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2017-2018 Catalog

Financial Aid

The goal of the Financial Aid Office is to assure that students do not have financial barriers if they want to earn a college degree or certificate. Our office is committed to helping students receive the financial assistance they need to attend QCC. We offer a wide variety of federal, state and institutional assistance programs.

Who is Eligible for Financial Aid?

Students must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for financial aid:

  • Be admitted to an eligible program. Please note that undeclared majors are not eligible for financial aid.
  • For most programs, students should enroll in at least six credits each semester. However, students with very low income may qualify for as little as one class per semester.
  • Demonstrate financial need as determined by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Have a complete financial aid file by responding to all requests for additional information.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (permanent resident alien). Verification may be required.
  • Be in compliance with the Selective Service registration requirements. Verification may be required. To check the status or to register go the Selective Service System website.
  • Not be in default on any educational loan or in repayment of any educational grant.
  • Not have been convicted for possession of the sale of illegal drugs while receiving any financial aid.
  • For the grant programs, students must not have a previous Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Be making progress toward a certificate or degree program according to the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Applying for Financial Aid

To begin the financial aid application process, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) electronically. It is necessary for the student and their parent (if required to provide their information) to sign the FAFSA using a FSA ID. Be sure to designate Quinsigamond Community College (Federal School Code 002175) in the College release section. Make sure to select the application for the correct academic year. If a tax return has already been filed, QCC strongly recommends utilizing the IRS Data Retrieval tool. Using the tool allows students to complete the process faster and may minimize the amount of follow-up required by schools. If taxes have not been filed yet and the FAFSA has not been completed using estimated tax information, a student may make a FAFSA correction and utilize Data Retrieval after filing. Information on the tool and who is eligible to use it is available within the online FAFSA application.

Allow 3-5 business days for the FAFSA to be processed. Students will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which should be reviewed for accuracy.

If additional documentation is required, students will receive a letter or email to their College Qmail account from the Financial Aid Office. It is important to respond to these requests as quickly as possible.

When Should One Apply?

The priority filing date for the Fall semester is April 1 and Spring semester is October 1. The deadline to apply for MASSGrant is May 1. These priority filing dates assure that students receive the maximum financial aid possible and that funding will be available to pay the bill by the billing due date, assuming all requirements are completed. If a student misses the priority filing date, he or she may still apply for financial aid. Funding is still available.

Students must reapply for financial aid each academic year.

Determining Financial Need

Financial aid from most sources is awarded on the basis of financial need. Once the student meets the other eligibility criteria, the information he or she reports on their aid application will be used in federal formulas to calculate their need and eligibility.

Financial need is determined by taking the cost of education (educational expenses, such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, and other related expenses), and subtracting the amount the student and his or her family are expected to pay toward that cost. Detailed information on how the “cost” of education at Quinsigamond Community College is calculated may be obtained at the Financial Aid Office.

Certain federal loan programs not based on financial need are also available. In order to be considered for these programs, students may be required to complete the entire financial aid application process to first determine if they are ineligible for need-based assistance.

Repeated Courses

Students may qualify for financial aid for repeated coursework.  For most programs, the Financial Aid Office can count repeated coursework in a student’s enrollment status for financial aid purposes as long as (1) they have not yet earned credit for that course, or (2) it is the student’s first attempt to retake the course following the student having previously earned credit.  In other words, once a student receives a grade in a class (A through D-), he or she can only get financial aid for that class one more time if he or she needs to repeat it. 

Some programs at Quinsigamond Community College follow different eligibility rules and students may not qualify for repeat coursework even under the conditions above.  Those programs are:  Practical Nursing (Day and Evening), Nurse Education Evening, Nurse Education Advanced Placement LPN, Nurse Education Advanced Placement Paramedic, and Radiologic Technology.

Billing Information for Financial Aid Applicants

Financial aid awards are applied toward a student’s bill when an official award letter is issued from the College. If the student has applied for financial aid, but has not been notified of their eligibility for assistance by the College, he or she must make payment arrangements for the amount due directly with the Payment Center.

Students will need to visit The Q, QCC’s online student portal, to see their financial aid award and/or any missing financial aid documents.

Should Quinsigamond Community College become aware of any misrepresented or omitted information in a financial aid application, any funds awarded to the student will become due immediately and payable to either the College or the Department of Education.

Return of Federal and State Funds for Students Who Withdraw

Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend the College for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded.  If a student withdraws, drops out, is expelled from the College, or if they otherwise stop attending classes, prior to the 60% point of their payment period (typically a semester), his or her financial aid will be prorated based on the number of days he or she attended. If financial aid was disbursed to the student prior to withdrawal, he or she may be required to pay back a portion of the money, based on a federal determination of the eligibility as of the date he or she withdraws.  

