Ways to Pay–Payment Methods and Payment Assistance
Students may pay their bills by cash, check, money order, or credit card. The college accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards. The most convenient way to pay is by credit card online via myHCC. Students making cash payments are strongly urged to do so in person at the cashier's office (RCF-200A). Payment by check, money order, or credit card can be made by mail, in person at the cashier's office, or by submitting the payment in the cashier's drop box.
Students are strongly encouraged to learn more about the many forms of payment assistance available.
FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS
- Federal and State Financial Aid – The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) assists millions of qualified students each year with grants, low interest loans, and work-study programs. The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) Office of Student Financial Assistance awards millions of dollars of financial assistance in the form of grants and scholarships for Maryland residents. See Financial Aid Programs for more details about federal and state financial aid.
- Scholarships – Scholarships are available from a wide variety of sources for a broad range of students. The major sources of scholarships are HCC institutional funds, the Howard Community College Educational Foundation, and/or individual, business, or government sources. Students are also encouraged to consider various external scholarships to assist with their academic expenses at HCC.
Some scholarships may be based on financial need while others may require a form of merit or other criteria, including learning program, grade point average, a special talent or achievement, or even types of participation, such as community service. There are scholarships associated with various programs, such as the Silas Craft Collegians Program, Freshman Focus, Rouse Scholars Program or the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning community. Scholarships are also available for students interested in studying or traveling abroad. Scholarships have different requirements and, in some cases, different or additional application procedures. Some are awarded on a one-time basis, others are renewable, and still others require students to maintain a certain grade point average for renewal and/or fulfill other obligations, such as a service requirement. Students planning to transfer may be interested in transfer scholarships awarded by the state, transfer institutions, the community college honor society Phi Theta Kappa, and other sources.
Students are strongly advised to learn more, complete all required steps accurately and completely and meet required deadlines. More information is available in Financial Aid Services (RCF-222; 443-518-1260), and online (including the HCC scholarship application; howardcc.edu/admissions/pay/scholarship_programs/index.html).
- Tuition Payment Plan – Howard Community College offers a flexible payment plan. This plan is administered by a third party company called Nelnet Business Solutions. The tuition payment plan enables students to spread tuition payments over a period of time with interest-free monthly installments. Students may use the plan to pay for their costs in full. Students receiving financial aid, scholarships, or other forms of assistance to pay for college can also use the plan to pay for any remaining balances. The plan’s enrollment dates and plan duration are different for each term. The plan participation fee is $25 for each term. Students enroll in the plan by going to howardcc.edu/paymentplan. Nelnet uses direct debits from your bank account (checking/saving) or credit card account (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover) to make monthly payments on your behalf. More information, including a brochure, is available at howardcc.edu/paymentplan, or by contacting the cashier’s office (RCF-200A, 443-518-1863).
- Veterans Deferred Payment Plan – Servicemembers, veterans, and their dependents who are using a qualified VA educational benefit can make special financial arrangements through HCC’s Veterans’ Deferred Payment Plan (VDPP). This is an in-house program that differs from the college’s Tuition Payment Plan. The VDPP allows tuition and fee payments for all terms to be deferred until students begin receiving their VA benefits. Final balances for a given term must be resolved by November 1 during the fall, April 1 during the winter/spring, and August 1 for summer term. Students who have not resolved their financial obligations by those dates will not be eligible to register for subsequent academic terms. For more information, contact the office of records, registration, and veterans' affairs (RRVA) (RCF-233; 443-518-1240; firstname.lastname@example.org).
MILITARY ASSISTANCE AND NATIONAL GUARD DISCOUNTS
- Active Duty Military – Active duty military planning to use military tuition assistance (TA) should contact RRVA for procedures.
- Maryland National Guard – Members of the Maryland National Guard (MDNG) receive in-county tuition. In addition, MDNG members are entitled to further discounts, which vary based upon legal residence/domicile (in-county- 50 percent tuition discount; in-state or out of state- 25 percent tuition discount.)
Verification of residency and submission of the State Tuition Waiver Letter is required each term. Guard members should consult with their commanding officers and RRVA.
MILITARY SPOUSE CAREER ADVANCEMENT (MyCAA)
MyCAA (Military Spouse Career Advancement Account) is a career and education initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense which enables eligible spouses to receive financial assistance towards training and/or job readiness courses. MyCAA pays only tuition for education and training courses, and professional licenses, certifications, and credentials. Only spouses of military personnel holding specific pay grades are eligible to participate in the program. These grades are: E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2. Students need to register for the program at the MyCAA website: https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa/ and should then contact RRVA.
The college welcomes the opportunity to assist veterans of the armed forces and the dependents of veterans. Howard Community College’s veterans affairs services are administered through RRVA. The college also maintains a comprehensive veterans website: howardcc.edu/military.
