Federal & State Aid
There are many Federal and State Aid programs to offer you assistance in paying for your college education. If you have any questions, please contact the MCC Financial Aid Office.
Direct Student Loans
The Federal Direct Student Loan Program offers three types of student loans:
- Subsidized Loans: Students must have an unmet need, as determined by the FAFSA to qualify for a Subsidized Direct Student Loan. The federal government will pay the interest owed on a subsidized loan while the student is enrolled in at least six credit hours and during the student’s grace period.
- Unsubsidized Loans: Before MCC can certify an Unsubsidized Direct Loan, eligibility for a Subsidized Direct Loan will be determined. The Unsubsidized Loan is not a need-based loan. The borrower is responsible for paying the interest accrued on the loan after disbursement as well as during the life of the loan.
- PLUS (parent) Loans: The Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Program is designed for parents to borrow money to pay education expenses for a dependent child who is enrolled in college. The student must be enrolled in at least six semester hours and making satisfactory academic progress in a course of study. The maximum loan amount a parent may borrow for each dependent undergraduate student each year is the cost of attendance minus estimated financial assistance. The interest rate is a variable rate. The borrower is required to pay a guarantee fee and origination fee for each loan. The interest on a PLUS loan must be paid by the borrower and begins to accrue on the day the loan is first disbursed. Repayment of the loan must begin within 60 days of the last disbursement of each loan. Direct PLUS applications are available at the MCC Financial Aid Office.
To be eligible for a Direct Student Loan, a student must:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA),
- Enroll in at least six (6) semester credit hours (half-time) at MCC,
- Meet requirements of MCC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAPP)*, and
- Have a need as determined by the FAFSA and the Cost of Attendance, minus other aid.
- Other criteria may also apply.
To apply for a Direct Student Loan:
- Once a student’s eligibility criteria has been met, the student must call or come by MCC’s Financial Aid Office and request a Federal Student Loan Application packet. The packet outlines in detail the requirements that a student must complete in order to apply for the loan. When the requirements are completed and the information returned to MCC, the loan will be processed and awarded to the student, if eligible. The student should check their EagleNet for award information or documents requested.
Disbursement of Loan Money:
- The Department of Education will disburse the student loan funds to MCC in two separate and equal disbursements within the loan period. All charges owed to MCC will be taken out of the student’s loan disbursement prior to the student receiving a refund. Student loan refunds will not be available to any student until at least eight (8) weeks after the first day of the semester. If, when the student loan funds are disbursed or the student comes to pick up his/her loan refund check, the student is not attending at least six (6) credit hours, the loan funds will be returned to The Department of Education.
- Repayment of the loan begins six (6) months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time. Students may visit The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at www.nslds.ed.gov for a complete history regarding their student loan(s).
Exit counseling is required to be provided to any student who has:
- Withdrawn from our school,
- Transferred to another school,
- Dropped to less than half-time, or
- Click here to complete online exit counseling.
You will need your driver’s license (if applicable), Employer information (if available), addresses, name and phone number for next of kin and two personal references that live in the United States in order to complete the counseling session.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The FSEOG is a “need based” grant awarded to undergraduate students. Priority is given to students who receive Federal Pell Grants. These awards are made on the availability of funds and the amount varies.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
In order to remain eligible to receive Title IV financial assistance at Meridian Community College, students must progress satisfactorily towards completion of an Academic or Career & Technical Educationprogram.
In order to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), all students attempting one credit hour or more must have a semester GPA of a 2.0. In addition, each student must complete 67% of all course-work attempted at MCC and applicable transfer work and maintain a certain cumulative GPA based on the cumulative hours attempted.
If you are not meeting SAP, you will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will be ineligible to receive Federal Aid.
The Federal Pell Grant Program provides grants to undergraduate students who have financial need and meet the other general eligibility requirements for student financial assistance. Credit balances are paid at the end of the first nine weeks each semester (fall, spring). Pell Grants are awarded during the summer to students who meet the above requirements. For details about summer Pell Grants, contact the Financial Aid Office.
To Apply for a Pell Grant:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at studentaid.gov.
- Paper applications are only available from the Department of Education. Students may obtain up to 3 paper copies by calling 1.800.433.3243. Financial aid personnel will gladly help with any questions about completing the application. The student should list all schools that he wants to receive the information.
- Within two weeks of completing the FAFSA online (four weeks if completed by paper) the school will receive the results electronically and the student will receive a Student Aid Report Information Acknowledgment (SAR). If the student did not list MCC on the original application, the student should add MCC’s school code online to their FAFSA as soon as possible.
- If a student qualifies to receive a Pell Grant and has submitted all necessary documentation,
an account is established so that they may charge tuition and fees in the Business
Your financial aid will become active in the Bookstore approximately three days prior to class start date. Students receiving financial aid should direct questions or problems to the Financial Aid Office. You will need your student ID and a copy of your class schedule to use your financial aid and to purchase textbooks in the bookstore.
The FAFSA Simplification Act distinguishes between different categories of professional judgment by amending section 479A of the HEA.
- Special Circumstances refer to the financial situations (loss of a job, etc.) that justify an aid administrator adjusting data elements in the COA or in the EFC calculation.
- Unusual Circumstances refer to the conditions that justify an aid administrator making an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation (e.g., human trafficking, refugee or asylee status, parental abandonment, incarceration), more commonly referred to as a dependency override.
Professional judgment allows the Financial Aid Office to adjust the data elements of a student’s FAFSA information to account for special and/or unusual circumstances as determined by federal guidelines. Adjustments submitted for consideration must be documented and reasonable. There must be a significant change to the household finances to be considered for a Professional Judgment. These adjustments are made on a case-by-case basis.
