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Common Questions

  • Click on any question to see the answer.

    Does Prince George’s Community College offer financial aid to its students?


    Yes. The college seeks to enroll a talented and diverse student body and to make an education possible for as many qualified students as possible. To this end, Prince George’s Community College offers a federal and state need-based aid to qualified applicants.

     
    What is the difference between need-based and merit-based aid?

    Need-based aid is awarded only on the basis of demonstrated financial need on the part of the family; merit-based awards are made on the basis of relevant credentials, talents, or achievements of the student and need not be influenced by the demonstrated financial need of the family.

     
    If I apply for financial aid, will this hurt my chances of being offered admission?

    Not at all, families who feel they need assistance are urged to apply for financial aid. Failure to apply for aid by the March 1 deadline may jeopardize a student’s eligibility for need-based assistance.

     
    How do I apply for financial aid?

    If you are applying for need-based aid at PRINCE GEORGE’S COMMUNITY COLLEGE you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

     

    • To apply online, which we strongly recommend, first obtain a PIN for both the parent and student at www.fafsa.gov. You may fill out the actual application at this site as well.  
    • Include Prince George’s Community College among schools to receive the application: use school code 002089.  
    • Completed application must be received by processor by March 1st for applicants.  

    What happens after I turn in my applications?

    A preliminary expected family contribution, EFC and student aid report will pop up after the FAFSA on the Web is completed. If a valid email address and your application were processed successfully, you will receive an email notification with instructions on how to access your electronic SAR (Student Aid Report). You will also have the option to print a copy. If there is no valid email address on file for you, you will receive a paper copy of your SAR. If you find you’ve made a mistake after submitting your application, you will have to wait until after your application has been processed to make corrections. Corrections can be made through Corrections on the Web at www.fafsa.gov. You must have a PIN to access your Corrections on the Web data. If your FAFSA is selected for verification (by the Federal processor or by the college), you will be required to submit additional documentation, including income tax returns to the Office of Student Financial Aid.

    How do you determine my eligibility for need-based aid?


     

    The process used to determine need for federal funds is the same at every college in the United States, public or private. It is called a “needs analysis” and it works this way: Using the information from your FAFSA, a formula, known as Federal Methodology, is used to determine your “Expected Family Contribution” (EFC), which is the estimated dollar amount that your family is expected to contribute toward college costs. The results of the calculation are forwarded to the financial aid offices of the colleges you indicated on the FAFSA. If the total cost to attend that college for one year is more than your EFC, you are determined to have financial need.

    For example:

    Cost of Education Budget =$10944

    - Expected Family Contribution = $ 2500

    = Financial Need: $8444

    How will you try to meet my demonstrated financial need?

    We will assemble a financial aid package that may combine federal and state aid. We will begin by offering any federal grants that you qualify for.  We will then process the federal work-study and loans.

    Among students whose total aid falls short of their full demonstrated need, many will avail themselves of alternative financing sources.

    Will my aid package change if I receive aid from other sources?

    As soon as possible, you must report to the Office of Student Financial Aid all aid you expect to receive. This includes: Prince George’s Community College tuition waivers/remission, other employer tuition benefits, veteran’s benefits, vocational rehabilitation benefits, non-service fellowships, private and state scholarships, and scholarships not already included in your award package.

    Once you report your other resources, our policy is to repackage your award. Students receiving need-based assistance, however, cannot have a total aid package that exceeds their cost of attendance. Because students may sometimes be over-awarded need-based aid, merit-based awards or outside financial assistance may also reduce another part of the student’s aid package.

    What if I have extenuating circumstances?


    If your income has decreased, or if you have other special financial circumstances that were not taken into account on your FAFSA, you may qualify to have your financial need recalculated. For information on which types of circumstances qualify for recalculation, print a Professional Judgment Fact Sheet from the financial aid section of the Prince George’s Community College website or email the Office of Student Financial Aid.

    Can you describe the types of need-based awards that I could receive?
    These are listed below. Student loans must be paid back. Grants, scholarships, and work-study earnings do not have to be paid back.

