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Home » Getting Started » Financial Aid » Types of Aid

Types of Aid

In general, there are three major types of financial aid: grants and scholarships, loans, and employment. An award package may be a combination of any of the following aid programs. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed to receive consideration for these awards. Priority is given to those students who file on or before May 1st. Student’s who have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher may only receive loans or work study.

  1. Grants and scholarships (listed below) carry no work or repayment requirements. They are a gift.
  2. Loans, regardless of the lending source, are funds that must be repaid. The terms of repayment vary, as do the repayment periods. Loans provide students the opportunity to borrow against future earnings.
  3. Work-study opportunities provide a third type of resource enabling the student to use current earnings towards expenses. Employment opportunities are need based, and are both on-campus and off-campus.

Grants and Scholarships


Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is a federal, need-based entitlement grant awarded to eligible students who are enrolled for a minimum of 3 credits who have not yet earned a baccalaureate degree. The grant is based upon an eligible expected family contribution and cost of attendance at NECC.

Massachusetts Need Based Tuition Waiver Program

This is a state-funded, need-based program for undergraduate, Massachusetts residents for at least 1 year. This waiver cannot exceed assessed tuition and fees.

Massachusetts Cash Grant Program

This is a state-funded, need-based program for undergraduate, Massachusetts residents for at least 1 year. Awards cannot exceed assessed tuition and fees.

Massachusetts Part-time Grant

This is a state funded, need-based grant that is awarded to eligible students, who are Massachusetts residents for at least 1 year, and enrolled in at least 6 credits but less than 12 credits in an undergraduate degree program.

Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

This federal grant is awarded to undergraduate students who have demonstrated exceptional financial need.


NECC offers varied scholarship opportunities for current and prospective students as well as individual transfer scholarships. Additional scholarships are offered to students participating in the PACE program. Scholarship opportunities may not require the completion of the FAFSA form.

Direct Loans

Northern Essex Community College participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. You can receive an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan regardless of financial need. To receive a Subsidized Stafford Loan, you must demonstrate need. The government pays the interest while you are in school and during deferment on subsidized loans only. Students must be enrolled at least half-time. Interest starts accruing from the day the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Loan limits are subject to cost of attendance. You may pay the interest while in school or you may capitalize it.

Employment Opportunities

Federal Work-Study

This federally and institutionally funded employment program provides jobs for eligible undergraduate students who need financial assistance. Students work on-campus and off-campus and get paid for actual hours worked. All awards are based upon need.

Other Types of Financial Aid

Visit the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office for Student Financial Assistance, for other financial aid programs applicable to NECC.