Student Financial Aid

Annual Reapplication Process

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available October 1 and must be completed every year. For priority consideration, the FAFSA must be completed each year by January 1. Please submit your FAFSA before the January 1 to ensure adequate time for processing by the Department of Education.

To meet the January 1 deadline and ensure the tax information is reported correctly, we encourage you to take advantage of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). The IRS DRT allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the FAFSA, and transfer the data directly into their FAFSA from the IRS Web site. For more information, see Priority Deadline Policy.

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Maintaining Required Enrollment

To retain each type of award, you must remain enrolled for the number of credits listed below with regular or pass/fail grading option through the end of the Schedule Adjustment period. Dropped, audited, wait listed, and retroactively dropped courses cannot be counted toward required enrollment. If you borrow a Federal Direct or PLUS Loan, and you drop below half-time at any point during or after the semester, your loan funds for that semester will be canceled and returned to your lender.

The following awards will be prorated for part-time enrollment:

Awards Required Enrollment Percentage of Award
Perkins Loans 9-21 credits 100%
6-8 credits 50%
0-5 credits 0%
Pell Grants*
SEOG Grants
12-21 credits 100%
9-11 credits 75%*
6-8 credits 50%*
1-5 credits 25%*


*Full-time Pell Grant of $598 or less per semester may be canceled for part-time enrollment.

The following awards will be canceled if you do not maintain the required enrollment:

Award Required Enrollment
Federal PLUS Loan 6 credits
Federal Direct Loan 6 credits or
24 Grad Units*
Frederick Douglass Grant 12 credits
UM Grant 12 credits
UM Scholarship 12 credits
Educational Assistant Grant 12 credits
Guaranteed Access Grant 12 credits
Part-time State Grant 6 credits
Senatorial Scholarships+
Delegates Scholarships+
12 credits or
48 Grad Units*

* Students may receive Senatorial and Delegate Scholarships for part-time enrollment (6-11 credits) with special permission from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), 410-767-3300 or 800-974-0203.

*Definition of Graduate Units
For Graduate students, enrollment may be calculated based on Units rather than credits. This system for defining enrollment takes into account workload differences between courses.

Course Number Graduate units
000-399 2 units per credit hour
400-499 4 units per credit hour
500-599 5 units per credit hour
600-898 6 units per credit hour
UMEI 005 6 units per credit hour
799 12 units per credit hour
899 18 units per credit hour
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Withdrawing, Dropping, Canceling, or Auditing Classes

It is extremely important that you speak with your Financial Aid Counselor before reducing your enrollment or changing course grading options to audit. Your awards will be canceled or reduced if you fail to maintain Required Enrollment (page 6). Courses that are audited, canceled, dropped, or retroactively dropped do not count toward Required Enrollment.

If you withdraw from a course with a W, the withdrawn courses will still be counted toward Required Enrollment levels, but only for the following types of aid programs: Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, Federal Work-Study, Perkins Loan, PLUS Loan, Direct Loan, Frederick Douglass Grant, UM Grant, the UM Scholarship, Delegate Scholarship, Educational Assistance Grant, Guaranteed Access Grant, Part-Time State Grant, and Senatorial Scholarship.

Please review the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy before withdrawing from any courses. Repeated failure to complete attempted courses can lead to a violation of SAP policy.

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Leave of Absence

If you experience personal or academic difficulties during a semester, you may request a Leave of Absence for the last 60 days of that semester. If you are granted a Leave of Absence of less than 60 days and you reenroll for at least 6 credits during the following semester, then your financial aid will not have to be adjusted and you will not have to begin repaying any of your student loans.

If you withdraw from a semester without taking a Leave of Absence of 60 days or less, and the length of time between your withdrawal date and the beginning of your next enrolled semester exceeds 6 months, then you will have to start making payments on your student loans.

Requests for a Leave of Absence must be submitted in writing to the Records Office. Forms are available from

Records Office
1101 Mitchell Building
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to be eligible for student financial aid. The SAP policy defines minimum standards for grade point average, a minimum ratio of completed credits to attempted credits, and a maximum time frame for completing a degree. For a complete description of the SAP Policy, refer to the SAP Policy.

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All Awards Are Subject to Change

All financial aid awards are subject to change. The most common reasons for adjusting aid include insufficient enrollment, overawards due to receipt of aid from other sources, and reclassification to instate tuition rates.

Awards may also be reduced or canceled due to default on federal student loans, changes or discovery of inaccuracies in any of the information on which your awards were based, or failure to: make Satisfactory Academic Progress, maintain degree seeking status, maintain required enrollment and complete follow-up steps as required by the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA), or comply with other federal or university aid regulations. Some scholarships may also be canceled for failure to maintain grade point average requirements.

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