14-15 Maryland State Grants & Scholarships

The FAFSA Deadline in order to be considered for Maryland state aid was March 1, 2014.  If you met this priority deadline, you may be eligible for state aid for the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters.

If awarded state funds, students will be notified via e-mail (account indicated on the FAFSA) from MDCAPS in the first weeks of May 2014.  Students are required to complete a MDCAPS Student Login Profile Account on-line at: https://www.mhec.state.md.us/financialaid/OSFAmdcapslive.asp in order to formally accept the award(s).

MDCAPS Link

Maryland Higher Education Commission

Recipients will have two (2) weeks to accept their offer or they will forfeit any offered awards.  Students are highly encouraged to monitor their e-mail accounts frequently and check SPAM/JUNK in boxes as well.  Any e-mails from MDCAPS is permissible and are notifications sent directly from the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

UMBC will begin updating students’ financial aid award packages with accepted Maryland state awards no later than June.

If you have any questions, please refer them directly to your appointed financial aid counselor.

Summer Aid Application Deadline

Good morning! If you are interested in taking summer courses and need Financial Aid to help with the costs, tomorrow is THE last day to submit your Summer Aid Application.

http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/summer_aid.html

Note: We don’t guarantee the aid you receive, if any, will cover your full costs.

Contact your Financial Aid Counselor if you have questions!

Shopping Sheet

Looking for a simple way to compare financial aid and cost information among different colleges and universities? Well, you are in luck. The Department of Education has started a voluntary initiative for higher educational institutions in providing prospective students a Shopping Sheet.

You may be asking, what is a Shopping Sheet? A Shopping Sheet is a tool designed to standardized and simplify the information that prospective students receive about costs and financial aid so that they can easily compare institutions and make informed decisions about where to attend school.  Currently, there are over 1,900 institutions participating in this Shopping Sheet initiative.

Click here if you would like to see an example of a Shopping Sheet.

 

 

How to View Your Financial Aid Package

Once you view your Financial Aid Award, and if you have questions, contact your Financial Aid Counselor.

Newly admitted students- You have until May 1st to make your decision about which institution you will be attending in the Fall or if you will be deferring your acceptance.

Verification

Often times, students inadvertently make mistakes on their FAFSA application that can drastically change the amount of aid a student qualifies for. As a result, the Department of Education has a process known as verification to help catch these problems. Approximately 30% of all FAFSA applications are randomly selected by the Department of Education for verification.

So what exactly are we looking to verify you might ask? Most often, Financial Aid Offices are verifying the income listed on the FAFSA for the student and/or Parents for the prior tax year, and the size of the student’s household. Occasionally, offices are also required to verify Food Stamp benefits, and Child support paid or received.

If you are selected, your school will notify you of the required documents that you must submit to complete this Verification process. At UMBC, our office will generate Financial Aid To-Do’s on your myUMBC account. It is critical to respond to these To-Do’s as soon as possible to make sure that your aid is posted in plenty of time for the upcoming school year!

To verify your household size, we will be requesting either a Dependent or Independent Verification form. This can be found on our website at http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/forms.html.

To verify the income listed on your FAFSA for you and/or Parent’s, you will need to submit your tax information in one of two ways:

  • IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT): The DRT tool is located on your FAFSA under the income section for both parent and student. This tool will allow students and parents to access their IRS Tax Return information and transfer it directly into the FAFSA. It is very important to not manually change this information once you have transferred it. The DRT will be available to students around 3-4 weeks after filing electronically or 8-10 weeks after filing by mail.
  • Tax Return Transcript: Students and/or parents not eligible for the DRT can submit a copy of their Tax Return Transcript. This can be requested online through the IRS at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript#. Beginning this year, students and parents can access a PDF version of their transcript for immediate access. Students are asked to submit the transcript to our office for verification purposes. This transcript is typically available within 3-4 weeks of filing electronically or 8-10 weeks after filing by mail.

It is important to note that the Department of Education does not allow Financial Aid Office to accept copies of a 1040 form for either parent or student. Also note that if a student and/or parent is filing an Amended Tax Return, or Tax Return Extension, they should contact their Financial Aid Office for further direction.

If you have further questions regarding the Verification process, please contact your Financial Aid Counselor! You can find all of our contact information at http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/contact.html.

Student Employee Spotlight

 

Name: Mark TaskerImage

Major: Sociology

Interesting Fact about yourself: At my UMBC new student orientation I won a shirt for singing the school song enthusiastically.

 

Are you involved on-campus: I am. I’m leading an Alternative School Break service trip to the Gesundheit Institute over spring break, and I’m also on the Ethics Bowl team. Our team is a 4-year qualifier for the national ethics bowl competition. I also participate in the Shriver Center’s service-learning program, so I volunteer every week at a rehabilitation facility that works with people who have MS (MS Swim).

 

What do you like about working at the Financial Aid Office: I think most people are fulfilled by a job that serves others, but financial aid does that in a particular way. In a large part we’re the intermediary between the government and students, but I like to think that we play an integral role in helping people go to college. I know I couldn’t attend UMBC without financial aid, and there’s something really substantial in being able to help people better themselves. In my mind, education is a right, and UMBC makes that possible for thousands of students every year. That’s why I work here. We do good things.

 

What advice would you offer to students about financial aid/the office: Don’t put it off. It’s not like a class where you can blow off your homework all semester and still get a good grade. This stuff is serious. The process is long, and it can be difficult to keep track of what’s going on. The best thing you can do is to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible, turn in your documents if we request them, and utilize our website to educate yourself. Before I worked in financial aid, I was frustrated that things seemed so complicated, and I blamed the office for it. The truth is that things are complicated, but you can protect yourself by going on our website and learning exactly what you need to do to get the most money possible.

 

Has Your Counselor Changed??

Please be advised that the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships has reassigned students to new counselors! Has your counselor changed?? Our new counselor assignments are as follows:

If your last name begins with… Your Counselor Is…
A, B, E Rachel Falk
C, D, F Elizabeth Brooks
G Keia Brown
H, I, J, K Shelly Kessler
L, M, O Shana Yem
Q, R, S Taylor Chapman
T Andrew Linn
N, P, U, V, W, X, Y, Z Bianca Bagwell

 

For more information, please go to our website at http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/contact.html