Understanding Your Loan Options… by Arshakia B.

studentloan There are several different types of loans that students can take advantage of to help cover the cost of tuition, fees, and other educational related expenses. When you complete your 15/16 FAFSA you will automatically be awarded subsidized and/or unsubsidized Stafford loans based on your eligibility. These loans are awarded after your eligibility for grants and scholarships is considered.

 The difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized is simple. The subsidized loan is need based; the federal government pays the interest on the subsidized loan while you are enrolled for at least six credits. The unsubsidized loan is non-need based; interest on the unsubsidized loan accrues from the time it is sent to the university until it is repaid in full. You must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits to be eligible for either of these loans.

 Once you are awarded Stafford loans, accepting them is easy. Visit studentloans.gov and 20140105082931complete the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling.

 Another type of loan is the PLUS Loan. For undergraduate dependent students, a Parent PLUS loan is another option. This is a loan taken out in your parent’s name, on your behalf. The Grad PLUS loan is available for graduate students seeking extra assistance.

In addition to Federal loan options, there are Alternative loans. These are private educational loans supplied through a bank or credit union of your choice. The terms of these loans differ from loans provided by the Federal Government. So make sure to do your research!

For more information about loans, visit our website http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/loans.html

Also, don’t forget to complete your 15/16 FAFSA by UMBC’s priority deadline of February 14th!!

-Written by Arshakia B.

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Free Money… by Samantha H.


When it comes to financial aid many students have difficulty understanding exactly what makes them eligible for aid, especially grants. Eligibility for grants is determined by your financial need. Your financial need is determined by your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) which is calculated when you complete your FAFSA application. Grants are the best type of financial aid, because they are free money that you don’t have to pay back.


Did you know that UMBC offers an institutional grant for students based on financial need? Students who qualify can receive $500 – $3000 simply by submitting the FASFA by UMBC’s priority deadline of February 14, 2015; make sure to include UMBC’s school code of 002105. There are also federal grants that students may qualify for if they apply by UMBC’s priority deadline. Visit our website to get more information about the various types of grants that are available http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/grants.html


So, as you can see, there is such a thing as free money, you just need to be mindful of all of the opportunities available to you. Getting your degree is hard enough and grants make attaining that degree so much easier when you do not have the extra burden of worrying about repayment. While loans are helpful for students while they are in school, they are waiting for you after you graduate.

Scholarships are another great way to fund your schooling without having the burden of repayment. Most students think that once they are accepted to the university and have received their first year of financial aid that getting a scholarship is no longer an option. While students are no longer eligible to receive a UMBC Merit Scholarship, other awards are still available. So how can you find out what scholarships are still available and if you qualify? Visit the financial aid website at http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/scholarship_retriever.html and search for scholarships through the Scholarship Retriever. This search tool is updated on a regular basis and there are always new opportunities for students to apply.

-Written by Samantha H.

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Who is Your Assigned Financial Aid Counselor?

Welcome Back Students!!!

With the start of spring semesters our office is welcoming 2 new financial aid counselors. These new additions to our staff means that your assigned financial aid counselor may have changed.


This is a good time to view our website to make sure you know who your assigned financial aid counselor is.



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Show off your financial smarts by submitting a fun and informative video for a chance to win cash prizes, UMBC apparel, and more!
Enter the Time is Money Video Contest sponsored by the Committee for Financial Literacy at UMBC.


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Spring 2015 Book Loans


The book loan application is now available for completion on our website.

How the Book Loan Process Works:

Book loan requests will be accepted beginning January 12th through February 9th. To request a book loan, apply using the link below. Staff will evaluate your eligibility for a book loan and advise you of the amount of approval via UMBC e-mail within two business days.

If you are approved for a book loan, allow one business hour before using your book loan in the UMBC Bookstore, Main Campus.

After selecting your books, advise the cashier at the Bookstore that you are using a book loan. You must have your red UMBC Campus ID card with you to use the book loan at the UMBC Bookstore, Main Campus.

The charges (up to the approved amount) will be billed to your student billing account. Be sure to monitor your myUMBC account to confirm that the book loan charges have posted. It is your responsibility to use your refund to pay charges incurred to your Student Account if you use a book loan.


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Student Employee Spotlight


Name: Justin Park

Major: Information Systems

Interesting fact about yourself: I helped the mother of the CEO of Yelp to her car at Target and got an internship at Yelp

Are you involved on-campus: Wushu Club, Kendo Club, former Mama’s Boy member

What do you like about working in the Financial Aid Office: I love the people. My boss is awesome, my coworkers are awesome. I genuinely like being at work because of the atmosphere and personal relationships.

What advice would you offer to students about financial aid/the office: Be patient. Misunderstandings happen and everyone (students and faculty alike) get confused and frustrated. Read the directions carefully and ask for help when necessary.

Also, friendliness goes a long way.

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Winter 2015 & Spring 2015 Registration

Did you know that an outstanding balance with the university will prevent you from registering?

Registration for the Winter 2015 & Spring 2015 semesters is right around the corner:

Winter 2015- Registration starts October 27th

Spring 2015- Advanced registration starts November 4th

Spring 2015- General registration starts November 24th

If you still have an unpaid balance and are not sure how you’re going to pay for it you can contact our office to find out what financial aid options are available to you http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/contact.html

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