Continuing Education

Types of Financial Aid

Three Rivers Community College offers financial aid through federal, state, and private programs in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study funds. Both full-time and part-time students may qualify.

Grants: Grants are a form of financial aid, based on need, which you do not have to repay. Grants offered by the Federal Government are called Pell Grants and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. Connecticut State Grant Programs include the Connecticut Aid for Public College Students and Community College Grant Program (CCGP).

Scholarships: Scholarships are a form of financial aid which does not require repayment. Scholarships are usually awarded by governmental agencies, private companies or organizations, community organizations, or educational institutions, including Three Rivers.

Work-Study: The Federal Work-Study Program provides funds which students earn through part-time jobs on the college campus or through community service.

Loans: Students and parents may borrow money to pay for educational expenses. Unlike grants, loans must be repaid, with interest. Funds can be borrowed through federal loan programs like the Federal Direct Student Loan and the Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) or through lending institutions which offer Alternative Student Loans.

Alternative Educational Aid Programs– Financial assistance provided through AmeriCorps and the Post-9/11 GI Bill, typically requires a service commitment by the student.

College Scholarships

The College awards scholarships competitively to students based on a variety of factors including need, scholarship and service. Click here to learn more about College scholarship opportunities, or contact the Student Programs staff by visiting room F213, or by calling 860-885-2323.

National Scholarship Databases: State, local, and national organizations offer thousands of scholarships each year to college bound students based on many factors. Explore scholarship opportunities on Fastweb.

Corporate Scholarships: A number of large corporations offer scholarships to deserving students and employee dependents. A few are listed below:


Dunkin' Donuts Scholarship

Walmart Foundation Scholarship Programs

Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program

Community Scholarships: Finally, check with community organizations in your town, as well as private businesses. Many offer scholarships exclusively for local students.

Work-Study Overview

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program provides jobs for matriculated students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay educational expenses. When possible, the program encourages work related to your program of study.

Your FWS will be at least the current federal minimum wage, but it may be higher. You will receive your wages on an hourly basis and be paid bi-weekly. Federal Work Study jobs are available on campus. The amount you earn cannot exceed your total FWS award. When assigning work hours, your employer will consider your class schedule and your academic progress.

The FWS assignment may start effective July 1 of the each academic year and continues through June 30. Effective hiring dates vary from department to department.

FWS student workers are allowed to work 20 hours per week during the school year and 35 hours per week during vacations. You may work through the summer as long as approved for FWS effective July 1 of the new school year. Leftover fund from the prior school year cannot be used after June 30.

Eligibility and Application:

Eligibility for FWS is determined by the Director of Financial Aid. To be eligible a student must meet all requirements set by the Financial Aid Office. In addition, students must demonstrate financial need.

To obtain a FWS position:

Apply for financial aid and also apply for a FWS position. Applications for FWS are available in the Financial Aid Office . The FWS Coordinator will calculate whether or not you are eligible for FWS and will inform you of what you need to do next.

Search for Positions:

A description of the FWS positions typically available are posted on College Central Network. To use College Central Network you will be asked to register for an account by creating an ID and password. In addition to FWS positions, College Central Network posts a large number of job openings in the local area from employers specifically interested in hiring Three Rivers students.

Eligible students who are interested in a FWS position should visit the Financial Aid Office for placement. You will be placed into a position based on your interests and skills. If a position is not available right away, you will be placed on a waiting list and contacted when an opening occurs.

Federal Pell Grants

What is a Federal Pell Grant?
A Federal Pell Grant does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are only awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or professional degree. (A professional degree would include a degree in a field such as pharmacy or dentistry.) For many students, Pell Grants provide a foundation on which other financial aid may be added.

How do I qualify?
The U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate the information you report when you apply using FAFSA. The formula produces an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the dollars you or your parents are expected to contribute to your education. Your Student Aid Report (SAR) contains this number and will tell you if you're eligible.

How much money can I receive?
The maximum award is determined annually by Congress. Currently, the maximum award is $4,310 per academic year for a full-time student. How much you get will depend not only on your EFC, and also on your cost of attendance, whether you're a full-time or part-time student, and whether you attend school for a full academic year or not.

How will I be paid? Three Rivers will credit the Pell Grant funds to your account.