Students enrolled in modular coursework (i.e. coursework that does not span the length of the entire semester) may be considered withdrawn for financial aid purposes even if they have successfully completed another modular course in a given semester.  Students enrolled in the Radiologic Technology, Practical Nursing (Day/Evening), Nurse Education Evening, Nurse Education Advanced Placement LPN, or Nurse Education Advanced Placement Paramedic programs will have a different assessment of their 60% point, as their financial aid award may not be based on a single semester of enrollment. Similarly, students in these programs who are unable to continue in their program from one semester to the next may need to have their eligibility adjusted. Additional information is available in the Financial Aid Office. We strongly advise all students to consult with the Financial Aid Office prior to making changes to their enrollment.

 

Types of Financial Aid Available

The College will inform the student in writing by means of a financial aid award letter of the amount of their award. The amount of their award may be adjusted based upon changes in the student’s enrollment or other eligibility criteria. Their award may consist of any combination of the federal, state, and institutional programs listed below.

Grant Programs

  • Federal Pell Grant: This is gift aid awarded by the federal government to students demonstrating substantial financial need. Changes in enrollment status through the add/drop period will result in an adjustment to this award.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant: This is a federally funded grant program. Recipients are selected by Quinsigamond Community College according to federal regulations that require SEOG be awarded to students with the lowest family contributions and greatest financial need, usually Federal Pell Grant recipients.
  • MA Cash Grant: This is a state-funded grant program designed to assist needy Massachusetts residents attending public colleges and registered for at least three credits. Eligibility is determined by the college according to state regulations. The Cash Grant cannot exceed the cost of tuition and fees.
  • MASSGrant: This is a state grant awarded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to its residents with exceptionally high financial need. The state Office of Student Financial Assistance notifies residents of their eligibility and the college certifies this eligibility. Funds are not available until this certification is completed. A student must be enrolled for a minimum of 12 credits to receive this grant.
  • Massachusetts Part-time Grant: This is a state-funded grant available to residents of Massachusetts who attend college on a part-time basis. Quinsigamond Community College, in accordance with state regulations, selects recipients. A student must be enrolled for at least six and not more than eleven credits each semester.
  • Performance Bonus Grant: This grant was created to reward the success of the Commonwealth’s neediest students. The grant provides a financial incentive for students to perform well in college and persist toward the achievement of a postsecondary education degree. Students must be full time, have earned 24 credits with a 3.0 GPA, have a 0 EFC, and are eligible for the MASSGrant. Recipients are selected by the state and eligibility is certified by the College.
  • MA Public Service Grant: Established to provide educational opportunity to family members in recognition of the hardship that a family experiences upon the loss of a parent and or spouse who is killed or missing in the line of public service duty in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The award value is equal to the college’s full time tuition charge.
  • Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant: Provides financial assistance to paraprofessionals in a Massachusetts public school who wish to pursue teacher education and become certified to teach full-time in Massachusetts’ public schools.

Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program offers students an opportunity to earn money through on or off-campus employment. Students are placed in a position that will provide them with valuable work experience. The Work-Study Program offers off-campus placements in community service positions at non-profit agencies. It also offers students an opportunity to tutor in area elementary schools with the America Reads and America Counts Programs.

A student’s work schedule and hours may vary according to the amount of the Work-Study award. Students are paid hourly, and rates of pay may vary.

Loans

Federal Direct Loan Program: The Direct Loan Program provides low-interest loans to students enrolled for six or more credits per semester. Payments for interest or principal do not begin until six months after the borrower graduates, drops below half time enrollment, or leaves school. Borrowers are charged a fixed interest rate. A variety of repayment options are offered.

If the student demonstrates financial need, a portion of the loan may be subsidized which means the Department of Education will pay the interest on the loan during eligible periods. For first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum amount of time a student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. Students who do not demonstrate financial need or who have reached their subsidized loan limit may qualify for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. The interest on this loan begins to accrue from the date of disbursement.

The College receives funding for these loans directly from the United States Department of Education, and repayment is made to a loan servicer assigned by the US Department of Education once the loan has been disbursed. There is no separate application. Before receiving any loan funds, first-time borrowers must complete an Entrance interview as well as sign a Master Promissory Note electronically at www.studentloans.gov.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans: A Federal Direct PLUS Loan is available to parents of dependent students and is not based upon financial need. The amount of a Federal Direct PLUS Loan may not exceed the cost of education minus any other financial aid. The parents’ credit history will be reviewed to establish eligibility. A fixed interest rate will be charged. Ordinarily, repayment begins 60 days after the final loan disbursement; however, a deferment may be available while the student is enrolled in school. Students need to complete a FAFSA even if they are only applying for a PLUS loan.