Students should visit RRVA to meet with a certifying official. Students planning to apply for veterans' benefits should contact the RRVA as soon as they are admitted (RCF-233; 443-518-4514; email@example.com).
Veterans are strongly encouraged to utilize Howard Community College’s Veterans Deferred Payment Plan as well as the Tuition Payment Plan, each of which can help students take advantage of cohort advanced registration opportunities and manage their payment obligations until they receive their benefit payment (see Veteran Deferred Payment Plan). Students are also entitled to take advantage of Howard Community College's many other programs to assist them with college costs, including financial aid and scholarships. Learn more about these options by visiting howardcc.edu/pay.
Students using certain VA educational benefits may be required to self-certify attendance on a monthly basis in order to receive payment. Students should contact RRVA to determine if they must complete this process. A student must sign a promissory note each semester with a certifying official in RRVA to be certified for VA educational benefits payment. Submission of this paperwork will be considered a formal request to forward certification to the VA regional office. Students who drop or withdraw from classes must notify a certifying official. Failure to do so may result in overpayment from the VA. Likewise, students who stop attending a section may also be required to repay the VA or DoD for any overpayment in benefits, including basic allowance for housing (BAH).
In accordance with VA regulations, all coursework certified for educational benefit payment must apply to an eligible degree or certificate program as outlined in the college catalog. VA educational benefits cannot be paid for coursework that is audited. Students pursuing a dual major at HCC must write a letter documenting the reason for pursuing the dual major. RRVA will contact the local VA office on behalf of the student to obtain permission to certify the dual major. VA students enrolled in coursework required only for transfer to a four-year college must provide a letter on college letterhead from the transfer college to document the requirement. A copy of the four-year college catalog cannot be accepted as documentation.
VA regulations require that all students receiving VA educational benefits meet the college’s satisfactory academic progress standard (See Satisfactory progress standard). Students who are reported as never attended, stop attending, or who officially withdraw may be subject to repaying funds received for the course to the DoD or VA. Students who receive a grade of F, W, or who are reported as never attended and have documentation of mitigating circumstances should submit a detailed letter and documentation to substantiate the claim to RRVA. Repeat coursework for which an unsatisfactory grade is assigned (F, L, or W) may be ineligible for payment. Repeat coursework previously completed with a passing grade (A, B, C, D) is not eligible to be certified for educational benefit payment. The Adjudication Officer at the Veterans Administration will make all final determinations concerning payment approval. Appeal requests for payment denial should be directed to the Veterans Affairs regional office at 1-888-GIBILL-1. Howard Community College does not participate in the advance pay program.
Tutorial service is available to all eligible veterans who are enrolled at least halftime. Any veteran wishing to utilize a tutor may complete the VA tutorial application (VA form 22-1990t) with RRVA after completion of the tutorial assistance. The tutor must verify the information reported by the applicant, certify that individualized tutorial assistance was given to the applicant and certify that the tutor is not a close relative of the veteran. The supplementary assistance allowance will be paid at the rate of the monthly cost of tutorial assistance not to exceed the rate allowed by law per month. This assistance amount is not to exceed $1,200. (Please note: HCC also offers free small group tutoring through its Learning Assistance Center.)
For more information, visit or contact RRVA (RCF-233; 443-518-1240; firstname.lastname@example.org).
D.C. TUITION ASSISTANCE GRANT (DC TAG) PROGRAM
Public College Option for Undergraduate Students: Provides up to $10,000 per academic year (a maximum of $5,000 per semester) toward the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition at participating public colleges throughout the United States. Awards are limited to a maximum of six (6) years from the date of the first semester the student is enrolled in college with a lifetime maximum of $50,000.
How Do I Apply?
Complete the D.C. One Application, available at DC-CAP centers, the Greater Washington College Info Center, the D.C. TAG website or by calling the DC Tuition Assistance Grant Program Office at (202) 727-2824.
DC MAYOR'S SCHOLARS UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM
Provides need-based funding for eligible DC residents earning their first associate's or bachelor's degree at select are colleges and universities. The program is a last-dollar award designed to fill the gap between a student's financial aid package and the cost of attendance. Recipients of the Mayor's Scholars funding can receive up to $4,000 per year for up to four years for an associate's degree and up to six years for a bachelor's degree. The funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The applicant must re-apply each year.
How Do I Apply?
Complete the application located on the DC Mayor's Scholars Undergraduate Program Application website.
In addition to the various ways students may receive assistance in paying for college, the college recognizes the importance of financial literacy for its students. Financial literacy involves skills such as budgeting, avoiding credit card debt, managing student loans, saving, internet commerce, and identity protection. The college strives to provide various programs, publications, and credit and noncredit courses to assist students in acquiring this important information.