    Grants, Scholarships and Work-Study
    • Federal Pell Grant: available only to first-degree undergraduate students who, based on FAFSA data, have a very low EFC.  
    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): To be considered, students must qualify for the Pell Grant, must have a zero EFC, and must have met Prince George’s Community College’s Priority Deadline of March 1st.  
    • Maryland State Scholarships and Grants: The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) offers and administers a variety of need-based and/or merit grants to Maryland residents. FAFSAs must be received by the processor by March 1st to be considered for most of these awards. For more information, please contact MHEC at (410) 260-4565, or www.MHEC.state.md.us.  
    • Part-Time Maryland State Grant: Maryland residents who demonstrate financial need and enroll for 6 to 11 credits per semester are eligible for this grant.  
    • Prince George’s Community College offers a variety of scholarships. Please note that a separate application must be completed and that award decisions are made by a separate committee outside of the financial aid office.  
    • Academic Competitiveness Grant (2010-2011 only): Eligible students include: (1) First year undergraduates (up to $750) who are U.S. citizens, Pell-eligible, full-time, graduated from high school after January 1, 2006, and who attended a high school whose program the Secretary has deemed “rigorous.” (2) Second year undergraduates who graduated high school after January 2, 2005 (up to $1,300) who meet the above criteria and have a 3.0 GPA after the freshman year.·  
    • Federal Work-Study (FWS): This award gives students the opportunity to earn wages through employment with an eligible FWS employer. Funds are not credited to students’ accounts. Students will receive biweekly paychecks for hours worked, and these earnings do not have to be repaid. Hourly wage rates vary depending on the complexity of the work performed but typically are set at minimum wage. To be considered for FWS, students must demonstrate financial need, and check that they want to work on the FAFSA. For priority consideration, students must have met Prince George’s Community College’s Priority Deadline. For more information on FWS, visit the website.
    • Federal Direct Stafford Loan Programs: Federal Stafford loans are available to students who meet federal aid eligibility requirements, submit a FAFSA, enroll as degree-seeking students, and enroll for at least 6 credits per semester. Students who do not demonstrate financial need may be eligible to borrow unsubsidized Stafford loans.  

    Annual Borrowing Limits for Dependent Students :

    Grade level -- Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Maximum

     (0-26.99 credits) -- $3,500 plus $2,000 unsubsidized

    (27- and up credits) -- $4,500 plus $2,000 unsubsidized

    When can I expect to receive an Award Notification?

    If you applied for aid by the March 1st deadline, by June 1st

    How do I find out what I have been awarded?

     

    Prince George’s Community College uses Owllink which allows you to check the status of paperwork submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid, find out amounts and types of financial aid awards offered to you, and see how these awards are determined. You can access your OwlLink account either by following the link from the financial aid page of the Prince George’s Community College website, or here. Use your Prince George’s Community College assigned ID to set up your password.  New students will get their assigned ID at the time of admission.

    How do I get books?

    The best way is to plan and prepare for the expense of books using summer earnings. If that is not an option, students can use up to $1000 of financial aid to purchase books at the college bookstore. Print a copy of your bill and take it to the bookstore. Students who complete the financial aid process late will have a delay in getting books especially during peak registration times. All students are encouraged to apply by the March 1st priority deadline and submit all requested additional documents within two weeks of the initial request to avoid unnecessary processing delays.
     

    What is Higher One?

    Higher One is a vendor chosen to disburse college refunds through your PGCC Owl Debit Card.  Credit students will receive a PGCC Owl Debit Card, Issued through Higher One Bank.  This card is very important and must be acted upon in order to set up a preference for the way refunds from the college will be delivered to you.  This includes financial aid rebates.  Students may choose to have their refunds and rebates processed as deposits to their PGCC Owl Debit Card or they may choose to have their refunds electronically deposited through ACH to a checking and or savings account at another banking institution.  The college highly recommends choosing ACH transfer to a personal checking or savings account specified on the Higher One/PGCC Owl Debit Card activation site.
     

    I was not awarded Federal Work-Study. May I still work on campus?

    Yes. Check the Career Development Office website for all on-campus student employment opportunities.

    I am considering spending a semester at another institution. Will this change my aid?

    It may be possible to take courses at another institution and receive aid for those courses from Prince George’s Community College. To qualify, your combined enrollment must equal at least six credits, and your academic advisor must approve your request to take courses at the other institution. If approved, the billing office will disburse your aid to you and you will be responsible for paying the tuition at the other school.

    What are the requirements for maintaining eligibility?

    Most need-based awards for full-time students require that you continue to demonstrate need, maintain full-time enrollment (a minimum of 12 credits per term), and continue to make satisfactory academic progress (SAP). The SAP policy defines minimum standards for grade point average, ratios of completed credits to attempted credits, and the maximum time frame for completing a degree. The complete policy can be found in the academic catalogue.