Tax Credits

The tax code provides a variety of tax incentives for families who are saving for, or already paying, higher education costs or are repaying student loans.

Students may be able to claim a Hope and Lifetime Learning Credit for the qualified tuition and related expenses of the students in a family (i.e., student, spouse, or an eligible dependent) who are enrolled in eligible educational institutions. Different rules apply to each credit. If a student claims a Hope Scholarship Credit for a particular student, none of that student’s expenses for that year may be applied toward the Lifetime Learning Credit.

A student may be able to claim a tuition deduction of up to $4,000.00 of qualified education expenses paid during the year for themself, their spouse, or their dependent. They cannot claim this deduction if their filing status is married filing separately or if another person can claim an exemption as a dependent on his or her tax return. The qualified expenses must be for higher education. Students may be able to deduct interest paid on a qualified student loan. Please refer to the www.irs.gov for further information.

Tuition Waivers

If a student qualifies for more than one tuition waiver, the total of all waivers received cannot exceed the cost of tuition only each semester

Categorical Tuition Waivers: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides tuition waivers to (1) Veterans, (2) Native Americans, (3) Senior Citizens, (4) members of the Armed Forces, and (5) Clients of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission or Commission for the Blind.  Eligibility is determined by the college according to state regulations.

City of Worcester Tuition Waiver: The city of Worcester issues up to five 100% tuition waivers per semester, for the fall and spring semesters, to employees of the city of Worcester.

DSS Adopted Children Tuition Waiver: This waiver is designed to lessen the financial burden on adopting parents in the Commonwealth. This Waiver extends eligibility to all children and young adults, age twenty-four or under, adopted through the Department of Social Services by state employees or eligible Massachusetts residents, regardless of the date of adoption.

DSS Tuition Waiver for Foster Care Children: This waiver is designed to provide financial support for higher education to foster children in state custody who were neither adopted nor returned home. Students must maintain full-time enrollment.

Higher Education Employee Tuition Waiver: Employees of institutions of higher education in the state of Massachusetts are eligible for a tuition waiver for themselves, their spouses and their dependent children. Full time employees may receive a 100% waiver, part time employees receive 50%.

Human Service Provider Tuition Waiver: This waiver is a program of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers Inc., eligible employees of certain Human Service Providers may receive a 100% tuition waiver by submitting a Certificate of Employee Eligibility for Tuition Remission approved by their Human Resources representative. Qualification of an organization as an Eligible Human Services Provider will be determined on the basis of lists of providers under contract with the Commonwealth that are maintained by the Comptroller of the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts National Guard Tuition Waiver: Certain eligible members of the Massachusetts National Guard may receive a 100% tuition waiver for up to 30 credit hours per school year. A certificate for this waiver must be issued by the member’s unit Administration or Education office.

Need Based Tuition Waiver: This waiver is a state-funded program available to needy Massachusetts residents attending public colleges and registered for at least three credits. Eligibility is determined by the college according to state regulations. If a student receives any other type of tuition waiver they may not receive this need-based tuition waiver as well. The amount of the waiver cannot exceed the cost of tuition.

Quinsigamond Community College Full-Time Employee Tuition and Fee Waiver: QCC employees, their spouses and their dependents are eligible for a 100% waiver of tuition charges. In addition, employees may receive a 100% waiver of educational fee charges. Spouses and dependents of employees may receive a 50% waiver of educational fee charges.

Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Tuition Waiver: Honors students who are awarded Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Awards by the Department of Education.

September 11, 2001 Tragedy Tuition Waiver: This waiver provides a 100% tuition waiver to children and widowed spouses of Massachusetts residents for any state supported course or program offered by a Massachusetts public college or university.

State Employee Tuition Waiver: Employees of state agencies are eligible for a 100% tuition waiver for themselves and their spouses.

Valedictorian Program Tuition Waiver: Honors students who were designated as valedictorians by a Massachusetts High School.

Scholarships

Please note: All scholarships are subject to available funding.

Carmen Tobin Nursing Scholarship: In memory of Carmen Tobin who graduated from the Quinsigamond Community College Nursing Program this scholarship is administered by the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and is awarded each year to assist students in achieving their Nursing degree. A separate application must be submitted to the Greater Worcester Community Foundation.

Carol Lawson Memorial Scholarship: Established in memory of Carol Lawson who served as the Director of the QCC Children’s School from 1991 to 2000. The award is given each spring to a student in the Early Childhood Education program.

