Book Advance Process

What is a book advance?

A book advance assists students in purchasing their semester books and up to $50 in supplies at the MCC Bookstores, using excess financial aid funds.

How are students eligible for a book advance?

To be eligible for a book advance, a student must apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Additionally, the student’s accepted financial aid for the term must exceed the semester charges that they are being billed for by the Student Account’s Office. These charges include tuition and fees (and health insurance for students registered in 9 or more credits).

How much is a student’s book advance each semester?

Book advance amounts vary depending on student enrollment and how much of the semester accepted award amount exceeds semester charges. The following table is an example of the book advance amounts:

Enrollment | Maximum amount of initial book advance

       12 or more credits | $600

       9-11 credits | $450

       6-8 credits | $300

       Less than 6 credits | $150

How are students notified of their eligibility for these book advances?

The Financial Aid Office is very much aware of the importance of students buying their books during the first week of the semester. Due to this importance, the Financial Aid Office begins to transmit book advance notification to students' MCC email account for quicker access, beginning two weeks before the start of the semester courses. If a student applied for financial aid prior to the first week of classes, the student would receive a book advance notification (if eligible) by the end of the first week of classes. Students do not need to bring a copy of the book advance email to the MCC Bookstore. The Bookstore is notified of a students' eligible book advance amount electronically. Students will need a picture ID to confirm their identity and should bring their class schedule as well.

The Financial Aid Office continues to email book advance notifications daily to any student who becomes eligible up until the Wednesday of the third week of the semester. Any student who becomes eligible during these last three days needs to act quickly to secure their textbooks before the program is over.

Students who apply for financial aid just before the start of the semester or after the semester courses have begun are delaying their receipt of a book advance until the Financial Aid Office has performed a preliminary application review. A book advance will not be issued if there are serious problems with the financial aid application.

Is there a date during the semester when a student may no longer use a book advance?

Yes, book advances expire on the Friday of the third week of the semester courses. This date is printed directly on the book advance form sent to you by MCC email.

Are book advances available every semester?

Yes, book advances are available during the fall, spring and summer semesters, including non-standard term enrollment periods.

What happens if a student’s semester books cost more than the amount on the book advance?

If a student needs additional assistance to purchase all required books, he/she should have a MCC Bookstore employee complete a Petition for Additional Book advance form. This form lets the Financial Aid Office know how much of the original book advance was used to purchase books and the cost of each additional book needed.

The student is responsible for bringing this form to the Financial Aid Office. Eligibility for additional amounts is communicated daily by an email to the students' MCC email account. To be eligible for additional book advance, the student's accepted semester financial aid awards must exceed the semester charges on the bill, including the original book advance amount.

At what locations are the book advances honored?

The book advances are only valid at the Bedford and Lowell MCC Bookstores.

What would prevent a student from receiving a book advance at the beginning of the semester?

Students may not receive a book advance for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons may include:

  • The student did not apply for financial aid by completing the FAFSA until after the third week of classes.
  • The student's accepted financial aid award was less than billed tuition and fees charges (including past due balances).
  • The student was eligible to waive the health insurance charge on the bill but did not do so until after the third week of classes.
  • The student was only eligible for a Federal Stafford Loan and did not complete the required documents until after the third week of classes.
Last Modified: 9/15/23