The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the key to getting financial aid like grants, work-study, student loans, and scholarship opportunities to pay for college. Undergraduate and graduate students submit the FAFSA once a year to figure out what types of financial aid they may be able to receive. 

Complete the FAFSA by April 1, 2024 to meet the priority deadline. 

*Reminder: The University of Maryland, College Park school code is 002103.

Yes, you can fill out the FAFSA before you’ve submitted your college application to UMD. Our FAFSA federal school code is 002103. 

UMD's priority deadline for submitting the 2024-2025 FAFSA is April 1, 2024. Many aid sources have limited funding so we encourage students to apply as early as December 31, 2024, when the FAFSA becomes available.

Filling out the FAFSA application tells the government and universities which financial aid offers you may qualify for. You are not guaranteed “free money” as in grants and scholarships. In some instances, your financial information may only qualify you for direct federal loans/federal work-study.

  • If you are a dependent and file your federal tax return, you will need to use your 2022 tax information. You will also need to list your parent(s) as your contributors so they can provide federal tax information, give consent and sign the FAFSA form. 
  • If you are an independent student, you must use your income. 
  • If you are married, you must use your income combined with your spouse's income. 

A student's dependency status determines whose information they must report on their FAFSA. For details on how to determine your dependency status, please review the Federal Student Aid's Dependency Status page.


A contributor is anyone required to provide information, a signature, and consent and approval to have their federal tax information transferred directly into the FAFSA form. This may include the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adoptive parent, or a stepparent. Contributors are not financially responsible for the student’s education.

By providing consent and approval, a contributor’s federal tax information will be used to determine the student’s eligibility for federal student aid. Please refer to the Federal Student Aid's Reporting Parent Information page for additional information.

You are an independent student if you meet at least one of the following:

  • 24 years of age or older
  • Married as of the date you apply 
  • Will be a graduate or professional student when the award year starts
  • Currently serving on active duty for purposes other than training 
  • A veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Have dependents other than a spouse 

Even if your parents choose not to help you with school, their financial information is used to determine how much they could pay and your financial aid eligibility is based upon this information.
If you have a severe situation please contact us to consult with a financial aid counselor.

You will be considered an independent student if you:

  • were an orphan, foster child, or ward/dependent of the court at any time since the age of 13.
  • were an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship or were when you reached the age of majority in your state.
  • were determined to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.

If you have a severe situation please contact us to consult with a financial aid counselor.

Students in this circumstance will fill out their FAFSA based on whether or not their parents live together. If they do not live together, the parent who provided more financial support during the last 12 months is the contributor and must provide their information. For more information please review the Federal Student Aid Parent Info page.

Yes, you can make corrections to your FAFSA. Please contact our office for further assistance at umdfinaid@umd.edu.

The Student Aid Index (SAI) is calculated from the information you reported on your FAFSA. Your SAI is a measure of your family's financial strength and indicates how much of your and your family's financial resources could be available to help pay for your education. It is a number used internally at the Department of Education. It does not reflect your cost of education. 

The amount you have to pay at any school may differ from your SAI because while your SAI remains the same, the cost of education is different at every institution. Costs and available aid are different at every school.