What is the MECC Promise Program?
Beginning with the graduating class of 2023, students graduating from a public school or recognized home association in the counties of Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson and City of Norton can attend MECC tuition-free. To qualify, students must:
- Maintain a 2.0 for each semester and cumulative GPA and be continuously enrolled, full-time
- Meet Virginia in-state domicile requirements, reside in the service region, and able to provide proof of residency
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit all required documentation by August 1 annually. (May 1 for Summer enrollment)
- Complete the MECC Foundation Scholarship application by August 1 annually. (May 1 for Summer enrollment)
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Where can I find information about the MECC Promise Program?
Are students who graduated high school before 2023 eligible?
No, the MECC Promise Program begins with 2023 high school graduates. Students who graduated high school in prior years
can still apply and be considered, for MECC Foundation Scholarships.
What are the requirements to qualify for the MECC Promise Program?
Please refer to the Promise Program website for eligibility requirements.
What are the requirements to remain eligible for the MECC Promise Program?
Students are required to maintain a 2.0 GPA for each semester and cumulative GPA, remain continuously enrolled, and
must complete the FAFSA and MECC Scholarship application by the noted deadlines annually. Students must also remain
eligible for Virginia domicile.
What if I receive other financial aid?
The Promise Program is a “last dollar” program, designed to guarantee that the student will not pay any tuition/fees while
completing their degree at MECC. This is done by filling in “gaps” that regular financial aid does not cover. Students who
receive sufficient aid through federal and state financial aid programs and grants will not receive additional funding
through the Promise Program. If, after all, another aid is applied, the student has a balance due for tuition/fees, and the
Promise Program will cover that amount.
What if I receive other scholarships?
If a student receives a MECC Foundation Scholarship, that is considered to be an internal award and the scholarship funds
will be used to cover the student’s tuition and fees before the MECC Promise Program funds are utilized. If the student
receives a scholarship from an external source, those funds will not be applied to tuition/fees and the student may utilize
them for bookstore purchasing.
Does the MECC Promise Program cover book costs?
No, the MECC Promise Program does not cover book/supplies costs.
What if my GPA falls below the required GPA?
Eligible students are required to maintain a 2.0 GPA for each semester of attendance and for their cumulative GPA. Failure
to maintain the required GPA will result in immediate loss of MECC Promise Program eligibility. There is no appeal for
special circumstances. Loss of eligibility is permanent.
How long do I have Promise Program eligibility?
Students who remain continuously enrolled (Fall and Spring semesters) are eligible for the program for up to two (2) years
or 72 credit hours, or completion of the student’s first associate’s degree. The MECC Promise Program only covers courses
required to graduate in the student’s designated program of study.
Does the MECC Promise Program cover summer classes?
Yes, students may elect to enroll in Summer courses. The MECC Promise Program only covers courses required to graduate
in the student’s designated program of study.
What if I change my major?
The Promise Program covers up to two years or 72 credit hours or completion of the student’s first associate’s degree,
whichever comes first. If a student changes their program and this results in a longer enrollment period, the student will be
responsible for covering their educational costs.
Can MECC Promise Program funds be used to cover classes at another school?
No. The MECC Promise Program is Mountain Empire Community College specific. Students electing to take courses at
another higher education institution are responsible for payment.
Am I required to maintain a full-time course load (12 credits or more) each semester?
A student must maintain full-time (12 credits or more) enrollment for each Fall and Spring semester unless the
student is in a selective admissions program with a prescribed course schedule. Students in their last semester
required for graduation are not required to maintain full-time enrollment if they do not need the courses to graduate.
What if I withdraw from all of my classes?
If a student withdraws from all courses within a semester and receives all ‘W’ grades, the student will no longer be
eligible for the MECC Promise Program. There is no appeal for special circumstances. Loss of eligibility is permanent.
What if I do not live in Virginia but graduated from an eligible Virginia high school?
Students who are not Virginia-domiciled are not eligible for the MECC Promise Program. However, students living within
a 30-mile radius in the state of Tennessee may be eligible for an in-state tuition rate. To request information on how to
apply for consideration for in-state tuition rates, please email Enrollment Services at email@example.com.
How do I apply for the MECC Promise Program?
Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have all required paperwork on file
with the financial aid office by August 1 annually (May 1 for Summer enrollment). Students must also complete the
MECC Foundation Scholarship Application by August 1 (May 1 for Summer enrollment) annually.
What if I move out of state after high school graduation?
Students must maintain Virginia domicile eligibility to remain eligible for the MECC Promise Program. Failure to update
the Enrollment Services office with your legal domicile information will result in the student having the responsibility
to return any erroneously awarded funds. Students classified as dependent have a domicile based on their parents. For
questions or more information, please contact Enrollment Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is considered a recognized home school association?
Students completing high school via homeschool education must meet the requirements of Virginia law. Final
transcripts with authoritative signatures and graduation dates are required.
What is the difference between the Promise program and the AIMS Scholarship?
The AIMS program is designed for students who intend to transfer to UVA-Wise to complete a four-year degree. AIMS
requires that students complete a more rigorous curriculum and volunteer service while in high school. The MECC
Promise program is designed for students who want to complete a certificate or degree program at MECC in a careertrack
field, or who intend to transfer to a college other than UVA-Wise.
What if I am enrolled in the Promise Program and choose to withdraw from a course during the semester?
If a student is enrolled in more than one course, they would not lose Promise Program eligibility if the cumulative GPA
for the semester remains 2.0 or above. However, the course in which the student receives a W grade is included in the
72-credit maximum for the Promise Program eligibility.
Can I use the Promise Program for a second degree at MECC?
No, the Promise Program will support up to 72 credit hours at MECC, or the first Associate Degree, whichever is
What if I decide to graduate early? (Beginning with 2024 December graduates)
Students who graduate early are eligible for the Promise program as long as they enroll in MECC immediately following
high school graduation. Students who enroll in another college or who choose to wait a semester to enroll at MECC are
not eligible for the Promise Program but may qualify for other financial aid funds. December graduates must enroll in
the following Spring semester at MECC to receive the Promise scholarship.
Will the PROMISE PROGRAM cover courses that are not required for graduation in my program?
No. The PROMISE PROGRAM is designed to provide financial assistance for students taking courses that result in the completion of a degree. Courses that are not required for graduation in your program will not be covered. Students must make arrangements to pay for such courses themselves if they choose to remain enrolled.
This is a last dollar scholarship for tuition only – federal and state aid and additional scholarships will be applied first.
For more information, contact the MECC Financial Aid Office at 276-523-7470 or email@example.com.