Deceased Public Servant Memorial Scholarship: In recognition of the hardship families experience upon the loss of a parent or spouse who is killed in the line of public service duty in the Commonwealth, the Deceased Public Service Memorial Scholarship has been established. Dependent children and spouses of deceased public servants, eligible for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Public Service Grant Program, may also receive this scholarship. The two programs completely cover the cost of tuition, fees and books.

Fairlawn Foundation Scholarship: Scholarships from the Fairlawn Foundation (offered through the Worcester Nursing Pipeline Consortium — WNPC) support nursing students who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the health of residents in the Worcester area through employment, clinical practice, and/or community service in Worcester, Massachusetts with plans to sustain that commitment upon the completion of their current nursing studies.

Family Member of Deceased Former Employee of Quinsigamond Community College: Recipient must be an immediate family member of a deceased former employee of Quinsigamond Community College who died while employed by the College.

Firefighter Memorial Scholarship: This restricted scholarship, in conjunction with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Public Service Grant Program, provides full coverage for tuition, fees and books to the dependent children and spouses of the six firefighters who perished in the December 3, 1999, fire at the Worcester Cold Storage building.

Allan Chupka Memorial Scholarship: Established in the memory of J. Allan Chupka, who served as Registrar and later as Chairperson of the Business Department at Quinsigamond Community College. This scholarship is open to all full-time students at Quinsigamond Community College. The award is based on academic achievement and financial need.

Massachusetts Public Service Grant Program: Established to provide educational opportunity to family members in recognition of the hardship that a family experiences upon the loss of a parent and or spouse who is killed or missing in the line of public service duty in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The award value is equal to the college’s full time tuition charge.

Nancy Ohan Memorial Award: This award is given to a student who has demonstrated significant personal as well as academic growth during their time in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. Nancy Ohan was one of the first graduates of the OTA program at Quinsigamond Community College. After graduation she worked as secretary to the department and then assumed the job of Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. She returned to QCC in the early 1980’s as an instructor in the OTA program and remained until her death in 1996.

National Grid Energy Utility Technology Scholarship: This $1000.00 award is available to assist students who are enrolled in the Energy Utility Technology program. Special consideration will be given to women and other underrepresented populations. Applications are available in the summer prior to the start of the academic year. Multiple scholarships will be awarded.

New England College Council Scholarship: The Board of Directors of the New England College Council awards these scholarships to qualifying students attending one of their member institutions. Members are most of the two-year regionally accredited institutions in New England.

Patricia Lamusta Memorial Scholarship: Established in memory of Patricia Lamusta, who served as a secretary in the Registrar’s Office at Quinsigamond Community College. Open to students in the Business Administration Career degree or Business Support Specialist certificate programs.

Quinsigamond Community College Alumni Association Scholarship: Two scholarships will be awarded to students whose parents or spouse is an alumna of Quinsigamond Community College.

Quinsigamond Community College Division Scholarships: Quinsigamond Community College Division Scholarships are awarded annually on a competitive basis to one student from each division: Business Management and Human Services, Humanities and Social Sciences, Technology, and Healthcare.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship: The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship is awarded each fall to a student who represents the ideals of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. nominated by members of the QCC community.

Rose Caprioli Award: This award is given to the Occupational Therapy Assistant student who consistently demonstrates excellence both in the classroom and in the clinical setting. Honoring Rose Caprioli who taught in the OTA program at QCC for many years and was Academic Field Coordinator for much of that time. She encouraged excellence in clinical practice and supported the students in their clinical experiences on fieldwork.

Ruth C. Pelkey Memorial Nursing Scholarship: Awarded in the fall and the spring of each academic year to a prospective QCC Nursing IV student.

September 11, 2001 Tragedy Fund: The fund, in conjunction with the state’s September 11, 2001 Tragedy Tuition Waiver, is available to any spouse or child of a resident of Massachusetts who was the victim of the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001. The fund provides full coverage for tuition, fees and books.

TJX Foundation Scholarship: The TJX Foundation has donated funds to support scholarships to non-traditional students with financial need. A non-traditional student is typically defined as a student who did not enter college right after high school and is at least 24 years old. This scholarship is subject to continued funding from the TJX Foundation.

Scholarship Search Web Site: This is a very comprehensive web site that will give students information on many external scholarship programs for which they may be eligible.

QCC Foundation Scholarships: The QCC Foundation Scholarship program awards students for academic achievement and considerable financial need. Visit the website to read more and apply.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require students to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of their degree or certificate program in order to qualify for financial aid. Financial Aid applicants will be reviewed at the end of each payment period to determine if the standards are met. For most programs, a payment period is a semester. For the Nurse Education Evening, Nurse Education Advanced Placement LPN, and Nurse Education Advanced Placement Paramedic programs, the payment period may encompass more than one traditional semester. Students in these programs should contact Financial Aid for assistance in determining changes to their status while enrolled in these programs.  

