tell us to stay off junk food. We should translate that advice into wisdom for financial aid. It means stay off credit cards. Pay cash for the movies and all entertainment purchases. See how many things can be cut or reduced in order to save for your important goals.
Our Office of Student Financial Aid routinely offers Workshops on Money Management and sessions on Stafford Loans for all interested college students and their families. Look at our financial aid web site for announcements of the next series of workshops planned. If you want a Stafford loan to attend MC you must complete a separate Stafford Loan Application and you must take an Entrance Interview to show that you understand your borrower rights and your repayment responsibility. Look for loans after searching for grants, scholarships, or employment programs that can help you pay for college. Loans may be necessary to meet your expenses. Borrow wisely.