Financial Aid Policies Financial Aid Policies

Financial Aid Policies

There are many different requirements to receive and maintain financial aid eligibility for Federal Student Aid (FSA) and most types of state financial aid. Please use the information below as a guide, but remember, the staff in the Financial Aid Office are available to answer questions.


Awards and Receiving Aid

Interested in financial aid processing, including disbursements and refunds, or learning more about financial aid-related policies?

Calculating Eligibility

Are you curious about the difference between Cost of Attendance (COA) at FCC versus what is actually owed to the College? Are you unsure of what your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) means?

Maintaining Eligibility

In order to continue receiving financial aid throughout your program, you must maintain eligibility requirements such as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). There are also some federal aid programs that have a cap on the amount you can receive


General Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Requirements for Federal Student Aid

In order to be eligible for financial aid you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Have a valid high school diploma or GED, or complete state approved home schooling
  • Have demonstrated financial need by completing the FAFSA
  • Be admitted into an approved degree or certificate program at FCC
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Not be in default on a loan at any school
  • Not owe a refund on a grant at any school
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if required
  • Be enrolled for at least six (6) credit hours (not including audited courses). Some students enrolled for fewer than six credit hours may be eligible for the Pell Grant.
  • Attend courses - attendance must be confirmed before Federal Student Aid is disbursed
  • Students are only eligible for up to 30 credit hours of developmental coursework


Eligibility requirements for state financial aid from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) varies depending on the program. More information about state grants and scholarships can be reviewed here.


Citizenship Requirements

In order to be eligible for Federal Student Aid (FSA), the student must be one of the following:

  • A U.S. citizen or national (by birth or naturalization)
  • A U.S. permanent resident
  • Citizens of the Freely Associated States: the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands
  • Other eligible noncitizens

Am I a U.S. citizen (U.S. National)?

A U.S. citizen (or U.S. national) is a person who was born in the United States or became a citizen by naturalization.

  • Persons (except for the children of foreign diplomatic staff) who are born in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in most cases, Puerto Rico (PR), the U.S. Virgin Islands (VI), Guam (GU), and the Northern Marianna Islands (MP) are U.S. citizens, as are most persons born abroad to parents (or a parent) who are citizens.
  • All U.S. citizens are considered to be U.S. nationals, but not all nationals are citizens:
    • Natives of American Samoa and Swain’s Island (AS) are not U.S. citizens but are nationals.

Am I an eligible non-citizen?

Generally, you are an eligible non-citizen if you are one of the following:

  • U.S. permanent resident, with a Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as an Alien Registration Receipt Card or "Green Card”)
  • Conditional permanent resident (I-551C)
  • Other eligible non-citizen with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: “Refugee,” “Asylum Granted,” “Indefinite Parole,” “Humanitarian Parole,” or “Cuban-Haitian Entrant”
  • A citizen of the Republic of Palau (PW), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (MH), or the Federated States of Micronesia (FM).

You can receive federal student aid if you are an eligible noncitizen. You must enter your eight or nine-digit Alien Registration Number (ARN) on the FAFSA.

If your citizenship status has changed from an eligible noncitizen to a U.S. citizen, you should contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to update your citizenship status. If you do not update your citizenship status with the SSA, it could delay processing your student financial aid. To contact the SSA call 1-800-772-1213 or visit the Social Security Administration's website at

What if I am not a citizen or an eligible non-citizen?

You are considered neither citizen nor eligible non-citizen if you are in the U.S. and have:

  • Been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • A F1 or F2 student visa
  • A J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa
  • A G series visa (pertaining to international organizations)
  • Other categories not included under U.S. citizen and eligible noncitizen

If you are neither a citizen nor an eligible non-citizen, you are not eligible for Federal Student Aid (FSA). However, you may be eligible for Maryland State financial aid. Eligibility for Maryland State financial aid is determined by completing the Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA). More information about the MSFAA is available here

Do I need to provide proof of my citizenship status?

To qualify for federal student aid, certain eligible noncitizens must be able to provide evidence from the USCIS that they are in the United States for other than a temporary purpose with the intention of becoming a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

What is acceptable documentation of my citizenship status

To view examples of acceptable documentation based on your specific citizenship status, please click here
Contact Information

Phone Icon301.846.2620 (option 1)

Mail Icon[email protected]

Location IconJefferson Hall, 3rd floor

Office Hours

Monday: 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday* 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

*January - July and August
Available until 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays