Federal financial aid can help you pay for college at University of Maryland University College in a number of ways, if you qualify. See the possibilities below, and remember to apply for financial aid—it's important to submit the FAFSA every year so you're aware of all your options and so you can be considered for UMUC scholarships.
The FAFSA is Your First Step
Your first step in applying for aid is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA. UMUC's school code is 011644. For priority consideration, your FAFSA must be received by the established priority deadlines:
- April 1 (for summer)
- June 1 (for fall)
- November 1 (for spring)
Grants are need-based financial awards that do not have to be repaid. Award amounts vary depending on the student’s enrollment status and need level. Grants are available from a variety of sources, including federal and state governments.
Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is free assistance that is funded and awarded by the federal government. The Pell Grant is based on the expected family contribution, as determined by the FAFSA and current enrollment.
Recipients must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree-seeking program leading to a first bachelor’s degree and meet all other eligibility criteria. Students are able to receive a Pell Grant for a maximum of 12 full-time semesters.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, known as FSEOG, is for undergraduate students who are working toward their first degree and have exceptional financial need. FSEOG awards are not guaranteed from one year to the next.
Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions are considered first for an FSEOG. FSEOG funding is limited, therefore all eligible students may not receive this award. This grant is typically awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The FSEOG does not have to be repaid.
Federal student loans are government-backed, also known as guaranteed. They are low-cost, fixed-rate loans that can be subsidized (need based) or unsubsidized (non-need based). Subsidized loans begin to accrue interest when repayment begins, generally six months after you leave school or your attendance drops below half-time, while unsubsidized loans begin to accrue interest as soon as you receive the full amount of the loan.
Award amounts are based on grade year classifications and vary each year. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for a direct loan disbursement. Half-time status at UMUC is defined differently depending on your program:
- Undergraduate: 6 credits
- Graduate: 6 credits
- MBA: 3 credits
- Doctoral: 3 credits
Why Consider Federal Loans?
Federal student loans are an investment in your future. You should not be afraid to take out federal student loans, but you should be smart about it. Federal student loans offer many benefits compared to other options you may consider when paying for college:
- The interest rate on federal student loans is almost always lower than that on educational private loans—and much lower than that on a credit card
- You don’t need a credit check or a cosigner to obtain most federal student loans
- You don’t have to begin repaying your federal student loans until after you leave college or drop below half-time
- If you demonstrate financial need, you can qualify to have the government pay your interest while you are in school
- Federal student loans offer flexible repayment plans and options to postpone your loan payments if you’re having trouble making payments
- If you work in certain jobs, you may be eligible to have a portion of your federal student loans forgiven if you meet certain conditions
More About Federal Grants and Loans
Learn more about federal loans and grants on the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website.