Policies and Information

Department of Education regulations require the disclosure of general information to help students and families make better-informed decisions about higher education. This page acts as a guide to sources of consumer information, college policies and disclosures as required under the Higher Education Opportunity Act and other legislation.

Availability of Department of Education Forms and Instructions

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available online. The UMUC Financial Aid Office does not have any paper versions of the FAFSA. If you need a paper application, please contact the Department of Education directly at 1-800-4-FED-AID (800-433-3243). If you are hearing-impaired and need assistance, contact the Department of Education TTY line at 1-800-730-8913. You may obtain a PIN via the Department of Education online.

Availability of UMUC Financial Aid Office Forms and Instructions

The Financial Aid process is outlined at FAO's homepage. All forms are also available online. Any requested documentation available electronically is available through the MyUMUC student portal.

Basic Financial Aid Information

Descriptions of available federal, state, institutional and outside sources of assistance, eligibility criteria, methods of disbursement, terms and conditions of loans, and employment opportunities are available on the UMUC Financial Aid Office Web site. All UMUC FAO contact information is available online.

Cost of Attendance

UMUC estimates the Cost of Attendance (COA) and provides students with projected educational costs. The COA is used by the Financial Aid Office to determine your financial need and aid eligibility.

The COA consists of both direct (fixed) costs such as tuition and fees, as well as indirect (variable) costs including books, transportation, computer, loan fees, personal expenses, and room and board. Each student's COA will vary depending on their academic program, actual enrolled credit load, residency and living situation.

Criteria for Selecting Recipients and Determining Award Amounts

Students who have a completed file (all requested documents are submitted to the Financial Aid office) are considered for financial aid. PELL EFC determines Pell eligibility for students who have not earned a first bachelors degree. Other funds such as FSEOG, Perkins and FWS are need-based and amounts are set at a specific dollar amount each year depending on the available funding; once funds in these programs are exhausted, no further awards can be made. Award amounts for Direct Stafford Loans are based on a combination of factors, including the student's grade level, financial need and dependency status (with an additional check against the National Student Loan Database System [NSLDS]). More information can be found on the FAO homepage.

Enrollment Changes and Return of Title IV Policy

Federal student financial aid is awarded under the assumption you will be enrolled at least half-time for the semester. Any time you change your enrollment, UMUC’s Financial Aid Office must review your record and recalculate your aid. Learn how dropping classes or withdrawing can affect your federal financial aid.

FERPA Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (also known as the "Buckley Amendment") was created to protect the privacy of students. FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records, including, but not limited to:

  • The right to inspect and review their records.
  • The right to request changes to information the student believes to be inaccurate or misleading.
  • The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information.
  • The right to prevent disclosure of directory information.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning FERPA violations.

For a detailed explanation of these rights and other information, please see the FERPA Information page.

Filing a Complaint

For more information, please review.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

The FAO is required by federal and state regulations to monitor the academic progress of all financial aid recipients. All financial aid applicants must comply with SAP policy as a condition of continued eligibility. The FAO evaluates SAP annually after spring grades are posted. Students are evaluated on the basis of grade point average (GPA), completion of attempted credits and maximum time frame limitation. The FA recipients are required to be in good standing and maintain SAP toward their degree/certificate requirements for each semester they are enrolled. Find more information about Satisfactory Academic Progress.  

Financial Aid Shopping Sheet

The Financial Aid Shopping Sheet will help you to assess your total costs of attending UMUC. The sheet presents information about costs and financial aid in a simplified format so that you can easily determine how much you may need to pay out-of-pocket to attend school and make informed decisions.

You will be able to view the sheet once you have been awarded aid for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Read instructions on how to access the shopping sheet.

Methods of Providing Consumer Information

The UMUC Financial Aid Office (FAO) provides information through various channels, including publications such as the university's financial aid brochure, FAO Web sites, MyUMUC student portal, e-mails and catalogs (electronic and print). The UMUC FAO e-mails a variety of important information to the student's primary e-mail address. The FAO will use this as the primary means for contacting students. The FAO uses the MyUMUC portal page, main FAO Web site and FAQ Web site to notify students of any targeted or general announcements. Students may find other consumer information topics throughout the UMUC Web site.

Procedures and Forms Required to Apply for Financial Aid

All students wishing to receive federal or state funds must complete the FAFSA. Students may be asked to submit documentation such as tax returns, birth certificates, citizenship information, Social Security cards and/or other items needed to verify financial or dependency status.

