Types of Aid

Financial aid

Office of Financial Aid

Types of Aid

In your financial aid package from SC4, you may see one or more of a few types of aid.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

While each aid program has special requirements, the following are basic requirements that apply to federal financial aid. In order to be eligible to receive federal financial aid, students must:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Have earned a High School Diploma (High School Certificate of Completion is not the same as a High School Diploma), GED, or have completed Homeschool graduation requirements.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible degree or certificate program and only be taking courses that lead to that degree or certificate.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident, or other eligible noncitizen.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number, except for residents of the Federated State of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau.
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress.
  • Not owe an overpayment on a Title IV grant or be in default on a Title IV loan.

Grants are sources of aid that are usually based on demonstrated financial need and do not have to be paid back. Funding for a grant can come from the U.S. Department of Education, the State of Michigan, or SC4.

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is a need-based grant program awarded to low and middle-income undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s or professional degree and are enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. The award range is set by the federal government each academic year and currently ranges from $672-$6,495. Students are limited to receiving the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters of Federal Pell Grant monies. Students must meet basic eligibility requirements.

Pell Grant awards are calculated based on full-time attendance (credit hours, not contact hours). Authorization of Federal Pell Grant awards will be based on actual enrollment status and are also subject to the Federal Pell Grant Census date.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

This is a federal need-based grant program for students without a bachelor’s degree, enrolled in an undergraduate program who demonstrate exceptional financial need, meet the basic eligibility requirements and qualify for a Federal Pell Grant. FSEOG funding is limited; therefore, priority is given to students who have the lowest EFC and is awarded based on the file completion date. The award is determined by the college and is based on funds available each year. Enrollment requirements range from less than half-time to full-time depending on individual eligibility. Students must meet basic eligibility requirements.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is a need-based federal grant awarded to student’s whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11 and the student was under 24 years old or enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of your parent’s or guardian’s death. The student must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) and is pro-rated based on enrollment level. Students must meet basic eligibility requirements.

State of Michigan Grants

Tuition Incentive Program (TIP)

This is a high school completion program, provided by the State of Michigan, that offers to pay for the first two years of college and beyond for identified students who graduate from high school or complete their GED before age 20. To meet the financial eligibility requirement, a student must have (or have had) Medicaid coverage for 24 months within a 36-consecutive month period as identified by the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS). TIP provides assistance in two phases. Phase I covers tuition and mandatory fee charges up to $250 per semester (does not pay for contact hours) for eligible students enrolled in a credit-based associate degree or minimum one-year certificate program.  Students must enroll at least half-time (6 credit hours) in courses that are required for the declared program of study and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress.

NOTE: Identified students are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To check the status, the student can log into the MiSSG Portal at michigan.gov/missg.

Education and Training Voucher (ETV)

A State of Michigan award up to $5,000 towards school-related costs and living fees. The award is for youth that were in foster care after the age of 14. Students should contact Lutheran Social Services of Michigan for eligibility requirements at 887-660-METV or go to the website at mietv.samaritas.org.

Students must receive their first ETV prior to their 21st birthday. Students are then eligible for additional vouchers until their 26th birthday, provided they receive at least a 2.0 GPA and do not have more than one incomplete or withdrawal per semester.

Police Officer’s and Firefighter’s Survivor Tuition Grant

The Police Officer’s and Firefighter’s Survivor Tuition Grant provides a waiver of tuition for the surviving spouse and children of Michigan police officers and firefighters who died in the line of duty. The program is intended to provide an educational benefit to the spouse and children of police officers and firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice for their communities and the citizens of Michigan. Tuition is waived for eligible survivors enrolled in classes leading to a certificate or undergraduate degree. Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Children of Veterans Tuition Grant

The Children of Veterans Tuition Grant (CVTG) is awarded for up to four academic years to students older than 16 and less than 26 years of age who are the natural or adopted child of a Michigan veteran. The veteran must have died or have become totally and permanently disabled as a result of military service. Students must enroll at least half-time (minimum 6 credit hours) and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, which includes maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.25, to continue to receive the award. This award covers tuition and mandatory fees (student and technology fees), prorated based on enrollment level and may be adjusted due to other awards. CVTG will not cover contact hours in excess of credit hours.

Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver

The Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver (MITW) is awarded to students approved by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.  Students must be ¼ or more Native American blood quantum as certified by their Tribal Enrollment Department, be an enrolled citizen of a U.S. Federally Recognized Tribe as certified by your Tribal Enrollment Department and be a legal resident of the state of Michigan for no less than 12 consecutive months. The MITW award can only pay for tuition charges (not fees) and may be adjusted due to other awards. For more information about this program, contact the Michigan Department of Civil Rights at 517.241.7748.

Loans are a type of aid that must be repaid, and which usually accrue interest over time. Depending on the loan and where you borrow it from, each loan will have a different interest rate and/or grace period. Learn more about how to apply for student loans at SC4 here.

This low-interest loan program is available to students who attend college at least half-time. The Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan programs carry both annual and cumulative (lifetime) limits. To receive a Subsidized Direct Loan, the student must demonstrate financial need. This loan is exempt from interest accrual until six months after the student ceases attending on at least a half-time basis. The Unsubsidized Direct Loan has the same terms as a Subsidized Direct Loan, except borrowers are responsible for interest that accrues while they are in school, and the loan is not based on need. The interest rate for subsidized and unsubsidized loans for undergraduate students first disbursed between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, is 3.73%.

Students are the borrower of Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). Visit sc4.edu/loans to apply for Federal Direct Loans at SC4. Students can also visit studentaid.gov for additional loan information including definitions, interest rates, loan repayments and sample repayment schedules.

