Pay for college with financial aid
Many Maricopa students receive some type of financial aid and generally use a blend of resources to help fund their education.
Maricopa Community Colleges offers a wide variety of financial assistance programs, and the financial services staff is here to help you sort through all of the information so you can make financially responsible decisions.
Financial Aid Steps
Step 1: Create your FSA ID and complete your FAFSA
All students interested in financial aid for college will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. To complete your FAFSA:
- Create a FSA ID and password at fsaid.ed.gov. If you are still a dependent on your parents' taxes, you will need an FSA ID and password for both you and your parents.
- Complete your FAFSA: FAFSA.ED.GOV or MYSTUDENTAID APP
- When completing your FAFSA, you will need your social security number. If you are under the age of 24, your parents' social security numbers may also be required along with federal tax information. We strongly recommend you use the IRS data retrieval tool.
- At the end of the FAFSA form, you will use your FSA ID to officially sign the document.
You must complete your admissions application for the college you list on your FAFSA before the college can receive your FAFSA material. Visit the campus to familiarize yourself with your chosen college's services and resources.
Please Note: It can take up to 5 business days for a FAFSA to be received at the school once completed successfully
Step 2: Monitor to-do list and enroll in courses
Once you have completed your FAFSA and college admissions application, log in to your Student Center account on My.Maricopa.edu or on the MyInfo App. The Student Center gives you access to your Maricopa student email account, to-do list, and class schedule.
You will need to check your to-do list often to make sure you have completed all required tasks before you can enroll in courses.
- Under your To-Do list, click on the “more” link to see the status of each requirement.
- Follow the instructions provided by clicking on each To-Do List item.
- When all to-do list items have been submitted successfully, the status will change to “Received.”
- Receipt of submitted documents usually takes between 1-3 business days, then processing will begin.
- Processing can take up to 15-business days and when finished, the To-Do List item's status will no longer be listed on your To-Do List.
- Check your college’s financial aid web pages for important dates and deadlines.
Step 3: Accept or reject your financial aid awards
Financial aid awards can be made up of a combination of grants, scholarships, work study, and federal loans. You will receive an award package and will need to decide which combination of offers is best for you.
- You must be enrolled in at least 6 credits per semester and meet all other eligibility criteria to qualify for loans.
- Grants and scholarships (funding that does not need to be repaid) are accepted on your behalf.
- Remember, you may accept less than the full loan offer if you don’t need to borrow the full amount.
- If you do not have enough aid to cover your tuition and fees, sign up for our payment plan to avoid being dropped from your classes. The payment plan is a way to spread out your tuition payments into monthly installments.
- You may accept the full amount of the loan offered to you. If you need additional loans, you may request up to your annual loan limits.
Step 4: Receive your disbursement
Financial aid disbursement is where scholarships, grants, and loans are all applied to the balance of tuition and fees. Any excess aid (the amount remaining after all tuition, fees, book advance, and other related charges are covered) will be refunded to you in the method you choose from the "manage refund" link in your student center.
- To ensure you receive your refunds in a timely manner, enroll with Nelnet to select a method. Go to: my.maricopa.edu/msrp
- You may receive a book advance from your grant or scholarship aid up to nine days prior to the start of class. If you are only awarded a loan, you must opt-in to receive a book advance.
- Refunds are processed following the third week of each semester.
- Rio Salado students can expect refunds the following Tuesday through Friday after the drop/add period of each semester block start date. This is due to weekly class start dates at this college.
Step 5: Remain eligible for financial aid
Because student loans are federally funded, Maricopa Community Colleges is required to meet federal regulations when it comes to your academic progress. This includes meeting a minimum GPA and moving through your chosen program within a set amount of time.
- Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is evaluated at the end of each semester. Non-standard sessions will be evaluated once grades are posted. Log in to your Student Center or the MyInfo App to see your SAP status.
- You are expected to understand your responsibilities in regard to SAP, as well as your Maximum Time Frame (MTF). Failure to do so may result in the loss of financial aid eligibility.
- SAP standards are evaluated based on the number of credits attempted and the minimum cumulative GPA for the courses.
- Grades of I, F, N, W, X, Y, Z and courses not yet graded are considered attempted but not completed. You must successfully complete two-thirds of all your classes.
- If you have lost your financial aid eligibility due to extenuating circumstances, you may appeal.
- If your appeal is not approved, you may only regain eligibility by meeting the minimum SAP standards.
If you have previously received financial aid...
Visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to access and monitor all of your federal loan information, including contact information for your loan servicers.
After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. During this period, you will receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you will be notified of your first payment due date.
To learn about and determine which repayment plan best suits you and to calculate your potential payments, visit the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid site.
If you are having trouble making your loan payments or are close to defaulting, please contact the Student Loan Support Services Team or your loan servicer immediately for assistance. Each can help you understand your options for keeping your loan in good standing. If you are interested in enrolling in one of the Maricopa Community Colleges and your loan is in default, we can discuss your options for getting your student loan out of default. Please email email@example.com or call us at 480-784-0600.
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