Can I receive a Federal Pell Grant if I am enrolled less than half time?
Yes, if you're otherwise eligible. The amount of the grant will be pro-rated based on your enrollment. If you are enrolled half-time, then you would receive half of the amount that you would receive as a full-time student.

For more information on the Federal Pell Grant Program, visit the Federal Pell Grants page of the Federal Student Aid web site.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

What is a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant?
A Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is for undergraduate MCC students with exceptional financial need--that is, students with the lowest Expected Family Contributions (EFCs)--and gives priority to students who receive Federal Pell Grants. An FSEOG doesn't have to be paid back.

What's the difference between the FSEOG and Federal Pell Grant?
The U.S. Department of Education guarantees that each participating school will receive enough money to pay the Federal Pell Grants of its eligible students. There's no guarantee every eligible student will be able to receive an FSEOG; students at each school may be awarded an FSEOG based on the availability of funds at that school.

How much money can I receive?
The federal maximum amount is $4,000 per year, but students typically receive lower amounts ranging from $300 to $750 per semester.

How will I be paid? Three Rivers will credit your account.

For more information on the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program, visit the FSEOG page of the Federal Student Aid web site.

Connecticut Aid for Public College Students and Community College Grant Program (CCGP)

What are Connecticut Aid for Public College Students and Community College Grant Program (CCGP)?

These grant programs are awarded by the State of Connecticut to Connecticut resident students who have serious financial need. Grants are awarded based on satisfactory academic progress, financial need and the availability of funds.

How do I qualify?
To receive these grants you need to complete FAFSA. The Financial Aid office will make awards based on eligibility and funding.

How much money can I receive?
Grants range up to the direct cost of education per academic year, including tuition, fees, and books.  How will I be paid? Three Rivers will credit your account.

Types of Loans

For students who do not qualify for grants or scholarships or need additional funds to meet their educational expenses, there are several loan programs available to borrow money.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan

The most utilized loan program is the Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Under this program, monies are borrowed by the student. To borrow through this program, you must complete an application (Master Promissory Note) and Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans .gov The interest rate is fixed. Repayment begins six months after the recipient leaves college. For more information on the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program, such as how much can be borrowed, interest rates, and repayment options, visit Federal Student Aid Direct Loan website:

Parents' Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Parents of dependent students may also borrow monies in their name to help meet the student's educational expenses. The Federal Parents' Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is available to parent borrowers who do not have an adverse credit history. Parents can borrow a PLUS loan through Federal Direct Loan Program. For more information on the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Program, such as how much can be borrowed, interest rates, repayment options, and how to apply, visit the Plus Loan section of

Private Educational Loans

Private Education Loans are private loans through different lenders to assist with the cost of education. These loans are not guaranteed student loans and are generally based on income and credit history. Interest rates and fees are set by each individual lender. Most students would be required to have a cosigner to obtain one of these private loans. Students who are considering borrowing an Alternative Education Loan should research each individual program carefully to determine which option will best suit their needs. These loans are generally at a higher interest rate and should be considered only as a last alternative, after all federal aid options have been considered.

The “FinAid: The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid” web site has a private education loan comparison chart that may be useful if you are considering a private education loan.

For more information on the differences between the Federal Student Loan programs and private education loans, you can visit the Department of Education’s Federal Aid First web site.

Alternative Educational Aid Programs

For students who may not qualify for or receive enough funding through traditional financial aid programs, there are programs available that can provide financial assistance in exchange for a service commitment by the part of the student.

AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps is a national service program offering opportunities for individuals to serve their country through community service. In return for successful completion of their service, Americorps members can receive an AmeriCorps Education Award to pay educational expenses at qualified institutions of higher education, for educational training, or to repay qualified student loans. In addition, many AmeriCorps members receive a modest living allowance.

Military Veterans Educational Benefits:

The Department of Veterans Affairs administers educational benefits educational benefit programs for active duty military personnel, reservists, and veterans. Programs include:

The Post-9/11 GI Bill

For more information on free education and vocational counseling services available to service members and veteran, click here. For more information on all programs, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs web site on educational benefits.

Once you have applied for a veteran’s educational benefit program, you may contact the Veteran’s Benefit Coordinator at Three Rivers, located at the Registrar’s window or by calling 860-215-9235.