Applying for Financial Aid
Who should apply for financial aid?
Check with all the colleges you are considering applying to for their financial aid requirements and deadlines. They may have supplemental forms you need to complete.
Online (electronically) by accessing www.fafsa.gov
If you do not have access to file online, you may call 1-800-433-3243 to obtain a paper copy.
When do I apply?
NOTE: College deadlines may differ; check with all the colleges you are considering for their deadlines.
What kind of
information do I need to put on my
NOTE: Filling out your tax return first will make completing the FAFSA easier. However, if you or your parents won’t have your current year tax returns done before the March 1 deadline, use last year’s returns to carefully estimate your answers on the FAFSA. You can correct them later.
Along with the tax return information, you may need:
These items are required even if you and your parents (if you are dependent) will not file a Federal income tax return.
Other things you should know about filing a FAFSA:
If the Title IV code cannot be found, enter the college’s full name, city and state.
What happens after I
An electronically filed FAFSA will take approximately 3 days to process. A paper FAFSA application will take about four weeks to process.
After the FAFSA is processed, you will receive a report of your answers to the FAFSA questions via email if you filed electronically or via regular mail if you filed a paper FAFSA. This is called a Student Aid Report (SAR). Your SAR will tell you your expected family contribution (EFC). This is how much money you and your family are expected to contribute toward your college expenses.
What if I have to
make changes to my FAFSA?
If you make corrections after March 15, be sure to send a copy of the reprocessed SAR to the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Keep a copy for your records.
Should I use the
services of a consultant to help find
scholarships or to help me complete the
How does the
State determine how much aid I’m
Schools will award a Federal Pell Grant to students whose EFC falls below a certain level. The amount of a Pell Grant is determined by EFC and enrollment status (full-time, part-time)
Your financial need for State awards is the difference between:
To be considered Maryland residents you must meet all of the following conditions;
Be active duty military (or a dependent of) stationed in Maryland; or
Be Maryland residents in the military who are stationed elsewhere
To be considered independent, you must meet at least one of the following conditions:
Enrollment requirements are as follows:
A difference between the information you listed on your FAFSA and the information provided for verification could result in the reduction or loss of your award.
How will I know if I
am awarded financial aid?
Please note that award notifications may be sent via email. It is your responsibility to ensure that you check your email inbox and spam folders for any notifications.
When is my award
paid to my college?