Grants & Loans


Grant programs provide financial aid funds which do not need to be repaid, provided the student remains eligible through the majority of the semester. For questions about specific grant programs, or student loan options, including eligibility and how to apply, please contact Student Financial Services.

Federal Pell Grants

The Pell Grant Program provides assistance to students with exceptional need and is the largest free-money program for college. Pell Grant eligibility depends upon the information provided by a student and their family on the FAFSA. If you’re eligible for a Federal Pell grant, the amount you’ll receive is based on enrollment status. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of 3 credit hours in an eligible program.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is a federally-funded, campus-based program that provides grants for exceptionally needy students. Unlike Pell grants, the amount of FSEOG you receive depends not only on need but also on the amount of other aid you get and the availability of FSEOG funds at the institution. Due to limited funds, it’s important to apply early to be considered for these funds. Even when a student is eligible for FSEOG, they may not receive it if funds for the academic year have already been depleted.

Massachusetts Access Grant Program (Mass CASH)

The Massachusetts Cash Grant Program provides funding to students who demonstrate financial need and have resided in Massachusetts for one year prior to the beginning of the academic year. Mass CASH is a campus-based, limited funds. It’s important to file a timely FAFSA to be considered for these funds.

Massachusetts Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program

This Massachusetts scholarship provides grants to students matriculated in an eligible program, and who have been employed and continue employment in early childhood care. Awards are determined by the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance.

The Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant

This Massachusetts grant provides financial assistance to a Massachusetts resident who has worked and continues to work as a paraprofessional in a public school in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for a minimum of two years or is employed as a paraprofessional and is pursuing a course of study that will lead to certification as a teacher in bilingual education, special education, math, science or foreign language. Students may be full or part-time. Awards are determined by the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Massachusetts Tuition Waiver Program

This Massachusetts program waives tuition for residents of Massachusetts who have resided in the state for one year prior to the opening of the academic year and who demonstrate financial need.

Massachusetts (MASS) Grant Program (for Full-time Study)

The Massachusetts Grant Program provides assistance to students who are studying on a full-time basis (12+ credits each semester), who have been legal residents of the state for one year, have completed the FAFSA by May 1, and who demonstrate financial need. Awards are determined by the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance.

The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship

The Adams Scholarship is based on a student’s performance on the Massachusetts grade 10 English language arts and mathematics assessments of MCAS. It provides a tuition waiver for eight traditional semesters. Students must submit a FAFSA annually, be enrolled full-time (12+ credits each semester), and maintain a 3.0 grade point average.

Vermont Student Assistance

The Vermont Student Assistance Grant Program provides grants to students who are legal residents of Vermont and who demonstrate financial need. Students must apply directly to the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation for consideration.

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Student & Parent Loans

There are many ways to pay for college. First and foremost, a student pays for their college expenses through savings, earnings from a full-time or part-time job, scholarships, help from family, and finally financial aid from the federal government. After exhausting all these options, there are loan programs, but loans should only be considered as a last resort.

At GCC, moderate Direct Loans are packaged to help defray the cost of transportation and additional class supplies like, laptops, required equipment or supplies, and musical instruments. GCC does not charge students for on-campus housing and therefore does not offer loans to cover housing costs. Financial aid offers aim to cover the cost of tuition, fees, and books, in an effort to not add an additional financial burden to the student’s household.

Loans to Students

Loans made through the Federal Stafford Direct Loan Program enable students with financial need to obtain low-interest deferred-payment loans with the Department of Education. Students obtain applications from the GCC Financial Aid Office and must maintain minimum enrollment of 6 credits throughout the semester.

There are two types of Direct Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. You must have financial need to receive a subsidized Direct Loan. The U.S. Department of Education will pay (subsidize) the interest that accrues on subsidized Direct Loan during certain periods. Financial need is not a requirement to obtain an unsubsidized Direct Loan. You are responsible for paying the interest that accrues on unsubsidized Direct Loans. Repayment begins 6 months after the student withdraws, graduates, or drops below 6 credits.

Students who wish to borrow education loans to help fill the gap from reduced income due to decreased work hours to pay for rent and mortgage costs may need to consider private alternative education loans. Students can find information about private education loans at their local credit unions and the financial aid office.

The average loan debt for GCC’s 2019 graduates is $7,528.

Entrance and Exit Counseling are mandatory federal requirements for all Direct Loan borrowers. At the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters, in-person Entrance Counseling is an option for first-time borrowers GCC. Check the main Student Financial Services landing page, or contact the office for specific dates/times/locations of upcoming, on-campus sessions.

A Master Promissory Note (MPN) is required of first-time borrowers and covers ten (10) total academic years, before a renewal is required. The MPN is completed online, through Federal Student Aid, using the student’s FSA ID.

Vermont Residents

VSAC’s Vermont Advantage Loan and Vermont Choice Loan programs are available as Private Loan options for GCC students who are Vermont state residents. These loan products offer highly competitive fixed interest rates and multiple repayment options. Online applications that guide students and cosigners step-by-step through the loan process are available using the links provided above.

Parent Loans

Parents of dependent students are eligible to borrow from the PLUS Loan Program. Applicants must not have an adverse credit history. GCC requires that the Parent also complete a Direct Parent PLUS Loan Form available on this website or by calling the office at 775-1109.

The school will first apply the PLUS Loan finds to the student’s account to pay for tuition, fees and books. If any loan refunds remain, they will be sent to the parent borrower, unless the parent authorizes the school to release the funds to the student. Any remaining loan funds are to be used for education expenses. PLUS loans are also prorated against attendance and withdrawal.

More important loan information is available in our Student Financial Aid Handbook.

Please note: Students must be enrolled at least 6 credit hours to remain eligible to receive loan funds. If you drop below 6 credit hours, your loan automatically will be cancelled. You must begin loan repayment with the Department of Education if you drop below 6 credit hours.

If you are attending school at least half-time, you may have a set period of time after you graduate, leave school, or drop below 6 credit hours before you must begin repayment. This period of time is called a grace period. Your grace period will be 6 months for the Direct Loan.

Private Loans

Private Education Loans, also known as Alternative Education Loans, help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the limited amount the government allows you to borrow in its programs. Private loans are offered by private lenders and there are no federal forms to complete. Eligibility for private student loans often depends on your credit score.

Private student loans may be used to pay for the EFC, the family’s portion of college costs. While some lenders may offer private student loans in excess of the cost of attendance, any amount exceeding the difference between cost of attendance and financial aid is considered a resource. Like an outside scholarship, this will reduce need-based aid. Students cannot borrow beyond the cost of attendance, and all aid combined must not exceed the cost of attendance.

Truth in Lending Information for Students (Regulation Z)

On July 30, 2009 the Federal Reserve approved final amendments to regulation Z that revise the disclosure requirements for private education loans. The amendments implement provisions of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) enacted in August 2008. Under the amendments, creditors that extend statements private education loans must also disclose information about federal student loan program that may offer less costly alternatives. Additional disclosures must be provided when the loan is approved and when the loan is consummated. The rules became effective on September 14, 2009, and lenders were required to be in compliance on February 14, 2010.