Important Definitions

Academic Progress is based on all terms of enrollment. The review will be performed on the student's entire QCC academic transcript, regardless of whether or not financial aid was received or whether the Fresh Start Option was granted.  

Attempted Credits:

  • All credits in which the student was registered at the end of the add/drop period, including those with grades of "F", "W", "X", "I", "IR", and "WA", including all attempts at repeated courses

  • All earned credits (e.g. transfer credits and credits earned through prior learning)

Earned Credits:

  • Courses that the student has completed and has earned credit for

  • Repeated courses where credit has been earned may only be counted once

  • Transfer credits

  • Credits earned through prior learning (e.g. challenge exams, portfolio assessment, or CLEP/Advanced Placement)

Audited (AU) classes are not considered attempted or earned and are not eligible for financial aid.  

Criteria

Student progress will be measured based on the total number of attempted credits on the transcript at each review.  Student records will be reviewed against all three of the following criteria

I. Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)​

Total Attempted Credits Cumulative GPA
1 - 15 1.5
16 or more   2.0

II. Minimum Earned Credits (Completion Rate)

Calculate by taking “Total Earned Credits” divided by “Total Attempted Credits”.

Total Attempted Credits Completion Rate
1-15    50%
16 or more  66.67% (two-thirds)

III. Maximum Time Frame

Students must complete their certificate or degree program by attempting no more than 150% of the total credits required for that program. If the student is not enrolled in a program at the time the assessment is completed, a determination will be made using the General Studies program degree requirements. All attempted coursework that has been or could be applied to the student’s current major according to the degree audit will be counted toward the maximum timeframe calculation. Up to 30 credits of developmental courses (courses numbered below 100) and all English as a Second Language (ESL) coursework will be excluded from this calculation.

Example: A student is in an associate degree program that requires a total of 62 credits. He has a total of 85 applicable credits attempted at the end of the academic year. He needs 15 more credits to complete the program. The student cannot complete the program within the maximum time frame (62 credits X 150% = 93 credits and he needs 85 + 15 = 100 credits). He is no longer eligible for financial aid funding.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Statuses

Good: The student has met all three of the Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria.

Warning: If students do not meet the GPA or Completion Rate standards, they will be placed on Warning for one semester. They are still eligible for financial aid, but if they do not meet the standards during their Warning semester, they will be placed on Suspension. If students meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards during their Warning semester, they will return to Good standing.

Suspension: If students do not meet all of the Satisfactory Academic progress criteria following a Warning or Probation semester, they will be placed on Suspension. They will also be suspended if they do not meet the Maximum Time Frame Criteria. While on Suspension, students are not eligible for any form of financial aid, including student loans. If they are academically dismissed from the College, they will be placed on Suspension.

Probation: If students appeal a Suspension and it is approved, they will be placed on Probation for at least one semester during which time they will be considered for financial aid. Their progress will be reviewed at the end of each Probationary semester. If students meet the standards, they will return to Good standing. If they meet the terms of their academic plan but fail to meet the overall Satisfactory Academic Progress policy criteria, they may remain on Probation as stated in their academic plan. If the standards are not met, they will be placed on Suspension.

Appeal Process

Students may appeal a Suspension, in writing, if they have an extenuating circumstance that prevented them from meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria. To do this, they must complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the online course in Blackboard titled "Initial Satisfactory Academic Progress for (SAP)".  To complete this course:

    1. Log into The Q

    2. Click on Blackboard

    3. Select this course under "My Courses & Communities"

    4. Complete the entire course until Certificate of Completion is reached

  2. Submit the Suspension Appeal Form, or write a letter, to the Financial Aid Office explaining the circumstances.  The appeal must state why the student was unable to meet the standards and what has changed to assure the student’s success in the future.

  3. Provide supporting documentation with the appeal such as a doctor’s note explaining medical issues, letter from an employer regarding required changes to a work schedule, etc.

Regaining Eligibility for Financial Aid Without an Appeal

Students may be reconsidered for funding after they have successfully completed at least one semester without the benefit of financial aid. To return to Good standing, students must again meet all of the criteria described above and notify the Financial Aid Office that they would like to have their eligibility for funds re-evaluated. If they successfully complete at least one semester without the benefit of financial aid but do not meet the criteria, they may submit a complete appeal for consideration.

Students are responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office if they receive a grade change that results in meeting the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress.