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Student FAQ

Most classes are fully online until further notice.

7-week/15-week Classes

What is the course sequence for the spring semester? Are all classes seven weeks?

7-week/15-week course options

Spring courses will be offered in both 15-week and seven-week formats. The spring semester schedule offers courses in these four scheduling options:

  • Full semester courses: 15 weeks long (January 25 through May 16) 
  • Spring 2021 Part 1 courses: Seven weeks long (January 25 through March 14)
  • Spring 2021 Part 2 courses: Seven weeks long (March 29 through May 16)
  • Two-week late-starting courses: 13 weeks long (February 8 through May 16)

Search the spring class schedule and register now

Classes that meet once a week in 15-week format will meet twice a week when offered in the seven-week format. Weekend courses will likely remain in a 15-week format. Courses that have been taught over the summer may be offered in seven-week sessions. It is also likely that some sections of these courses may also be offered over the 15-week semester format. Courses that have not been taught in summer, winter, or seven-week sessions over the last few years should be offered in a 15-week semester format. 


What will the credit limits be for the seven-week classes?
Ideally, a student will not take more than two seven-week classes at one time. Students are advised to spread out their schedule and take the same number of credits they would normally take in one semester. You can do this by taking some seven-week classes and some 15-week classes.  

We are in the process of determining specific credit limits. Students generally need some limits on how many classes they can take. Academic commitment does require a certain amount of time and processing of learning at a deep level. Therefore, we try to give this guidance about limits for students’ benefit.


How will honors programs be affected by the change to a seven-week format?
Honors programs that have built their curricula on a full-semester plan will remain in a 15-week format. The learning communities within the honors programs feature integrated courses that would be difficult to convert to a 7 week format. However, some courses that have honors modules (HMs) may be appropriate for a shorter format. The decision will be made between the discipline and the honors chair.


Do I have to pay the same tuition and fees for seven-week classes as for 15-week classes?
The tuition rate is the same for seven-week and 15-week classes.


When is my tuition payment due for the 15-week and seven-week sessions?
Payment arrangements are required at the time of registration. Payment options include payment plans with MC, third-party payments, financial aid awarded, or a signed reservation form with financial aid. 


How will final exam week be handled in the first seven-week term?
Final exams will be scheduled on the last class day of each seven-week term. After Spring Part 1, there will be a two-week break (including spring break) before Spring Part 2 to allow faculty to submit grades and prepare for the second seven-week session. Just as in the fall semester, Spring Part 1 (first half of the semester) and Spring Part 2 (second half of the semester) will have sufficient time for final grades.


Will sequential courses (e.g., 101 and 102) be linked courses in each of the seven-week sessions?
This is one of the benefits of the seven-week format. The idea is to offer them during the same seven-week session, or have one in a seven-week format and one in the 15-week format.


How will registration be handled for students who take a prerequisite in Spring Part 1 for a course in Spring Part 2?  Will there be time for their grades to be submitted so the students can register for Spring Part 2?
The prerequisite issue will be handled similarly to what happens between Summer I and II.  Students register for spring while taking prerequisite classes in fall, and they register for summer classes while taking prerequisite classes in spring.  This is no different in a seven-week session. Students may register for a sequence of courses (e.g., ENGL101 in Spring Part 1 and ENGL102 in Spring Part 2). But if they don’t meet the requirements for the course, they may be dropped.


Will seven-week classes affect regional or programmatic accreditation?
No. Both the seven-week and the 15-week course formats carry the required number of contact hours. Academic content and rigor are the same regardless of format, as they are in the summer and winter sessions. If a shortened format makes it difficult for students to meet certification requirements, such as clinical hours, the course will be offered in a longer format.


How can students benefit from taking classes during a shorter term?
The shorter terms help students in a variety of ways. First, students can determine their work hours to accommodate their course schedule. Second, their schedule will be for fewer weeks which will allow them to pick up additional work hours once their courses end, while still progressing at the same, or a higher, level toward their degree.

The shorter sessions also allow students to reduce the number of classes they take at a time and this helps them to focus more deeply on the courses. In addition, the shorter course length appeals to employers because students are finished more quickly. Further, these students will make more progress toward the degree in less time. This helps them to prepare for promotion or another better paying job at a faster pace. 


What happens if students get sick during the seven-week session?
Students who become sick during any part of any semester may need to seek a medical withdrawal. 


Is a shorter/accelerated session counterproductive to students with disabilities?
There is no evidence that students with disabilities are disadvantaged by taking shorter/accelerated courses. On the contrary, intense, shorter courses can help students with disabilities complete their coursework at a faster pace. This is because the course's shorter length can allow students to focus on the subject matter with great intensity. However, we recognize that one size does not fit all. When a 15-week format is considered a better alternative for achieving course outcomes, there is the option for students to take some classes in the 15-week format.