If you already are Pell Grant eligible with a "0" Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), it is not necessary to complete this Professional Judgement Review form, as you have already received the maximum award allowable for the award year.
Please note that a Professional Judgment request does not guarantee approval. In addition, even if approved, the recalculation of FAFSA data does not always result in an increase of aid eligibility. If the Professional Judgment is not in your favor, it will not be processed.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA)
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA), which supersedes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), presents an extraordinary opportunity to improve job and career options for our nation’s workers and job candidates through an integrated, job-driven public workforce system that links diverse talent to businesses. The Mississippi Department of Employment Security, through contract with the state’s four workforce areas, offers approved job training activities for adults, dislocated workers, and youth. For specific eligibility criteria, contact Shannon Coleman, MCC’s WIOA Case Manager, at Meridian WIN Job Center or call 601.553.9531.
- Healthcare Stability Grant: MCC offers individual training assistance with educational costs such as tuition,
books, and approved fees.
- WIOA Training Assistance: Training assistance is available for approved programs. This includes tuition, books,
and some program associated fees.
Click here to view a list of approved programs for MCC.
- WIOA Supportive Services: Supportive Services are available for students who are WIOA eligible.
- WIOA Internship: Internship opportunities are available for students who are WIOA eligible.
Federal Work-Study Program
The Federal Work-Study Program provides on and off-campus employment opportunities for eligible students. To be considered for a Federal Work-Study job, the student must:
- Apply for a Pell Grant,
- Submit a Federal Work-Study Job Application, and
- Have unmet financial need as determined by the Federal Needs Analysis Methodology
Mississippi Student Financial Aid Programs
The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid (MOSFA) provides aid to Mississippi students in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans. To apply for any State Aid or to obtain a listing of all programs available, log on to msfinancialaid.org or contact the MOSFA at 1.800.327.2980.
MISSISSIPPI TUITION ASSISTANCE GRANT (MTAG)
MTAG is a grant supported by the state of Mississippi to help students with the costs of going to school. Any student who is a Mississippi resident is eligible to apply for this grant. All students who apply must be able to prove that they have been a MS resident for the past year. Any student applying for and receiving MTAG must meet the standard requirements established by the Mississippi Post Secondary Education Financial Assistance Board (Board) and the financial aid office at Meridian Community College. This grant is subject to proration based on funding availability.
MTAG Eligibility Requirements:
- 15 or higher on the ACT
- 2.5 or higher GPA
- Enrolled as a full-time student
- Not receiving the maximum Federal Pell Grant award
For college students with 12 or more credit hours:
- 2.5 or higher GPA on all college work attempted
- Enrolled as a full-time student
- Not receiving the maximum Federal Pell Grant award
- Not in default on a federal student loan or owe a refund on any federal or state funds
Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG)
MESG is a grant supported by the state of Mississippi to help students with the costs of going to school. This grant is for students with exceptional ACT scores and high school GPA. Students can only apply for MESG their first semester after they graduate high school. Any student applying for and receiving MTAG/MESG must meet the requirements established by the Mississippi Post Secondary Education Financial Assistance Board (Board) and the financial aid office at Meridian Community College. This grant will pay the cost of full tuition and fees (up to $1500/sem) for students who qualify. Students who receive this grant must be able to prove they have been MS residents for the past year.
MSEG Eligibility Requirements:
- 29 or higher on the ACT
- 3.5 or higher GPA
- First-time freshman out of high school
- Enrolled as a full-time student
FOSTERING ACCESS AND INSPIRING TRUE HOPE (FAITH) SCHOLARSHIP
Created by the Mississippi Legislature in 2022, the Representative Bill Kinkade Fostering Access & Inspiring True Hope (FAITH) Scholarship awards scholarships up to the full cost of attendance for current and former foster youth to attend college in Mississippi.
FAITH Eligibility Requirements:
- Be a legal resident of the State of Mississippi for one year prior to application.
- Complete the Mississippi Aid Application (MAAPP) by September 15 during the fall of the aid year for which the student is seeking aid.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Apply through CPS for an Educational and Training Voucher (ETV) if eligible to apply.
- Be younger than 25 by October 1 of the aid year for which the applicant is applying.*
- Meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Have been in legal custody of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services (CPS) at any time since age 13.
- Have lived in a qualified residential childcare agency (Mississippi Baptist Children’s Village, Sunnybrook Children’s Home, or Berean Children’s Home) at any time since age 13.
- Have been adopted from the legal custody of CPS or a qualified residential childcare agency at any time since age 13.
- Enroll at least part-time (minimum 6 hours) at an approved postsecondary institution in Mississippi in a program of study leading to an undergraduate certificate or degree.
HIGHER EDUCATION LEGISLATIVE PLAN FOR NEEDY STUDENTS (HELP)
Created by the Mississippi Legislature, this program is designed to provide tuition
assistance to qualified students whose financial need, as demonstrated by federal
student aid eligibility, will not be met with gift aid from other sources. The program
provides full tuition to qualified students for up to four years.
HELP Eligibility Requirements:
Be a legal resident of the State of Mississippi for one year prior to application
- Have a high school cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
- Score a minimum of 20 on the National ACT
- Complete the HELP Core Curriculum. Learn more about this at msfinancialaid.org/help.
- Meet income limitations.
- Demonstrate need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and qualifying for a maximum or partial federal Pell Grant.
- Enroll full-time at an approved postsecondary institution in Mississippi in a program of study leading to a first certificate, first associate’s degree, or first bachelor’s degree.