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.