Types of Financial Aid

Grants

Pell Grant (FPELL)

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid.  This grant may be applied to tuition, fees, and books.  This grant is available to eligible undergraduate students enrolled in an eligible program (at least 16 credit hours) and demonstrating financial need.  To determine your need please apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year.  The amount of Federal Pell Grant a student may receive is dependent on their financial need, costs to attend school, status as full-time or part-time student and plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.  The maximum Federal Pell Grant amount for the 2014-2015 award year is $5730.

Students may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school during the same semester, and must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen to qualify.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant does not have to be repaid.  This grant may be applied to tuition or fees.  The grant is available to eligible undergraduate students enrolled in an eligible program (at least 16 credit hours) and demonstrating the most financial need.  To determine your need please apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year. The maximum amount of this award at MCC is $400 per award year.  Funding for this program is limited and is awarded on a first-come-first-served basis.  Only U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens will qualify for FSEOG.

Illinois Monetary Award Program Grant (SMAP)

The Illinois Monetary Award Program Grant does not have to be repaid.  This grant may be applied to tuition.  The grant is available to students showing Illinois residency and are attending an Illinois school, enrolled in a minimum of 3 credit hours, and demonstrate financial need. To determine your need please apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year.  The maximum amount of this award at MCC is dependent on the student’s eligibility and enrollment status.  Funding for this program is limited and is awarded on a first-come-first-served basis. Independent students must show they were an Illinois resident one full year prior to the first day of classes for fall term of the award year in question. Dependent student’s parent(s) must show Illinois residency as of the date the student’s FAFSA was filed.


Federal Direct Stafford Loan

Federal Direct Stafford loans are federal student loans for eligible students to help cover cost of higher education.  The US Department of Education offers eligible students Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized loans.  To receive either type of loan, you must be enrolled at least half-time in an approved program that leads to a degree or certificate program.  MCC will determine the type of loan and the actual amount you are eligible to receive each academic year.  However, there are limits on the amount in subsidized and unsubsidized loans that you may be eligible to receive each academic year and the total amounts that you may borrow for undergraduate aggregate loan limits.

Department of Education will assign a servicer to your direct loan after the first disbursement.   To find out who is servicing your loan, visit www.nslds.ed.gov
Subsidized Federal Direct Loan Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
Based on financial need. Not based on financial need.
Interest is subsidized (paid) by the government while you are enrolled for at least six credit hours. Interest is paid by the borrower at all times; it accrues from the time of disbursement and can be paid incrementally or capitalized (added to the unpaid principal loan amount) after the six-month grace period.
Interest rate for subsidized Federal Direct Loans with a first disbursement between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 is fixed at 3.86%. Interest rate for unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans with a first disbursement between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 is fixed at 3.86%.
Subsidized loans with a first disbursement on or after July 1, 2012 and before July 1, 2014 are not eligible for the federal interest subsidy during the six-month grace period before repayment begins.  

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Federal Direct Stafford Loan Limits

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan program limits the amount that a student can borrow based on dependency status (dependent or independent), cost of attendance budget, financial need, and grade level. If eligible, you can borrow either subsidized or unsubsidized loans, or a combination of both loan types. Subsequent loans are available to eligible borrowers annually.

Dependent Students
Grade Level Base Loan Amount
(Maximum Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized)
Additional Unsubsidized
Loan Amount
Total Annual Loan Amount Maximum
Total Debt from Stafford Loans
(Aggregate Loan Limits)
First Year Limit:
Undergrad/freshman with less than 30 earned hours
$3,500 $2,000* $5,500 $31,000
Second Year Limit: 
Undergrad/sophomore with 30 or more earned hours
$4,500 $2,000* $6,500 (No more than $23,000 can be in subsidized loans)

*Additional Unsubsidized is available for Dependents whose parents have been denied a Parent Plus Loan.

