1. How does the Financial Aid Team communicate information to students?
There are three important ways you will receive information from the Financial Aid Team. First, your NECC Self-Service has real-time status of your Financial Aid, messages, and outstanding requirements listed. Second, you will be sent information directly to your NECC email, not your personal email. Third, information is sent to your home address on file at NECC. You should always update your home address if you move, or some important information may not reach you in a timely manner.
2. How can Financial Aid assist me?
Financial Aid can help you pay for the costs of attending NECC including tuition and fees, books, and other costs (room and board, transportation, and personal costs). Most NECC students receive some type of financial aid, so we encourage you to apply today!
3. How do I apply for Financial Aid?
Step-by-step instructions on completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are available on the Financial Aid Website, click here to apply now! We strongly urge students to file electronically.
4. How often do I have to apply for Financial Aid?
You must apply for Financial Aid each Academic Year. The priority deadline to receive certain types of Massachusetts State Aid (Mass Grant for example) is May 1st. Additionally, NECC has important dates and deadlines that students should be aware of, which apply to all other forms of aid (Federal Pell Grant, Loans and much more) click here to review Important Dates & Deadlines for NECC.
5. What types of financial aid are available?
In general, there are three major types of financial aid: grants and scholarships, which do not have to be repaid, loans, which do need to be repaid, and employment opportunities, such as work-study jobs.
6. How do I know if I am eligible?
Most aid is awarded based on financial need as demonstrated by the analysis of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The student’s financial aid award is then posted on their NECC self service under the financial aid tab.
The amount and type of aid received is contingent upon the student’s financial need relative to that of the total population, the availability of funds, and the various program regulations. In order to be considered for most federal, state and institutional financial aid, a student must:
- Demonstrate financial need
- Be accepted to and enrolled in a degree or certificate program at NECC
- Be a citizen, national or permanent resident of the United States or its trust territories with a valid Social Security Number
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Maintain compliance with Selective Service registration requirements
- Not owe a refund on Title IV money or be in default on any previous student loan
- Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate or must pass an independently administered test and have the Ability to Benefit (see Admissions).
7. How many credits do I have to take to receive financial aid?
Most aid programs require you to be enrolled in 6 or more credits per term, however, there are some programs in which particularly needy students are eligible for aid when enrolled in less than 6 credits (Pell Grant for example). If you are considering taking less than 6 credits please feel free to consult your Financial Aid Counselor to determine how this will affect your eligibility.
8. What documents will I need?
When we receive the results of your FAFSA, we will post all necessary requirements to your NECC self service. You will need to complete a Financial Aid Information and Release Authorization form each year. In addition, if your FAFSA is selected for the verification process there are additional requirements (see Question 9 below for details). After we have reviewed the documentation submitted, there may be other documents required to determine your eligibility for aid. Notification will be sent to your NECC email about what is required, and the requirement will be posted on your NECC Self-Service account. Please provide all documentation in a timely manner. Until all documentation is provided, you will not have a finalized award, and you will not be eligible for a book voucher.
9. What is verification? How do I know if I am selected?
Verification is the process by which colleges and universities collect additional documentation for specific students to “verify” that information submitted on the FAFSA is correct and accurate. Documents collected are a Verification Worksheet and the student’s (if independent) federal taxes or the student’s and parent’s (if dependent) federal taxes with all schedules and W-2s. As a result of this process, a student’s financial aid award may be adjusted. It is also possible that the student’s counselor may ask for additional documentation in order to make a determination of the student’s eligibility for aid.
We have a right to request this documentation, and if the student’s file is not completed, no aid will be disbursed, and the student’s aid award will eventually be forfeited and cancelled. The student will be responsible for paying the balance of charges for tuition and fees at NECC should this happen. You will be notified that your FAFSA has been selected for verification by reading your Student Aid Report. The Student Aid Report is the final page of the FAFSA, after submission, and notifies the student of any errors on the FAFSA, their EFC, and if the student has been selected for verification. The documents required for this process will be posted on your NECC Self-Service.
10. How is Financial Need determined?
The amount of financial aid you receive is based on your demonstrated financial need. The FAFSA determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), an amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education. However, this does not mean that you will be required to contribute this exact amount. Instead, the EFC is used as a gauge to determine eligibility.
Your financial need is based on two factors:
- Cost of Attendance (COA) – This is a budget amount that shows what it will cost a typical student to go to school. The COA includes direct costs such as tuition and fees. It also includes allowances for housing, food, transportation, books and supplies. This is not the exact amount you owe the college; it is an estimate of expected costs related to your education.
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC) -This number is determined by the federal government based on your FAFSA and represents the amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education.
The Expected Family Contribution is subtracted from the Cost of Attendance to get your Financial Need. A positive number means you have financial need. (COA – EFC = financial need)
Grants, subsidized federal loans, work-study, and some scholarships and waivers are based on financial need.
11. Am I still eligible for financial aid if I am on academic suspension?
No, when you are put on academic suspension you are removed from your academic program. In order to receive financial aid, you must be in a degree seeking or certificate program.
