• Aid Basics

  • Types of Federal Student Aid

    Below are some general descriptions of different types of financial aid available to students. Additional information is available at https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types.


    A grant is money that is given to a student by the government or an organization; grants do not have to be repaid. The Department of Education offers the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) to students who are eligible based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Click HERE to learn more about federal grants.

    The State of Oregon also offers the Oregon Opportunity Grant and the Oregon Promise Grant. Oregon residents that are not eligible to file the FAFSA may file the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA) to apply for Oregon grants.


    A scholarship is similar to a grant because it is money that is gifted to a student and does not have to be repaid. A scholarship is usually awarded based on academic or other achievements, and students must apply for the funds.

    The Mt Hood Community College Foundation or the Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) are good places to start when looking for scholarships!

    Undocumented students may also find scholarships using the free DREAMer’s Roadmap app. Visit their webpage to learn more and to download the app for iPhone or Android!

    Work-Study Jobs

    Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a need-based federal student aid program that provides part-time employment to eligible students while they are enrolled in school. Students must seek out and apply for work-study jobs through the student employment office at Mt Hood Community College. Students are paid directly for the hours worked and the wages earned cannot exceed the total amount awarded by the school for the award year. The availability of work-study jobs varies by school and not all students are eligible.


    A loan is money that a student borrows from a lender to help pay for their education; loans must be paid back. The federal government provides Direct Loan options to eligible FAFSA applicants, and parents of students may apply for Federal PLUS Loans as well.

    Students may also apply for private or alternative student loans from a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school. MHCC does not offer private loans or make lender or loan program recommendations.

    Other Resources

    In addition to applying for financial aid, you are encouraged to apply for all non-need based aid for which you may be eligible. Non-need based aid consists of assistance not available through our office including, but not limited to: veteran's benefits, vocational rehabilitation benefits, tuition waivers, AmeriCorps and alternative loans.

    Eligibility Requirements

    Federal Student Aid

    To be eligible to receive federal student aid, students must:

    • Be a citizen or eligible non-citizen.
    • Have a valid social security number.
    • Have a high school diploma or GED, or have completed homeschooling.
    • Be enrolled in an eligible MHCC degree or certificate program.
    • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
    • Not owe a refund on a federal student grant or be in default on a federal student loan.
    • Register (or already be registered) with the Selective Service System if you are a male and not currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
    • Not have a conviction for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, work-study, or loans).
    • Demonstrate financial need (for most types of aid) based on the methodology written into law by the U.S. Congress by applying for such aid on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

    Cost of Attendance

    College costs include more than tuition and room and board. Financial Aid budgets are based on averages and do NOT reflect your actual costs for attending college or for all your living expenses. The total amount of aid you receive (grants, work, loans, scholarships, etc.) cannot exceed the cost of attendance you have been given. Scholarships and tuition waivers may reduce your existing aid package.

    Here are common costs included in your cost of attendance budget:

    Item Description
    Tuition The cost of registered course credits. See www.mhcc.edu/Tuition_Residency/ for MHCC’s tuition rate.
    Room and board Lodging and food costs vary by school.
    Books and school supplies Books can be expensive. School supplies include
    • book bags
    • notebooks
    • pens and pencils
    • paper and computer paper
    Fees Fees vary by school but may include parking fees, technology fees, course fees, and more. Specific programs may also have additional fees. See www.mhcc.edu/Tuition_Residency/ for information on some of MHCC’s fees.
    Travel and miscellaneous expenses
    • Transportation costs.
    • Personal expenses, such as, clothing and mobile phone costs.
    • Computer and printer.

    Visit www.mhcc.edu/FinancialForms/ for MHCC’s current Cost of Attendance information (see document titled “Budgets” for the current award year).