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Student FAQs

Montgomery College is moving to offer more in-person classes and services.

See below for answers to students' frequently asked questions about the College's coronavirus response and return-to-campus plansIf you have a question that is not answered below, please email studentaffairs@montgomerycollege.edu


Return to Campus FAQs

Which classes are in-person and which are virtual?
Many fall 2021 classes are fully online, but classes that focus on hands-on skills and learning experiences will meet on campus. Most lab sections are scheduled on-campus for the fall semester.

  • Please review your schedule carefully and check the location and section notes:
    • If a building and room are assigned for the lab section, it will meet on campus. Some sections also have a section note that the lab will meet on campus. Classes that meet on campus are marked with a campus building and room number in the course schedule. 
    • Classes that are marked “REMOTE” for “structured remote teaching” are those which, due to pandemic conditions, are still being offered virtually.
    • Classes that are marked “DL WEB” for “distance learning” are all virtual and do not meet at scheduled times.
  • Please check the course schedule. The next fall classes begin October 27.

What is required of students coming to campuses?
All students and employees must complete the online health assessment prior to coming onsite each day. Each person is expected to carry proof of completion with them (that is, a screenshot, an email receipt, or a printout). 

At this time, we ask that students only come to campus for scheduled classes or appointments. See the Health and Safety Procedures for complete details. 

Do I have to wear a mask on campus? 
Face coverings (masks) are required for all individuals (employees, students, contractors, and guests) who are indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. The College has reinstituted the mask requirement following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in consultation with MC’s Return-to-Campus Advisory Committee. See Health and Safety Procedures for more information.

Is tutoring available? 
Tutoring will be available virtually and in person. Check Virtual Tutoring and the Learning Centers for more information.

What about services for students such as records and registration, learning centers, financial aid, counseling, etc. Are they in-person or virtual?
All of the College’s services have virtual options. Some services have in-person hours and options. See Student Services for more information.

How will campuses look different?

  • You will see new signs on campuses, directing you where to walk to maximize social distancing and reminding everyone about mask guidelines.
  • You may see Plexiglas installed at walk-up consultation sites, Raptor Central and public safety access points.
  • Building entrances will display signs indicating how to access them if they are not immediately open.
  • Classrooms and meeting rooms will have signs indicating how many people are permitted to gather there.
  • To guide social distancing, you may see some chairs or computer spaces marked off with tape. Please follow those instructions.

How frequently will offices, workspaces, and classrooms be cleaned?
College Facilities teams will clean all areas with increased frequency, multiple times per day. There will also be hand sanitizers and additional cleaning supplies available for extra cleaning of desks or seating at your discretion. 


General Student FAQs

When do I need to sign up for classes? When is it the best time to meet with a counselor or an academic program advisor to set up my schedule and classes? 
Students should sign up for next semester before the end of the current 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. Search for classes and register now


Are classes still remote? 

  • Fall 2021: Many fall classes are fully online, but classes that focus on hands-on skills and learning experiences will meet on campus. Most lab sections are scheduled on-campus for the fall semester.

Search the class schedules and see Student Guidance for more information.


When will MC return to face-to-face, in-person classes? 
We are moving toward offering more in-person classes and student services. See Student Guidance for more information. 

The return to campus 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. See the Return to Campus metrics for more information. 


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


Will services like the library and Writing, Reading & Language Center (WRLC) be available for students?
The library, WRLC services, tutoring, and other learning supports are available to students in a virtual fand in-person formats. See Student Services for more information.


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. 


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 publichealth@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 (our registration system) will not allow a student to register for overlapping classes.


Are MC services (Financial Aid Office, bookstores, etc.) open without having to make appointments? 
All of the College’s services have virtual options. Some services have in-person hours and options and may require appointments. See Student Services for more information.


What are the current plans for MC Athletics?
See mcraptors.comnew window for the latest information. 


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 has implemented MC Remote Placement for all new students. 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? 

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, 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 and applied for financial aid there. I may be coming to MC 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 instead, 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. 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, I now 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. 


7-week/15-week Classes

What is the course sequence for spring and fall semesters? 

Spring and fall semester courses are offered in both 15-week and seven-week formats. See Parts of Term for details on course start and end dates. 

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 are the credit limits 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.


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.

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