How to Apply for Financial Aid
Applying for financial aid doesn't need to be stressful—most of the forms you need to apply for financial aid are easily available online. Here's how to navigate the financial aid process effectively.
- Apply for admission to UMUC.
If you haven't already been admitted as a student, learn how to get started with the online application.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.
The FAFSA should take you less than 20 minutes to complete. UMUC's school code is 011644. You'll need to list this information on the form to ensure UMUC receives a copy of your FAFSA. You will be prompted to create an FSA ID number once you log onto FAFSA.gov.
2016-2017 Tutorial - First Time FAFSA Filers
- Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
When completing the FAFSA, you'll want to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to directly import your tax information from the IRS to your FAFSA. Watch this step-by-step guide for assistance:
IRS Data Retrieval Process
- Apply early!
For priority consideration, your FAFSA must be received by the established priority deadlines: June 1 (for fall), November 1 (for spring), and April 1 (for summer).
If you're a Maryland resident, you must apply by March 1 to be considered for student financial aid from the Maryland Higher Education Commission for the academic year starting that fall.
FAFSA Submitted? Here Are Your Next Steps
- From the date you submitted your FAFSA with UMUC's school code, it typically takes three to five business days for UMUC to receive your application. If you've already been admitted, the Financial Aid Office will review your application immediately. If you haven't been admitted into a program, please contact an admissions representative to identify your next steps in that process.
- After the initial review, UMUC will contact you if you are required to do anything else. UMUC will use guidance from the Department of Education to identify if you need to submit additional information in order to assess your application further. UMUC will contact you directly through email to notify you if additional information is needed.
UMUC will also update your "To Do" list on your MyUMUC account with detailed descriptions of the additional requirements. Make sure you check MyUMUC frequently to stay on top of your requirements and submit any requested information to UMUC promptly. To learn more about the Title IV verification policy, you can visit our Policies and Information page.
You've Been Awarded Financial Aid! Now What?
- Accept your aid package.
It is important to accept your award promptly, so that your aid will disburse in a timely manner. Initial awards are based on the assumption that you will be enrolled half-time; awards may be adjusted if you enroll for more or fewer credits as your cost of attendance will change to reflect your actual enrollment.
Your Pell Grant will automatically be accepted on your behalf. Pell Grants will be revised according to your actual enrollment after your classes begin. Therefore you may see your award amount fluctuate throughout the semester.
- Adjust your loan award amount if necessary.
After you accept your award, you can adjust your loan amounts to better match your intended enrollment or reduce your loan amounts if you only need a portion of the award. To adjust your loans, simply use the loan adjustment form found on the accept/decline financial aid section of MyUMUC.
- Complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note.
If you are a new borrower, visit StudentLoans.gov to complete your Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note. Both of these documents must be completed before your loan funds will disburse.
- Enroll in classes.
Use your financial aid to help pay for classes to get your UMUC education started. Pick your start date and learn how to register online or on-site at many UMUC locations.
- Check your MyUMUC account.
In order to ensure your financial aid is disbursed on time, check MyUMUC periodically to make sure you have completed any missing or incomplete items and that your financial aid file is complete.
Remember to Maintain Your Eligibility
To maintain your eligibility for financial aid, you must meet the standards set forth in UMUC's financial aid policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress. You may also want to read about how changes in your enrollment can affect your financial aid. Be aware of how changes in your enrollment throughout the semester can affect your financial aid.