• Frequently Asked Questions & Helpful Hints


  • Starting college can feel overwhelming sometimes! Here are some commonly asked questions and answers we hear in the Orientation Center.

    Paying for College/Financial Aid

    How long does it take to file my FAFSA and complete the financial aid application process at MHCC?
    Filing the FAFSA is just step one of the process. Depending on if your tax information can be downloaded from the IRS on the FAFSA application, it takes around 15 – 20 minutes to complete the online application. If the college needs more information from you, get it turned in as soon as possible. They cannot process your award until all documents are turned in for processing. It can range anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks to complete all steps of getting financial aid.
    What else do I need to do besides file my FAFSA to get help paying for college?
    Filing the FAFSA is just the first step of the financial aid application process. You must also check MyMHCC periodically to see if any additional documents, accept your award, and complete the mandatory financial aid orientation / release form. If you need assistance with any of these steps, please come to the Orientation Center!
    Do I have to be a full time student to get financial aid?
    No! Financial aid can be awarded for full time (12+ credits), three-quarter time (9 – 11 credits), half-time (6 – 8 credits), and sometimes for less-than-half-time (1 – 5 credits). Please see the financial aid page for full details.
    Why haven’t I received my financial aid yet?
    In order to get your aid on time, you must complete all the necessary steps, including accepting your award and completing the required orientation form, before the term begins. Your tuition and fees will be paid from your award during the second week each term. Any funds remaining will be disbursed to you by the method you chose when activating your Bank Mobile account. You do not receive a Bank Mobile card until you have been offered an award and registered for classes. If you haven’t received your award by the expected date, double-check your “missing documents” section on your MyMHCC Financial Aid page.
    What is the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans?
    In a nutshell, subsidized loans are loans that do not accrue interest until after you stop attending school (by graduating or dropping below 5 credits per term), while unsubsidized loans begin accruing interest while you’re still in school. For full details about federal student loans, please see the US Dept. of Education’s loan information site.
    If I took out student loans, how do I start paying them back?
    After your first loan disburses, you will receive information from your loan servicer. This is the company that you will pay when it’s time to repay your loans. You may also start paying them back while still attending, which can help you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in accrued interest. For full details about federal student loans, please see the US Dept. of Education’s loan information site, or the National Student Loan Data System to find your loan servicer information.
    Do you have scholarships? When can I apply for scholarships?
    MHCC typically has scholarship applications available online beginning in November and due by March 1 for the following academic year. The Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) accepts applications generally from early November through March 1 for the following academic year. OSAC also offers child care grants and other opportunities for students. You can also apply for a variety of national scholarships through websites such as Fastweb. Please note that real scholarship applications do NOT cost money. If you are asked to pay to apply for any scholarship or grant, it is a scam!
    I’ve heard of work study – what is it?
    Federal Work Study is a form of financial aid that allows you to work on campus and earn an hourly wage. You must file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in order to qualify. Students can earn up to $1000 per term. For more information on work study, please visit the Student Employment page. If you applied for financial aid and would like work study to be added to your award, please contact the financial aid office via email finaid.mail@mhcc.edu and be sure to include your name and ID#.
    I checked “yes” that I would like to be considered for work-study on my FAFSA. What’s the next step?
    You must complete the student hiring process before applying for work study jobs on campus.

    Registering For Classes

    How do I register for classes?
    Please see the video demos page for a video tutorial and/or text instructions. Otherwise, come to the Orientation Center for an in-person walk-through of the online registration system.
    Do I have to take the College Placement Test before I start taking classes?
    • Most courses at MHCC require students have specific levels of reading, writing and/or math knowledge. Only a handful of courses do not require placement test scores or transfer course prerequisites in order to register.
    • If you have already taken college courses for credit at another college, you might not have to take the placement test. After you apply for admission to MHCC, please take your transcript to the Academic Advising & Transfer Center to determine what courses you should take your first term at MHCC.
    • If you have not taken college courses for credit before, you will need to apply for admission then complete the College Placement Test in order to get registered for classes.
    What classes can I take with RD090 and WR090?
    Most courses require that you take and pass RD090 and WR090 first, or test higher than those levels on the College Placement Test. The Orientation Center staff can help you find other classes to take with these, but for the most part art courses and PE courses do not require reading/writing prerequisites.
    What is a wait list? What should I do if I get on a wait list?
    When a course fills up, students may add themselves to a waiting list. Then, if a student drops the course, the first person on the wait list gets bumped in to the class. If registered students do not show up the first day of class, instructors may drop them to make room for wait listed students who did show up. For wait list policies and instructions, please see the wait list information page.
    Do I have to do all my general studies classes before I start the courses in my major?
    No! And in fact, if you do, you may be wasting time and money on courses you don’t need. Please see your adviser to make an education plan that will put your general education courses and the courses for your major into a workable schedule to help you graduate on time and on budget!