Independent Students (and Dependent Students Whose Parents are Denied a PLUS Loan)
Class Level Base Loan Amount
(Maximum Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized)
Additional Unsubsidized
Loan Amount
Total Annual Loan Amount Maximum
Total Debt from Stafford Loans
(Aggregate Loan Limits)
First Year Limit:
Undergrad/freshman with less than 30 earned hours
$3,500 $6,000 $9,500 $57,500
Second Year Limit: 
Undergrad/sophomore with 30 or more earned hours
$4,500 $6,000 $10,500 (No more than $23,000 can be in subsidized loans)

Note: The Aggregate Maximum includes outstanding loans for ALL your undergraduate studies. Once you have reached the Aggregate Maximum, you cannot borrow until your debt is paid down below the set limits.

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Origination Fee

The origination fee for loans disbursed on or after December 1, 2013 has increased to 1.072%.  The origination fee is deducted from the total loan prior to disbursement to the student. 

How to Apply for a Federal Direct Loan

  1. Apply for a PIN Number.  Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.   Enter MCC’s school code (007691) on the FAFSA so MCC will receive your information. You must have a complete and fully processed application before you may apply for a student loan.
  2. You must be enrolled and maintain at least half-time status (6 credit hours).  Failure to maintain a half-time status may result in your loan not being disbursed or your disbursed loan being returned to the Department of Education.  You will be responsible for any balance due.
  3. First time Federal Direct Loan borrower to MCC:
    •  Log on to www.studentloans.gov .  Must complete Entrance Loan Counseling and Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).
      • Go to https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action
      • In the Manage My Direct Loan Box, create a login using your FAFSA pin number.
      • Click on “Complete Entrance Counseling” link. Complete required steps through confirmation.
      • Click on "Complete Master Promissory note" link. Complete required steps through confirmation.
    • Complete and print the Student Budget Worksheet and bring to your appointment with a Financial Aid Specialist.
  4. Returning Federal Direct Loan borrowers to MCC:

Loans will not be disbursed if all the steps have not been completed.
There is a 30 day delayed disbursement for all first-time borrowers.  Therefore, Direct Loan funds will not be disbursed to the student’s account until at least 30 days after the start of the session.

Exit Counseling

Federal regulations require student loan borrowers who graduate, withdraw (regardless of plans to transfer to another school), or drop below half-time status to complete exit loan counseling. Half-time enrollment is being enrolled for at least six credit hours as an undergraduate student. Exit counseling allows the borrower an opportunity to view their total Federal Loan debt and their rights and responsibilities as a borrower.  Exit counseling also guides borrowers in selecting the most effective repayment plan based on the borrower’s current financial situation. You will receive information about the types of loans you received, when and where to make your payments, what to do if you cannot make your payments, and what can happen if you do not make your payments. In order to make this as easy and convenient as possible, borrowers are able to complete this requirement online.

If you fail to complete Exit Counseling, a hold will be placed on your records. You will not be able to re-enroll in classes or obtain other school services and documents including, but not limited to, your transcripts.

How to Complete Exit Counseling

  1. Sign in to www.StudentLoans.gov by clicking the “Sign In” button under “Manage My Direct Loan”.
  2. Select the “Complete Counseling” link.
  3. Once you have confirmed your information, select “Complete Counseling”.
  4. Select Exit Counseling by clicking on the “Start” button.
  5. Under “School Information”, select “Illinois” as the “School State” and “McHenry County College” as the “School Name”.
  6. Complete required steps through confirmation. Print a copy for your records.

Loan Repayment

Repayment on a Federal Direct Stafford Loan begins six months after a student graduates, withdraws, or drops below half-time enrollment. There are repayment plans available to help students manage their debt. Deferment and forbearance options are available, if needed, to temporarily suspend payments for certain reasons such as attending another school, unemployment, or financial hardship. If you are having problems repaying your loan, there may be help available. Learn more about repayment plans, deferment or forbearance.

Private Loans

Private Education Loans, also known as Alternative Loans, are credit-based loans that can help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the amount of your other financial aid funds. Private loans are offered by private lenders and should only be considered after exhausting all other sources of funding – including federal loans.

Learn about the advantages of Federal Student loans over Private Loans.

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