Financial Aid/FAFSA 

Is it too late to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
No. Complete your financial aid application by the priority deadline of March 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester to ensure your financial aid eligibility has been determined before classes start.  You can still complete the FAFSA and apply for financial aid after the priority deadline. Late financial aid applicants may need to pay tuition and fees if their financial aid award is not finalized by the start of the semester. If you become eligible for aid later in the semester, you may be reimbursed to the extent your aid covers your bill.

The web address for the FAFSA is fafsa.govnew window. If you plan to attend MC this year, please list our school code which is 00691100.  Visit our Financial Aid webpages for more information about how to apply for financial aid.


Can I use my financial aid to buy books or a computer?
Yes, you can. If you are awarded financial aid that covers your tuition and fees and there is any aid left over, we can give you a voucher to purchase books, supplies, and technology online at the MC bookstore. They will ship materials to you.


I was accepted to another college for fall and applied for financial aid there. I may be coming to MC in the fall instead. Can I still get financial aid at MC?
Yes, you can. If you already completed the FAFSA and had it sent to another college, but you may be coming to MC this fall, go to fafsa.govnew window and add MC’s school code which is 00691100. Then we can get started processing your information.


The income on my FAFSA has changed because one of my parents lost their job this spring. Can I change the income on my FAFSA?
You can’t change your income, but the financial aid office can. Your FAFSA for fall used your family’s 2018 income. For a lot of families, things changed drastically this spring. So even though your first FAFSA for the 2020-2021 academic year has to list that 2018 income, you can contact the financial aid office and appeal to have your eligibility reconsidered based on a change in income or other financial changes in your family that the original FAFSA didn't recognize. The financial aid office can be reached via email or calling 240-567-5100.


Does MC have scholarships?
Yes, we have many institutional scholarships and scholarships through the MC Foundation. Our scholarship page on the financial aid web site will give you an overview of the many scholarships available at MC, as well as the link for the MC Foundation Scholarship Application. The Montgomery College Foundation offers more than 300 Foundation scholarship opportunities. Scholarships are available for students who are in good academic standing and have financial need. The amount of the scholarships ranges from $250 to $2,500 per semester or academic year. The priority deadline for the fall semester was June 30, but we are still taking applications.

Students can apply for all MC Foundation scholarships by completing one online applicationnew window through AcademicWorks. This online tool automatically matches you up with relevant scholarships. Go to the online application and use your MyMC login to begin the process. You do have to be admitted to MC and have an MC ID number to apply.


Will the College be providing refunds for fees and partial tuition reimbursements?
Refunds are assessed and determined within student services based on established drop and withdrawal guidance.


I am a student who does not qualify for financial assistance. For the past two years, I have been paying from my salary. However, this semester I have challenges because of a pay cut due to reduced working hours caused by COVID-19 pandemic. Does the college offer any assistance?
See Financial Assistance for information on our assistance programs for students.

The Montgomery County Government also has an Emergency Relief Assistance Programnew window for which you may qualify. 


General Student FAQs

When do I need to sign up for classes for the spring semester?  When is it the best time to meet with a counselor or an academic program advisor to set up my schedule and classes for the spring semester? 
Students should sign up for next semester before they leave for the end of the fall semester. Try to make an advising appointment as soon as you can so you can avoid longer wait times during the peak enrollment period. Learn more about advising options.

Earlier registration gives you better chance of getting the sections and schedule that you want. Spring registration is open now


Will classes be fully online for fall and winter? 
Most fall 2020 classes are fully online through distance learning or structured remote teaching. Students in some programs may come to campus for some lab sessions. See fall 2020 list of courses with on-campus sessions (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) . Contact the instructor for details about when and how to attend.

All winter session classes will be fully online. See the class schedule for details.


Will classes be fully online for spring semester?
Until the end of spring break in March 2021, most classes will be fully online through distance learning or structured remote teaching. Students in some programs such as automotive technology, building trades, landscape technology, biotechnology, and health sciences may come to campus for some lab sessions. We will reevaluate closer to spring break. See the class schedule for details.

The return to face-to-face is dependent on several factors. Most importantly, there must be agreement that the pandemic is not persisting in the region and health officials declare it safe to return to on-campus operations. 


When is spring break?
Spring break will be March 15-20, 2021.


How many credits do I need to take next semester to be considered a full-time student?
Students who are registered for 12 or more credits during the spring 2021 semester will be considered full-time.


Will student clubs, organizations and other cohorts be allowed continue to the end of the Spring semester?
Student clubs, organizations, and other cohorts will operate remotely for now. The return to face-to-face will depend on when the region and health officials declare it safe to return to on-campus operations.


Will services like the library and Writing, Reading & Language Center (WRLC) be available for students?
Similar to the spring and summer, the library and WRLC services are available to students in a virtual format. The on-campus services provided by these two units will resume once on-campus classes resume, and students and faculty return to campus.