    State and Federal need-based aid is subject to government guidelines, which may permit pro-rated awards or partial refunds. You must contact the Office of Student Financial Aid if your enrollment changes to below full-time status and/or if your GPA drops below 2.0.

    Will an Incomplete (“I”) grade change my financial aid award?

    Insofar as the Office of Student Financial Aid must monitor compliance with Federal and institutional guidelines each semester, it will use the grade point average (GPA) listed in your official transcript for the purposes of disbursing or canceling aid. When an “I” grade appears on your transcript, it is not included in your GPA. Therefore, the Office of Student Financial Aid will cancel or disburse aid based on your GPA at the time of review. When those grades are ultimately changed to a permanent grade, your GPA will likely change. At that point, the Office will repackage your aid award retroactively.

    What happens if I drop or withdraw from a class?

    It is important that you speak with the Office of Student Financial Aid before reducing your credit load or changing course-grading options. Your awards will be reduced or canceled if you fail to maintain required enrollment. Courses that are audited, canceled, dropped, or retroactively dropped do not count toward required enrollment levels.
     

    What happens if I drop or withdraw from a late starting class?

    It is important that you speak with the Office of Student Financial Aid before reducing your credit load or changing course-grading options. Your awards will be reduced or canceled if you fail to maintain required enrollment. Courses that are audited, canceled, dropped, or retroactively dropped to not count toward required enrollment levels.

    If I attend Prince George's Community College as a part-time student, can I still receive financial aid?

    Yes, but please note that most initial awards were based on the assumption that you would enroll full-time for both semesters of the academic year. If you are considering enrolling as a part-time student, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid immediately for guidance on what aid may be available to you.

    Is there a payment option to help pay on my tuition?

    Yes, Prince George’s Community College offers a convenient and affordable alternative monthly payment plan through our chosen vendor Nelnet Business Solutions (formerly known as FACTS).  This monthly plan is only offered only to our credit students.  You may have up to four payment installments based upon when the payment plan is set up.  For further questions, please contact the Cashier’s office of at 301-322-0691.  

    Do you have any suggestions on locating sources of private scholarships?

    Please visit the financial aid page for links to several free scholarships and searches. Search your local library’s scholarship resource books and the Internet. You should also contact every group, club, union, church, business, sorority, fraternity, and other associations with which you or your family has some connection. Many of these organizations offer scholarships to members, employees, and their children.

    I may need to borrow a non-need-based loan. How do I decide how much to borrow?

    Use the formula below to determine approximately how much you will need to borrow for the entire year once all resources are taken into account for the year. Please note that most loans have at least a 3% processing fee deducted from the loan, so take this into consideration when deciding how much to borrow for the year. Federal regulations require all educational loans to be counted as resources in the financial aid package whether or not the school certifies the loan.

    Total Cost of Education (minus)

    - Grants and Tuition Benefits

    - Scholarships from your Award

    Notification

    -Awards from outside sources

    -Family resources

    = Total Remaining Cost of Education

    Does Prince George’s Community College award merit-based scholarships?
    Of course. Designed to reward and encourage our brightest and most talented applicants – Prince George's Community College offers a variety of scholarships. Among them are the following:
    • Board of Trustee Legacy
    • Honors Academy  
    • AOBA  
    • Hillman Entrepreneur  
    • Kathy and Jerry Wood  

    Is there any way to make the process of applying for aid easier, or to make the aid policies less confusing?
    We’re trying. Indeed, this FAQ sheet is one attempt to clarify things. As you can see, however, we offer a variety of financial assistance. Each award has its own eligibility requirements and some are subject to governmental guidelines, some to institutional guidelines, and some to both.

    We attempt to make it as easy as possible to understand these policies, but it is important to consult with the Office of Student Financial Aid whenever you anticipate or experience a change in your financial status, enrollment status, or receive or lose financial aid from any source.

    If you have any recommendations on how we might make it easier for you to understand or monitor your eligibility for need-based and/or merit-based financial aid, please let us know. You can write or e-mail gaytonlx@pgcc.edu.

    We can’t promise to agree to all of your suggestions, or to implement every one we agree with, but we do promise to listen to and evaluate your recommendations.


    I am an international student. Is there aid for me?
    If you are an international student who meets the criteria for federal grants then yes. However, Prince George's Community College does not currently have resources to offer need-based assistance to international students who do not meet those requirements.