12. What if my circumstances have changed?
Since financial need is determined based on the family’s annual gross income for the previous year, your circumstances may have changed. If you, your spouse, or your parent(s) income has recently decreased or you have special financial circumstances that were not reflected on your FAFSA, we may be able to recalculate your financial need based on your family’s projected gross income for the current tax year. Students who find themselves in this situation should complete the Request for Review of Special Circumstances form and submit all the required documentation.
13. How do I know if I am a dependent or independent student?
You can complete the FAFSA Online. You will be notified of your Dependency Status when you complete your application. Dependent students must provide information for their parents, including their parents’ signature on the FAFSA, to be eligible for aid. Independent students do not need to provide information for their parents. However, independent students must provide information regarding their spouse, if married.
To determine whether you are dependent or independent for purposes of Federal Financial Aid, click here.
14. I believe that I should be considered Independent for the purposes of Federal Financial Aid, can I Petition for a Dependency Override?
Financial Aid regulations assume that the family has primary responsibility for meeting the student’s cost of education. If you are classified as a dependent student for the purposes of determining student aid eligibility because you do not meet the criteria for independent student status, you may, due to unusual circumstances, petition for a Dependency Override. Please complete the Petition for Dependency Override form. Examples of unusual circumstances would include but are not limited to: abuse, neglect, and abandonment.
15. Is financial aid available to students who choose to study abroad?
You must contact Financial Aid prior to the start of your Study Abroad semester, as financial aid may be available.. If you are interested in studying abroad please contact the Financial Aid Team as early as possible with the information. Your eligibility will be evaluated at that time.
16. Am I eligible for a book voucher?
If there is any excess money available from financial aid after crediting your student account to pay for tuition and fee charges, you may be eligible for a book voucher. Students will be notified via NECC email of their eligibility for a book voucher the day prior to the book voucher period, or throughout the book voucher period if eligibility is delayed.email. If your application for financial aid is not complete, you are not eligible for a book voucher. If you complete your file after the book voucher period has ended, you will not be issued a book voucher. Do not wait until weeks into the semester to get your books! It will cause you to fall behind in your coursework and may result in poor academic performance or withdrawal from courses. Please contact the Financial Aid Team at email@example.com if you are having trouble paying for your books.
17. When will I receive my refund check?
Beginning Spring 2012, refund checks will be directly deposited to student’s bank accounts 7 to 10 days after their aid is fully disbursed. Aid is disbursed to all students after the first month of class, unless the student has outstanding requirements. Check your NECC Self-Service to make sure all requirements are complete.
18. How will it affect my financial aid if I drop a class?
When you withdraw from a course, it counts against your completion rate. If your completion rate drops below 67%, you will not be eligible for financial aid until your completion rate returns above 67%. Our full policy regarding SAP and completion rates is available online, click here. In addition, if you drop a course, you may become ineligible for some aid that has been awarded to you. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are considering a change in enrollment.
19. How will it affect my financial aid if I drop all my classes for this semester?
If you withdraw from all courses in a given term, your aid must be recalculated to determine your eligible portion. In most cases, the student will owe NECC a bill if they completely withdraw from all courses in a given term. NECC’s refund policy is available online, click here. In addition, when you withdraw from a course, it counts against your completion rate. If your completion rate drops below 67%, you will not be eligible for financial aid until your completion rate returns above 67%. Our full policy regarding SAP and completion rates is available online.
20. Will I receive financial aid if I repeat a course?
Yes, one time. After you have earned credit in a course, you can retake it one time and receive financial aid. If you did not earn credit in the course, you can retake it as many times as you wish, provided you follow the Academic Repeat Policy:
Students are allowed to take any credit bearing course a maximum of two times. Under special circumstances, students may request to take a course a third time. In order to take a course a third time, students would need to meet with their faculty advisor or academic advisor to develop a plan designed to assist them in successfully completing the course. Taking a course a fourth time would need the approval of the Dean of the Academic Area responsible for the course. All grades will appear on the student’s transcript, but only the highest grade will be used in calculating the quality point average (QPA).
21. Will financial aid pay for my health insurance?
Any excess money from financial aid after crediting your student account to pay for tuition and fee charges can be used towards your health insurance charge.
22. Why did I receive a bill when I have financial aid?
Every student that registers for a course at NECC will receive online billing with automatic email alerts. Paper bills will no longer be sent. If you applied for financial aid, your aid award will be posted on your NECC Self-Service. Subtract your financial aid from your bill to determine any amount you are responsible for paying. Just because you are receiving financial aid doesn’t mean your entire bill is covered. You are still responsible for any charges not paid for by financial aid and you must pay them by the due date on your bill.
23. I received a letter from the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance saying I am not eligible because of a late application. Does this mean I am not eligible for financial aid?
No.When you apply for financial aid, you are applying for many grants. The deadline for the Massachusetts State Grant is May 1st, and you must be registered in 12 or more credits to be eligible for this one grant. However, you may still be eligible for other aid. Information about other aid you may be eligible for can be found on your NECC Self-Service.
24. How do I borrow a loan?
In order to be eligible to borrow a federal student loan or Federal Direct Stafford Loan, you must first complete the FAFSA. After submitting the FAFSA, you can request a loan using the Direct Loan Request Form . You must then go to www.studentloans.gov and complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note. Confirmation of completion will be sent electronically to NECC within about 3 business days. If you do not complete Entrance Counseling or the Master Promissory Note, your loan will be cancelled.