Important Information:

  • Students must be actively enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) during the semester the student receives Federal Direct Loan.
  • Students must meet all Basic Eligibility Requirements (scroll down to view), including meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Loan funds will disburse to the student account 30 days after the start of the semester. Loan funds will disburse in multiple installments during the loan period. Students will receive two loan disbursements each semester. Students will need to log into the SC4 Portal to view the specific dates of when their loans will disburse.
  • Students must complete Exit Counseling upon graduating or dropping below half-time attendance.
  • The DOE has many servicers who students will interact with during the course of receiving and repaying loans. For students to determine which servicer(s) their loans have been assigned, access the National Student Loan Database (NSLDS)

Federal Direct PLUS Loans

The parent of a dependent student is the borrower of a Federal Direct PLUS Loan. Federal PLUS Loans are for parents who want to borrow money to help pay for their dependent children’s educations. Parents who have no adverse credit history are eligible for PLUS Loans. The lender for the PLUS Loan is the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).  The interest rate is fixed at 6.28% for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2021, and before July 1, 2022. Visit sc4.edu/loans to apply for Federal Direct PLUS Loans at SC4. Visit PLUS Loan for additional information including the credit-check process and loan limits. Students are required to complete the FAFSA before Plus Loan eligibility can be determined.

Important Information:

  • The DOE makes the decision regarding a parent’s creditworthiness for the PLUS Loan.
  • Students whose parent has been denied a Federal Direct PLUS Loan based on credit may qualify for additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
  • Parents denied on credit may choose to get an Endorser (co-signor) or appeal the credit decision.
  • Students must be actively enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) during the semester the student receives a Federal Direct PLUS Loan.
  • Students must meet all Basic Eligibility Requirements (scroll down to view), including meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Loan funds will disburse to the student account 30 days after the start of the semester. Loan funds will disburse in multiple installments during the loan period. Students will receive two loan disbursements each semester. Students will need to log into the SC4 Portal to view the specific dates of when their loans will disburse.
  • Students must complete Exit Counseling upon graduating or dropping below half-time attendance.
  • The DOE has many servicers who students and parent borrowers will interact with during the course of receiving and repaying loans. For borrowers to determine which servicer(s) their loans have been assigned, access the National Student Loan Database (NSLDS).

Private (Alternative) Loans

SC4 does not provide information to students regarding borrowing funds from private lenders or have preferred lender arrangements with any private financial institutions. We will certify private loan applications that are submitted to SC4 by students via their lender.

NOTE: The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 requires that before a private educational lender may finalize a private education loan for a student in attendance at an institution of higher education, the private lender must obtain the signed, completed self-certification form. Most lenders will provide this form directly to students.

St. Clair County Community College offers a variety of awards and scholarships every year for qualified students. Whether you are working toward an associate degree, certificate, or two-year transfer degree, SC4 has a program designed for your success.

Like grants, scholarships are financial resources that do not need to be paid back. Unlike grants, not all scholarships are need-based. At SC4, some scholarships are based on merit or talent, some require financial need and some combine both criteria.

Selection criteria and requirements vary according to the individual award or scholarship. Please click on the links below to learn more about the many awards and scholarship opportunities available from SC4. See scholarship opportunities at SC4.

State of Michigan Scholarship Programs

Michigan Competitive Scholarship

This state scholarship program provides up to $1,000 per academic year to students who achieve a qualifying SAT score of a least 1200 prior to entering college, who demonstrate financial need according to the FAFSA, are citizens or permanent residents and have been continuous residents of Michigan for 12 months. Students must enroll at least half-time (minimum 6 credit hours) and meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. This award can only pay for tuition and fees charges and may be adjusted due to other awards. The award amount is pro-rated based on enrollment levels.

Fostering Futures Scholarship

The Fostering Futures Scholarship is available on a first-come, first-served basis to students who have been placed with the Department of Human Services in the Michigan foster care system on or after their 13th birthday. There is no maximum age restriction for the student. The student must be enrolled as an undergraduate student at a Michigan public or private degree-granting four-year college/university or a community college.

Futures for Frontliners

Futures for Frontliners (F4F) is a State of Michigan scholarship program that provides tuition assistance to Michigan residents who have not obtained a college degree and worked as a frontline worker in an essential industry between April 1- June 30, 2020. The program is intended to give thanks to those who put themselves at risk during the pandemic. Students must have applied by December 31, 2020. The scholarship covers any remaining in-district tuition and mandatory fees that are not covered by the Federal Pell Grant or other tuition-restricted scholarships. Students must maintain enrollment as at least a half-time (6 credit hours) student in a financial aid eligible program. 

Michigan ECHO Scholarship

Michigan Equity, Courage, Hope and Opportunity (MI ECHO) Scholarship offers tuition and fee assistance for students who are pursuing an associate degree or certificate but are not eligible for federal financial aid. MI ECHO is designed to assist students who are DACA recipients, Temporary Protected Status immigrants, Special Immigrant Juveniles, and other populations who are excluded from most traditional financial aid opportunities. This opportunity is provided by the Michigan College Access Network.

Michigan Reconnect Scholarship

Michigan Reconnect provides tuition assistance to Michigan residents who are 25 years of age or older and have not obtained a college degree. The scholarship covers any remaining in-district tuition and mandatory fees that are not covered by the Federal Pell Grant or other tuition-restricted scholarships. In addition to completing the FAFSA, students must complete and submit the Reconnect Application. Students must begin classes within 12 months from the date the application was approved by the State of Michigan and they must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours).

Work-study is a need-based federal program that pays you to work while you attend school. The amount of your actual work-study award depends on your financial need and the available funding. Work-study jobs at SC4 pay $12 per hour. Visit the Financial Aid Office in Room 105 of the SC4 Welcome Center to learn about open work-study opportunities. Students must meet basic eligibility requirements.