Summer is just around the corner, and it’s time to apply for summer financial aid!
How does summer financial aid work at UMBC? Your eligibility for summer financial aid essentially depends on the amount of aid you received in the previous fall and spring semesters. Each academic year students have limits on how much they can receive in awards, based on their grade level, enrollment, and award history. Your eligibility to receive financial aid in the summer will be reviewed and determined by your Financial Aid Counselor.
Financial aid for the summer is available to eligible students meeting the following criteria:
- Have a valid 2012-13 FAFSA on file for UMBC
- Submit a 2013 Summer Financial Aid Application
- Last day to submit an application is Friday, June 28th
- Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
- Enroll in at least 6 credits to receive loans
Available summer financial aid includes the Federal Pell Grant and Federal Stafford Loans. Additional loan options, such as a Parent PLUS Loan or an Alternative Loan, are also available through a separate application. More information about these loan options is available online at http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/loans.html.
Visit our website at http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/summer_winter.html for more information about summer financial aid and to access the required application.
Seen alerts on your account to submit a tax return transcript, but have no idea what it is? You are not alone. If a student is selected for verification, the Financial Aid Office is responsible for ensuring the information listed on the FAFSA is accurate. This sometimes requires the student to submit tax documentation for themselves and their parents. We are no longer allowed to accept Federal Tax Returns, which would be the 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ forms. Instead Tax Return Transcripts are required. Tax Return Transcripts come directly from the IRS, and are basically a transcript of the tax form submitted.
If you are required to submit the Tax Return Transcript, there are several ways you can request one from the IRS. First, you can call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 to request a Tax Return Transcript. Your second option is to go online to http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Order-a-Transcript to request a Tax Return Transcript. When requesting a transcript, be sure to select the Tax Return Transcript option. Tax Transcripts are typically mailed to you within 5 to 10 business days.
You can submit your Tax Return Transcript to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships by mail, fax, email, or in person. Please visit our website at http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/index.html to find our contact information.
Be sure to submit your requested documents by the deadline to ensure your financial aid is processed in a timely manner. If you have any questions, contact your Financial Aid Counselor.
Remember: When it comes to student loans, only accept the amount that you NEED. The money you’re borrowing may not seem real to you now, but you might be paying your loans back for 10 years or more, so take your time to consider all of your options.
There are plenty of resources and tools available to assist you with plans to pay for college. Help with the FAFSA, understanding your aid, financial aid calculators, and more are available to help you! Be sure to check out these resources when planning for the upcoming 2013-14 academic year. Visit the Federal Student Aid website at http://studentaid.ed.gov/ to access these resources.
If you need help understanding your student loans, try the new Financial Awareness Counseling Tool (FACT). This tool can help you understand your loans, manage your spending, plan for repayment, and make your finances a priority!
Be smart, borrow smart.
Our office recently went on a retreat to Helping Up Mission in downtown Baltimore. We volunteered at the Mission, helping with folding laundry, making beds, and serving lunch. It was a great experience, and one we all enjoyed!
Helping Up Mission is a great organization helping men recover and get back to a healthy and happy life. More information about Helping Up Mission can be found online at http://www.helpingupmission.org/.
Check out the pictures from our experience:
One big, happy group!
Ready to serve!
It’s that time again! The 2013-14 FAFSA is now available! Go to www.fafsa.gov to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Be sure you are at the correct website for completing the FAFSA, and remember the application is FREE. If you have to pay for your application you are on a site that is not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education.
Our office uses your FAFSA to determine how much federal student aid you may receive. The FAFSA can be completed starting now! Even if you have not yet filed your 2012 taxes, be sure to complete the application by the priority deadline of February 14, 2013 with estimates. Once you’ve filed your taxes, you can go back and make the necessary corrections. Also, be sure to list UMBC in the school code list, and make sure it matches our school code of 002105. UMBC needs to have a valid FAFSA on file for you by our priority deadline in order to consider you for the best possible award package. Waiting to submit the FAFSA could result in you losing out on certain grants and other awards.
Remember, apply online by Valentine’s!
Top 5 Reasons to Complete the FAFSA:
- It’s the only way to apply for federal student aid!
- The FAFSA is the first step in applying for federal student aid. The FAFSA gives you access to more than $150 billion available in federal student aid!
- It’s FREE!
- The FAFSA is free to complete, and there is always help available to assist you with completing the application. Never pay for help with the FAFSA, the official FAFSA site is free to complete and free for assistance.
- It’s easy!
- Completing the FAFSA is easy. Now, the FAFSA offers the opportunity to eligible users to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. This tool allows users to transfer their tax information directly from the IRS web site, which can save you lots of time.
- It takes about 30 minutes to complete!
- Completing the FAFSA application only takes about 30 minutes to complete. This is a small price to pay, when it could save you thousands of dollars in financial aid!
- It’s easier to qualify than you think!
- Even if you think you will not qualify for financial aid, you should still apply, you could be missing out on a lot of financial aid! There is no risk or penalty in filling out the FAFSA, and everyone should fill it out.
More information about the FAFSA, and for further explanation on these reasons to fill out the FAFSA, can be found online at the Department of Education’s web site at http://www.ed.gov/blog/2013/01/5-reasons-you-should-complete-the-free-application-for-federal-student-aid-fafsa/?sf8283069=1.
Graduating this December? Wondering what is next in terms of your financial aid? There are many valuable resources available to assist you with getting your loans figured out after graduation.
For Federal Direct Stafford Loans you are typically allowed a 6 month grade period after graduation. This means that repayment of your loans does not begin for 6 months, there are some exceptions. You will receive information from your loan servicers regarding your repayment plan and options. You can always visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at https://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/ to access your complete federal loan history, which includes information about your loan servicers.
Another great resource is the Federal Student Aid website, https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action. This site contains valuable information about repayment plans, repayment calculators, consolidation options, loan forgiveness, deferment options, and more. It is important for you to understand the repayment process and your options after graduation.
If you received a private or alternative student loan, through private lenders such as Wells Fargo or Sallie Mae, you will need to contact them directly for more information about repayment plans and options.
Before you graduate this December from UMBC, there are several items you need to complete:
1. The first is to submit a December Graduation Form to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. The form is found online at http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/forms.html.
2. The next step is to complete Exit Counseling. You will receive a notification to your myUMBC account with more information about completing Exit Counseling. Be sure you are checking your myUMBC account for this alert.
3. Finally, the last step is to celebrate! The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships wishes you all the best of luck!
Congratulations to all graduates!
Winter is quickly approaching! Do you plan on taking any classes this winter? Visit our website at http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/summer_winter.html for a complete overview of winter financial aid.
The Federal Pell Grant is the only financial aid available for the winter session, for eligible students. Eligible students must meet the following requirements:
- Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards
- Have a valid 2012-13 FAFSA on file
- Be Pell Grant eligible
- Have spring 2013 enrollment of less than 12 credits
- Submit a 2012-13 Winter Financial Aid Application
For more information about the Winter Session 2013, please visit the UMBC Winter Session website at http://www.umbc.edu/winter/.