Has the College discussed the impact that the pandemic has had on graduation and will that be virtual again this year?
We are considering our options for commencement. We will update the College community as soon as the decision is made.


Is the college preventing students in the health sciences program from going to clinicals or is it the clinical sites? What is the graduation plan and the reopening-clinicals plan for these students?
The College is very aware of the reality of clinical requirements. We are doing everything we can to safely provide education to students and our programs. In fact, we have gone to great lengths to prioritize returning student with these clinical needs to the classrooms in order that they can move on to employment. We are quite aware of the financial challenges which our students face.


How is MC handling COVID-19 reporting?
Any positive COVID-19 test results, possible exposures, or other concerns must be reported to Public Safety at 240-567-3333 or publicsafety@montgomerycollege.edu. All reports are confidential. Response actions will be initiated by Environmental Safety. See Testing, Tracing, and Reporting for information on confirmed cases and contact tracing at MC.


Why do I still need to pay for fees, such as transportation fees?
All mandatory fees are published on a line-item basis to aid in transparency for our students and their families to better understand the student services the fees support. Due to the significant cost of operating these facilities and services, regardless of the number of students using them, Montgomery College must charge these fees based on the credit hours for which you are enrolled. Some of the services will be moved online.


Since classes are online, if I register for two classes and there is a time overlap by like 15 minutes is it possible that I would be able to take both of the courses? I know that one of the professors records her lessons so I would be able to catch up with the 15 minutes I miss.
No, Banner will not allow a student to register for overlapping classes.


Are MC Services (Financial Aid Office, bookstores, etc.) open without having to make appointments? 
MC services will remain remote during fall with a few exceptions which will be identified to help students plan accordingly. The bookstore will only be open online. To contact the financial aid office, students can call 240-567-5100 or make an appointment online. To contact other offices at the College, see Student Guidance


What are the current plans for MC Athletics?
We have communicated our intent to NJCAA to compete in the spring, subject to COVID-19 conditions. Athletics and Student Affairs will work with the Coronavirus Advisory Team to determine the plan for fall conditioning and practice based on guidance from County Health officials. Fall sports were moved to the spring season. Commitments to scholar-athletes will remain for all scholarships.


Given that Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance issued on March is still in effect I would like to know if F1 students who are unable to return to the US for Fall 2020 can take online courses (or remote structured courses) and retain their F1 status as long as they are enrolled full time.
The US Department of Homeland Security has agreed to rescind its policy directive requiring international students to attend face-to-face classes or leave the country amid this global pandemic. Our 550 F-1 students at Montgomery College will be able to continue attending college from wherever they may be at the moment (though new international students do not fall under this policy).

Based on the March 2020 Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance, which we are still following, students participating in online or other alternate learning procedures remain in active status in SEVIS. The limit on online course enrollment is waived even if they have left the United States and are taking the online classes from elsewhere.

For future reference and updates, students can visit the Information for International Students during COVID-19 webpage.


Can I take online classes as pass/fail?
Because Montgomery College faculty maintain a set of academic regulations that clearly define the grading policy for credit courses, Pass/Fail (P/F) grades are not an option as potential outcomes for students. While some schools have adopted this, at Montgomery College the disadvantages of such an approach far outweigh the benefits, even in this unique moment.

P/F grades do not serve MC students well as they have the potential to negatively impact:

  • transfer to upper-division colleges and universities,
  • acceptance into competitive admissions programs of study,
  • qualification for competitive scholarships, and
  • evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid eligibility.

While some transfer institutions have expressed willingness to accept P/F grades, there is no consensus on this. The consequences for our students are too significant for Montgomery College to ignore.


Will the College provide additional student assistance to those in need? Will tuition costs be decreased?
See Financial Assistance for information on emergency assistance options for students. 

Tuition rates are set by the College's Board of Trustees and have already been established for FY21. They will not be changed.


What is Montgomery College doing to help students who have limited Internet access and/or access to computers? 
The Federal Communication Commission’s Keep Americans Connected programnew window may offer options for free or discounted internet access. See a list of internet service providersnew window offering free or discounted internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

More options available to students:


Will students be able to take exams at the assessment center? Since it will be distance or remote, will we still have our exams online? How will exams work?
Montgomery College continues to work remotely. We have changed many of our procedures to make sure that you complete your placement requirements in a timely manner.

Montgomery College has implemented MC Remote Placement for all new students. English, ESL (English as a Second Language), Math, and Chemistry departments have designed alternative ways to place you in courses that will meet your learning needs.

Please visit the Assessment Center's comprehensive webpage for more information.

If you need an accommodation related to a disability to complete the MC Remote Placement tasks, contact Disability Support Services before completing any tasks.


Who do I contact if I have further questions? 

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