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Financial Aid Eligibility

Financial Aid

Although you and your family have the primary responsibility for financing the costs of education, there is some aid available through Truckee Meadows Community College for those families that can not meet the total costs. This aid is available in the forms of grants, loans, scholarships, student employment or through a combination of these.


Financial aid programs are regulated by federal (Title IV), state and TMCC guidelines. Most of the financial aid guidelines specify eligibility requirements which include, but are not limited to:

  • Being a citizen, permanent resident or other eligible non-citizen of the U.S. as documented by Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • Having a standard high school diploma or above, a HSE (formerly GED) certificate, or passing a federally-approved test and was enrolled in a degree-seeking program prior to July 1, 2012.
  • Demonstrating financial need.
  • Be working on a specific degree program, certificate or specific training area (students must have a declared major).
  • Maintaining financial aid academic progress.
  • Being enrolled in classes.

Note: All types of financial aid begin with an application.

Federal Financial Aid Regulation

It is important to take academic courses that match your program's degree requirements, because federal and state governments have mandated that all students receiving financial aid must take courses that apply towards their degree program.

College institutions are held accountable to make sure students are taking the proper courses, and could lose their ability to offer financial aid to all students if they do not comply with this federal regulation.

Students who are enrolled part-time or full-time must follow this guideline.

The federal financial aid regulation applies to all academic semesters, all year long: Fall, Spring and Summer (note that Winter Session is part of Spring Semester).

Scholarships, State and Institutional Grants

  • Students who have scholarship awards are not affected by the federal financial aid regulation.
  • Students who are receiving state and institutional grants or scholarships, such as the Silver State Opportunity Grant or the Millennium Scholarship, must meet the requirements for the particular grant and/or scholarship. In addition, students need to make sure that the classes they are enrolled in are going towards their degree. This specific requirement aligns with the federal financial aid regulation.

Federal Financial Aid Regulation and Eligible Academic Courses

  • Ensuring Academic Courses Apply Towards Degree Program Requirements
    • Review the academic requirements report in MyTMCC showing what courses are required for your specific degree.
    • Schedule a Financial Aid On-Track session with the TMCC Academic Advisement Office to learn what courses go towards a specific degree.
  • Completing Multiple Degree Programs or Certificates at TMCC
    • Students must meet with an academic advisor who can determine and make exceptions on student accounts that will allow students to receive financial aid for both degrees and/or certificates.
  • Elective Courses
    • Elective courses can be covered by financial aid if they apply towards a student’s degree program.
    • Schedule a Financial Aid On-Track session with the TMCC Academic Advisement Office to learn which elective courses can go towards a specific degree.
  • Prerequisite Courses
    • Prerequisite courses are eligible for federal aid since they are needed to fulfill the actual requirements for a student’s degree program.
    • Note: prerequisites are not always listed in the academic advisement report for a specific degree program; however, if prerequisites are required for the degree program a student is pursuing, these will be noted in their student account so that they may receive federal funding for these particular courses.
  • Remedial Courses
    • Students who have attempted 0–29 credits can receive financial aid funding for remedial courses (course numbers below 100, such as Math 95 or English 98).
    • Students who have attempted 30 credits and still have not completed their remedial sequence will no longer receive federal aid funding for these specific courses. Students will be responsible for payment.
    • Note: Skills Center (SKC) and College Transition courses for Math and English are not eligible for financial aid funding.
  • Repeating a College Course
    • Generally, students can repeat a course twice for a letter grade, and receive federal funding.
    • After repeating a course a second time, students may not be eligible for federal funding, and may have to pay for the course out of pocket.
  • Undeclared Degree-Seeking Students
    • Undeclared, degree-seeking students comply with the federal financial aid regulation and are eligible to receive federal student aid; however, students under this status are limited to funding for only two semesters.
  • Non-Degree Seeking Students
    • Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for federal student financial aid, or for state and institutional grants and scholarships; therefore, the federal financial aid regulation does not apply.

Communication Notification to Determine if Courses are Satisfying the Financial Aid Requirements

Financial Aid

Students will receive both an email and a popup communication box in MyTMCC, notifying them if the academic courses they are enrolled in for the semester are not required for their degree.

The popup communication message will give them the option to choose "Accept" to authorize their financial aid refunds to pay for the course(s). If the student selects "Decline", the Accounting Services Cashier’s Office will manually calculate the fees that are owed; the student may also experience a delay in receiving their financial aid refunds.

Note: students who are enrolled in their right degree program may not see this popup communication message box.

Courses or Programs not Paid for by Financial Aid

If a student knows that certain courses are not going to be paid for by financial aid, they should meet with an academic advisor and update their semester class schedules to ensure that their courses are financial aid eligible and applicable toward their degree programs. Otherwise, the student is responsible for payment for all classes that do not apply towards their degree programs. This payment must be made by the standard fee payment deadline for the semester.

Changing a New Degree Program and Excluded Courses

When a student changes their degree programs, sometimes certain academic courses they have completed in the past may now be excluded for their new degree program. This also can affect a student’s financial aid eligibility. Only courses that are required for a student’s degree program are eligible for financial aid.

The Financial Aid Office must check each semester if students are eligible to continue to receive federal/state aid funding for the upcoming semester. To determine a student’s financial aid academic progress, the Financial Aid Office counts all attempted and completed courses that a student has taken, regardless of whether the course(s) are required for the degree program or not. This is referred to as student’s attempted credits. In addition, the Financial Aid Office also reviews a student’s cumulative GPA each semester. Both attempted credits and GPA can affect a student’s aid eligibility semester by semester.

Courses Required for Transfer Bachelor’s Degree

Once a student completes their academic requirements for their degree program at TMCC, financial aid will not cover additional courses that they may want to take at TMCC to meet the requirements for a degree at another university or college. Students may still want to complete the additional courses at TMCC, but will be responsible to pay for these courses out of pocket. Careful planning with an academic advisor upon transferring, or after a program change, may help students navigate around this problem.

Dropping Semester Classes if Classes are Not Covered by Financial Aid

If a student is not interested in the class or section they enrolled in, they must drop the course within the first week of the semester; however, they can expect to see an adjustment on their financial aid packages which will require them to return funds, if necessary.

If a student decides to drop classes after the first week the semester has started, they will receive withdrawals (Ws) for the courses in which they were initially enrolled. These Ws can affect their overall completion rate and financial aid eligibility in the future.

Academic Courses Not Eligible for Degree Program

Courses that are not required for a degree are not covered by financial aid; however, if a student receives a financial aid or scholarship refund, they can use it to pay for courses that are not financial aid eligible.

Still Have Questions?

Contact us or contact TMCC's Academic Advisement Office. Please have your NSHE/TMCC ID number available when contacting either department. Note: we can only respond to emails from official student email accounts (i.e.,