Financial Aid FAQs

Financial aid helps students and their families pay for college. Some financial aid will need to be paid back and some does not need to be paid back. Loans, scholarships, grants and work-study are all types of financial aid. Financial aid can come from the university, the state government, the federal government or private sources. 

Financial aid covers costs of education including tuition and university fees, room and meal plans, books and supplies, personal expenses and transportation costs. 

Everyone should complete the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA). 

You must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to receive financial aid from the University of Maryland. By completing the FAFSA, you will be automatically considered for federal and university aid such as scholarships, grants, loans and work-study.

Maryland resident are also eligible to apply for many state aid programs. To do so, Maryland state residents must submit a FAFSA listing a Maryland school by March 1. For more information, please visit the Maryland Higher Education Commission website.

Private scholarships, grants, and loans will have their own processes but some may also require you to submit the FAFSA.

Yes. To receive need-based aid and federal loans for the upcoming academic year, you must complete the FAFSA every year. The FAFSA becomes available on October 1 and you must submit it by UMD's January 1 priority deadline. 

Financial aid packages are made up of any aid or offers you may get. Financial aid packages can include grants, scholarships, loans and work-study.

We recommend that everyone complete a FAFSA before their first year of school. The FAFSA takes many factors into consideration including household size, number in college, assets and more. The FAFSA is used for types of aid unrelated to need such as scholarships.

Unless you are a U.S. Permanent Resident or granted political refugee status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you are not eligible. 
However, you may be eligible for funds from your department, especially if you are a graduate student.

For more detailed information see our International Students page.

Unless you are a U.S. Permanent Resident or granted political refugee status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you are not eligible. However, you may be eligible for funds from your department, especially if you are a graduate student. 

The University of Maryland is committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, including undocumented students. For more detailed information and assistance see UMD’s Undocumented Students Resources page. 

 

You should enroll in direct deposit to receive refunds as quickly as possible. If you choose not to enroll in direct deposit, a refund check will be mailed to your permanent address. You can use your refund to pay for your off-campus living expenses.

Please review the Enrollment & Aid information to ensure that you are taking the correct number of credits to receive your financial aid.

  • Half-time enrollment levels are: 6+ credits for undergraduate students and 24 units for graduate students (18 units for 12 week program graduate students) per semester/term.
  • Full-time enrollment levels are: 12+ credits for undergraduate students and 48 units for graduate students (36 units for 12 week program graduate students) per semester/term.

If you had FWS included in your financial aid offer, visit our FWS Jobs page to review available positions.

  • FWS jobs for the fall and spring semesters will become available in mid-August.
  • If you were not offered FWS as part of your financial aid offer, you can submit an FWS appeal. The FWS appeal form can be found on our Forms page.