    General

    What is a credit?
    A credit is a unit that measures the value, level, or time requirements of a college degree. Most degrees require between 90 and 110 credits, and courses at MHCC are worth between 1 and 5 credits each. For each credit you take per term, you are in class about 1 hour per week, and have about 2 – 3 hours of homework per week.
    How long is a term?
    Most terms are 11 weeks long with 10 weeks of class and a final exam week at the end. However, some courses are only 5 weeks long, and in the summer term there are also sometimes 3 week and 8 week course options. To see term start and end dates, please visit the Registration Calendar.
    How do I buy my textbooks if I have financial aid?
    In order to get an electronic “voucher” in the bookstore, you must complete all financial aid steps. Typically beginning about two weeks before each term begins, you can check your Financial Aid page on MyMHCC to see if your bookstore authorized amount is ready. You can pre-order books online up until the Thursday before classes begin, and pick them up starting Friday before classes begin. Allow 2 – 3 days for orders to process. If you choose not to pre-order, you can usually buy books in the store the Friday before classes begin up until Monday of the 2nd week each term.
    What classes should I take to improve my computer skills?
    MHCC offers several options for improving your computer skills. BCS090: Computer Basics is a free course for students who have little to no experience with computers, and has no prerequisites. The only cost is to purchase a flash drive. If you have slightly more advanced skills, try CIS120: Computer Concepts and/or BT121: Keyboarding. Want to learn how to use software such as Microsoft Word or Excel? Check out the Business Technology courses (course code BT210) to see which options are being offered. Please note that these courses may have prerequisites. See the Orientation Center or an adviser for more information.
    How do I apply for a program that requires an additional application such as Nursing or Welding?
    Please see the Limited/Restricted Entry page for full instructions, applications and information session dates. We highly recommend seeing an academic adviser to make sure you are taking the correct prerequisites so you can apply on time!
    Do I need the teacher’s permission to go use the restroom during class?
    Not usually, no. While etiquette is highly appreciated, you won’t need a “hall pass” like you did in high school. Each instructor has different course policies, so refer to your syllabus and check with each instructor every term about their course policies.
    How can I get a tour of campus?
    You can request a tour online, and also see the drop-in tour schedule for each term. Because most tours are led by our SOAR (Student Outreach and Recruitment) student leaders, drop-in tours are generally not available during break weeks between terms.
    Where and when can I get an MHCC student ID card?
    You can get your ID card starting the week before classes begin, after you’ve been registered for classes for at least 24 hours. Student ID cards can be obtained in the Student Union (AC1051), Library (AC2300), and Maywood Park Community Skills Center during each center’s business hours. You must bring identification with you in order to get an MHCC ID card. For full details, check out the library information page.
    Can I get a student discount for TriMet bus passes?
    Yes! Bring state-issued and your MHCC student photo ID to the MHCC Bookstore to get 10% off your TriMet tickets. They sell ten-packs for two-hour tickets and month-long vouchers.
    Does MHCC provide housing? Are there resources for finding housing?
    MHCC does not have campus housing. There are many apartment rentals in the area. Sometimes students will post advertisements for roommates on the public boards around campus.
    Who is my academic adviser?
    That will depend on what major you selected when you applied for admissions. You can see your currently listed major and adviser when you log on to MyMHCC, or you can have someone in the Orientation Center check for you.
    Where are the bathrooms?
    There are restrooms on the main level near Cosmetology, the Bookstore, the 1500s, the 1600s, and the 1700s. On the second level, restrooms are located by the Vista Dining Center, inside the library lobby, by the 2500s, 2600s, and 2700s. There are also restrooms in the lower level near room AC50, and near the College Print and Mail Center.