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Applying for Aid and Student Eligibility

Students applying for aid at the One Stop Center

Apply for Financial Aid Today!

Financial Aid can make earning your college degree a reality. There are many types of aid you can receive, and it can help pay for tuition and fees, books, and other personal costs. We have outlined the eligibility requirements and the application process below, and we are here to help if you have any questions – contact us!

You can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at any time after October 1 to receive funds for the following academic year, but apply as early as possible since some grant funds are distributed on a first-come, first- basis. The priority deadline for the state of Massachusetts is May 1. Although applications are accepted throughout the year, some state funds are awarded only to those who meet this deadline.

You must complete a FAFSA each academic year.

Important Information about Public Charge, Financial Aid, and Immigration Status

Last week, new rules were announced redefining what constitutes a “public charge” (welfare or public assistance) when the government makes a decision about someone’s immigration status.

The rule does not apply to Federal Financial Aid because financial aid is NOT a form of welfare.  Federal Financial Aid includes the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Student Loans, and other forms of financial aid.  Anyone interested in attending Northern Essex Community College or any other college should continue to apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Information on the FAFSA will not be used to deny applications for permanent residency or citizenship.

En Espanol

Hace una semana, se anunciaron nuevas reglas que nuevamente constituye la definición de “un cargo público” (welfare o ayuda de asistencia pública) cuando el gobierno hace una decisión sobre el estatus migratorio de una persona.

Esta misma regla, NO es usada cuando un estudiante aplica para ayuda financiera federal porque ayuda financiera NO es una forma de welfare. Ayuda financiera federal incluye beca federal pell (Pell Grant), préstamos federales para estudiantes, y otras opciones de ayuda financiera. Cualquier estudiante que está interesado en aplicar a Northern Essex Community College o cualquier otra universidad puede continuar aplicando para ayuda financiera sometiendo la aplicación gratis (FAFSA). Información colectada en el FAFSA no será usada para negar aplicaciones para residencias o ciudadanía.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

In addition to completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you must also meet the following requirements:

  • Demonstrate financial need (for most programs).
  • Be accepted to and enrolled in a degree or certificate program at NECC.
  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen.
  • Maintain Academic Standards and Progress.
  • Meet 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 graduate from an approved home school in program.
  • Be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds.

FASFA Application Process

Create a FSA ID

STEP 1 Create a FSA ID

The Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID, made up of a username and password, is used to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID is used to authenticate your identity when accessing your financial aid information. You can create an FSA ID at If you are a dependent student your parent must also create an FSA ID.

Complete the FAFSA

STEP 2 Complete the FAFSA

Complete the FAFSA for the current academic year at If you completed a FAFSA for the previous academic year, you can complete a Renewal FAFSA.

When completing the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA, you will be asked a series of questions that determine if you are dependent or independent for financial aid purposes. If you are a dependent student, you are required to report parental income and other information. If independent and married, you are required to report all information regarding your spouse.

Important: Be sure to list NECC’s school code 002174 in the “Schools to Receive Information” section of the FAFSA and sign the FAFSA electronically with your PIN.

Review Your Student Aid Report (SAR)

Review Your Student Aid Report (SAR)

Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) after your FAFSA has been processed. If you provided a valid e-mail address on your FAFSA, you will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to access an online copy of your SAR. Otherwise, you will receive a paper SAR via postal mail. Make sure to review and make any changes or corrections to your SAR.

If you listed NECC on the FAFSA, the school will automatically receive an electronic version of your SAR.

Provide Additional Documentation

STEP 4: Provide Additional Documentation to NECC

It is important that you check with NECC to see what additional information/documentation you may be required to submit. If your FAFSA was selected for the federal verification process, you and your spouse/parent, if applicable, will be required to submit certain documents to verify income and other data reported on your FAFSA. Your financial aid will be delayed if you have any missing information or documents!

How Will I Know if I Have Been Approved?

Once your application for financial aid is complete, a counselor will review your file and package your Financial Aid Award. You will receive an email at your NECC email account notifying you that your financial aid package is complete and view-able in Self Service. A detailed award letter will be sent to your NECC email account and your financial aid package will be viewable through the myNECC portal.

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