Grant programs provide financial aid which does not need to be repaid (unless you withdraw from school and owe a refund). For more information about any of the grant programs listed below, including eligibility and how to apply, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
Federal Pell Grants
The Pell Grant Program provides assistance to students with exceptional need. Pell Grant eligibility depends upon the information provided by students and their family on the FAFSA. If you’re eligible for a Federal Pell grant, the amount you’ll receive is based on enrollment. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of 3 credit hours in an eligible program. You can receive the Pell grant only up to 18 semesters, if you received the Pell Grant after July 1, 2008.
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 on campus. Due to limited funds, it’s important to apply early to be considered for these funds. Not everyone who qualifies for an FSEOG will get one.
Massachusetts Access Grant Program (MCASH)
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.
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 Part-time Grant Program (MSSP)
The Massachusetts Part-time Grant Program provides additional grant assistance to students with Pell Grant eligibility who are enrolled for six to eleven credits and who demonstrate financial need. Due to limited funds, it’s important to apply early to be considered for these funds. Not everyone who qualifies for an MSSP will get one.
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 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 grade 10 English language arts and mathematics assessments of MCAS. It provides a tuition waiver for eight traditional semesters. Students must first apply for financial aid. Students who receive the Adams Scholarship must be enrolled full-time 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.
There are many ways to pay for college. First and foremost, a student pays for her 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, cameras, laptops, OLP equipment, and musical instruments. GCC does not charge students for on-campus housing and therefore does not offer loans to cover housing costs, rather, we provide financial aid to cover the cost of tuition, fees, and books in an effort to not add an additional financial burden to the student’s household.
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 will consider private alternative education loans. Students can find information about private education loans at their local credit unions and the financial aid office.
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.
The average loan debt for GCC’s 2019 graduates is $7,528.
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.
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 the 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 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.