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Financial Aid FAQ’s for Adult Degree Program Students

The information you provide on the FAFSA will be used to produce a number known as the EFC (Expected Family Contribution). The EFC is based on a formula taking into account your household income and assets, number of people in the household, and how many of those people are in college, among other things.

The EFC represents how much of your income the Department of Education expects that you “should” be able to contribute. This number is used to determine your financial need, upon which your financial aid award is based. Students may be awarded grants or loans based on financial need. These amounts may vary by enrollment status. It is important to return your Enrollment Status Form to be considered for Financial Aid.

Once the amount of grants, loans, and/or other types of aid you will be eligible to receive is determined, we will send you an aid award package.

As an ADP or PBTL student, you are considered an undergraduate student. You will be awarded financial aid as an undergraduate student. This means that you may be eligible for grants or loans depending on your eligibility factors.

WHAT IS AN AID PACKAGE?

Your aid package is the total amount of aid of whatever types the college is able to offer you depending upon many variables including enrollment status, class level, program, your total need and funds available.

Almost all students can receive a federal Direct Stafford Loan. Undergraduate students will be awarded the Pell grant if they meet federal eligibility requirements. All full-time, degree-seeking students who are Virginia residents obtaining their first undergraduate degree are eligible to apply for a Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG). There are some special scholarship funds for ADP students available from the College. Students are also encouraged to seek grants from outside sources such as clubs, churches, or employers. Depending on demonstrated need and funds available, some or all types of aid could be included in the package of aid offered.

WILL AID BE RENEWED EACH YEAR?

Students must reapply for federal financial aid each academic year by completing the FAFSA. If you receive TAG during the prior academic year, TAG will be automatically renewed for the following academic year if you are enrolled full time. If you are uncertain as to continued TAG eligibility, please call the Financial Aid Office. If you think TAG should be shown on your account, DO NOT WAIT — CONTACT US. We make every effort to assure that all eligible students are receiving TAG, but it is your responsibility to follow up with this office in a timely manner if for any reason you believe that you should have received TAG. Also, if you change enrollment status from year to year and have not received TAG for a full academic year, you must reapply to reactivate your TAG.

DOES OUTSIDE AID CHANGE AID AWARDED BY THE COLLEGE?

Scholarships received from private scholarship sources or from employers must be reported promptly to the College aid office to prevent over awards involving federal aid funds. In cases where aid for an academic year has already been awarded, the receipt of an outside grant or scholarship may result in a reduction of aid awarded by the College, if the additional aid causes the total aid to exceed demonstrated need. In such a situation, the first part of the aid package to be reduced would be loan eligibility and in most cases only the loan is reduced. Obviously, it is to the student’s advantage to seek outside scholarships and grants to replace loans, which must be repaid.

HOW IS AID ACTUALLY GIVEN TO THE STUDENT?

All aid is disbursed to student accounts in the MBC Business Office. Aid is first used to cover charges to the student’s account. Once your account is paid, you will be refunded any additional aid for use for books, transportation, and personal expenses. Refunds of aid proceeds not required for direct costs at the College will be made to the student by a check from the MBC Business Office after the add-drop period ends and a review of enrollment status based on the official rosters of the Registrars Office has been completed. Refunds will not be available until approximately one month after the beginning of the semester. We are not able to give exact dates for individual refunds but all refunds will be made as quickly as possible after loan funds are received from the lenders.

You should not expect instant cash in hand from aid sources. The Financial Aid Office is obligated to check enrollment after the end of each semester’s add-drop period to be sure of continuing eligibility for aid per your enrollment status. Refunds will not be issued to you from your account until the review process is completed, which is usually about four weeks after a semester begins. You should make your plans accordingly.

ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

It is important to complete and return the Enrollment Status Form and the FAFSA each year to begin the awarding process. Registration in new MBC course work must be completed with the ADP Office by announced deadlines for each enrollment period/semester. Only new MBC work is counted, i.e., classes and/or learning contracts. We cannot count ET’s (Extended Time for completion of work), CLEP or prior learning credit as new work. We also cannot count courses you take at another institution. Mary Baldwin will offer aid based on the information you give us about your plans for enrollment in new work for fall and spring. If you attend during both semesters of the traditional academic year, usually all available aid will be offered during the academic year. If you do not use up all aid eligibility during the academic year, you may be eligible for summer aid. Please plan carefully with your advisor and report on your Enrollment Verification Form what you actually will be doing. Aid must be recomputed and possibly adjusted or lost if courses are dropped or withdrawn. If you plan to take summer courses, you can contact the financial aid office to discuss your options.

Each semester ADP will give the Financial Aid Office your actual enrollment information after the add-drop period is over. That will be at an announced date at least one week after a semester/enrollment period begins. Aid will be checked, recomputed as needed, and released as soon as possible after that date.

CAUTION ABOUT ENROLLMENT PLANS:

Enrollment is checked at each enrollment period (semester). The College must report enrollment status of all student loan borrowers each enrollment period on Confirmation Reports to the Federal Loan Program. Please remember that any loans you have taken must be repaid when you are no longer enrolled at least half-time (6 hours). Work with your advisor to plan your enrollment in such a way that you are making progress toward your degree and that you remain at least half-time, if you are planning to move toward your degree and not have the loan enter repayment until you graduate. If you choose to drop below half-time enrollment or take a stop-out for personal reasons, you will have to begin repayment and then file for a deferment when you return to college and are again enrolled in enough hours to defer your loan repayment.

DEFINITIONS OF ENROLLMENT LEVELS:

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Full Time: 12 or more hours of new work per semester
Three-quarter Time: 9 – 11.9 hours of new work per semester
Half Time: 6 – 8.9 hours of new work per semester
Below Half Time: 0.1 – 5.9 hours of new work per semester
(While some high need Pell-eligible students can receive a small Pell Grant for less than 6 hours of new work, there are no student loans below half-time work and no state grant eligibility below full time work. We are required to notify lenders to begin loan collection when a student falls below half-time enrollment.)

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS REQUIRED

Federal and state aid is intended to support serious degree-seeking students who are making continuous satisfactory progress towards their degree. The College is required to withhold aid if satisfactory academic progress  is not made. For full requirements, refer to the college catalog.

WHAT AID IS AVAILABLE?

FEDERAL AND STATE AID

GRANTS:

The Federal Pell Grant – based on your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) – must be $5,157 or lower. The amounts range from $577 to $5,730 for the year. This award is available to undergraduate student only.

VA TAG Grant (requires a separate application which is due by July 31) – amount varies every year. This award is available to undergraduate and post-baccalaureate teaching licensure students who are enrolled full time (12 semester hours or more). To be considered full time for spring semester VA TAG you must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 semester hours in the traditional spring term (this excludes May Term Hours.)

LOANS:

Almost all students are eligible for Federal Stafford Loans. The only time you cannot receive a Stafford Loan is if you are actively bankrupt, are currently in default on a previous student loan, or have already received $57,500 in Stafford Loans in your lifetime (138,500 if you are a graduate student)
There are two types of Stafford Loans:

  • Subsidized – Subsidized Stafford Loans accrue no interest until after you graduate. These are need-based loans.
  • Unsubsidized – Unsubsidized Stafford Loans begin to accrue interest while you are in school. You are NOT required to make increase only payments, but are able to make payments at any time.

SCHOLARSHIPS

MBC offers several scholarships to help make higher education more affordable for adults.

Outside scholarships may be available through your community, church, or employer. Contact organizations such as these to inquire about possible scholarships. In addition, you may want to search the web for scholarships. Two very good scholarship search web sites are www.fastweb.com and www.scholarships.com.

Questions? Call the Financial Aid Office at 1-800-468-2262 or email finaid@mbc.edu.