Students who do not wish to submit requested documentation will not receive a financial aid award. Students who are required to provide additional documentation will be notified via e-mail to access their MyUMUC account. Their MyUMUC account will describe, in real time, any information requested by the UMUC Financial Aid Office.

UMUC does not require an additional application other than the FAFSA to apply for federal or state student financial aid. Students who want to apply for a UMUC scholarship need to complete a separate scholarship application.

Refund Policy

Students are notified of UMUC's Refund Policy in the Undergraduate and Graduate catalogs (electronic and print versions) and Office of Student Accounts Web site. Students are notified via e-mail regarding real-time changes via award/revised notifications. View academic-related withdrawal/refund information online.

Rights and Responsibilities of Students on Financial Aid

Responsibilities:

  • Must complete all requested forms accurately
  • Must use all financial aid received solely for expenses related to attending UMUC
  • Must submit in a timely manner all additional documentation requested by the Financial Aid Office
  • Must enroll for at least 6 credits (except for certain graduate programs which require 3 credits)
  • Must understand the rules and conditions for any financial aid awards received
  • Must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Interview the first time a loan is received at UMUC before the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time
  • Must reapply for financial aid each award year before the published deadlines
  • Must inform the university promptly of changes in name, address or e-mail address

Have the right to:

  • Know how financial need was determined
  • Know how financial aid will be disbursed
  • Request an explanation of offered aid in the financial aid package
  • Refuse any aid offered
  • Request an explanation of UMUC's refund policy
  • Know what portion of financial aid must be repaid and what portion is a grant. If a loan has been offered and accepted, have the right to know the interest rate and loan repayment options and procedures
  • Examine the contents of aid records provided a written request is made to UMUC's Financial Aid Office. Students may not review confidential records submitted by parents without the written consent of the parent whose information has been submitted.

Student Eligibility Requirements

UMUC eligibility requirements for students are listed on the FAO homepage. They include:

  • Must be enrolled and working toward a degree or eligible certificate/program of study
  • Possess a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate
  • Have a valid Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Must not be in default or owe a refund on any Title IV aid program from any source
  • Must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Must demonstrate financial need
  • Must have a completed financial aid file

Student Loan Program Code of Conduct

UMUC's Student Loan Program Code of Conduct was adopted to ensure uniform student loan practices focusing on the best interest of student borrowers. The Student Loan Code of Conduct restrictions are defined to avoid any potential conflict of interest among school employees, lending institutions, students and their parents in the student financial aid process.

  • Revenue Sharing Prohibition: UMUC will not receive anything of value from any lending institution in exchange for an advantage sought by the lending institution.
  • Gift Ban: UMUC employees with responsibility for financial aid work will not solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor or servicer. A "gift" is defined as any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan or other item having a monetary value of more than a small amount.
  • Advisory Board Compensation Rules: UMUC employees with financial aid responsibility will not accept anything of value for serving on the advisory board of any lending institution.
  • Opportunity Pools: UMUC will not request or accept from any lender any offer of funds to be used for private education loans, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, in exchange for UMUC providing concessions or promises of a specified number or volume of Title IV loans, or a preferred lender arrangement for Title IV loans.
  • Contract Arrangement Prohibition: UMUC employees, officers and agents with educational loan responsibilities will not accept any fee, payment or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) from a lender as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
  • Staffing Assistance Ban: UMUC will not request or accept assistance from any lender to staff a call center or financial aid office.
  • Loan Certification: UMUC employees will not refuse to certify or delay loan certification based on the borrower's selection of a particular lender or guarantor.
  • Assigning Lenders: UMUC employees will not assign first-time borrowers to a particular lender.
  • Preferred Lender Guidelines/Disclosures: UMUC will not use a Preferred Lender List. Students will be told that they have the right and responsibility to select the lender of their choice.

Title IV Verification Policy

The Department of Education requires UMUC to collect documentation to support/verify the data the student entered on the FAFSA form. The collected documentation is reviewed and compared to the FAFSA data. Any conflicting information must be resolved.

Students are either selected for verification by the Central Processing System (CPS), the student self-selects by submitting financial information that UMUC did not request, or there is reason to question the information that was provided on the FAFSA form.

For required documentation that needs to be provided each academic year, please click on the Verification Worksheet form on our Forms Page.

For more information on Title IV verification, please view our FATV video.