Frequently Asked Questions

General

I need more money; what do I do?

If you have not reached your Cost of Attendance limit: (1) If you are a graduate student, you can apply for Graduate Plus Loans. (2) Dependent undergraduates can have their parents take out a Parent Plus Loan. (3) Independent students can take out a private/alternative student loan. All loans mentioned require a credit check; if denied, the borrower should seek out a creditworthy co-signer.

I have exhausted my Cost of Attendance and still need additional funds; what options do I have?

The Cost of Attendance can only be increased with documented special circumstances, which would include day care expenses or unusual medical bills; it would not include dental expenses or having a large mortgage, rent payment, or car payment. If you think you may qualify for a Cost of Attendance adjustment, you should contact your counselor. The counselor will instruct you about what documentation is required. A committee will go over the documentation and determine by how much, if at all, the Cost of Attendance should be increased. If you are denied or do not think you would qualify, we suggest you email aidtalk@umaryland.edu for help establishing a budget and reducing expenses.

How is the additional child care expense calculated?

Once a student meets with their counselor and submits the necessary forms and documentation, the committee will meet to go over the information and decide how much, if at all, the Cost of Attendance can be increased for child care expenses. No matter the situation, the maximum increase someone can get is $3,200 for one child or $5,000 for two or more children. Married students can get up to $2,500 for one child and up to $5,000 for two or more children. Please note these figures are the maximum increase; your increase will be this amount or less.

Why would you not speak to my mother, father, spouse, etc.?

We are prevented by law from speaking to anyone other than the student (with the exception of Dependant Students) about their Financial Aid information under the Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requirements. Students can come in person to the office to complete the FERPA Request Form to allow us to speak to a certain individual; this must be completed each year. Please note that FERPA regulations require that if one parent is granted permission, the other parent  also is automatically granted permission without exception.

FAFSA

When should I file the FAFSA?

The FAFSA should be filed as early as possible each year but no later than March 1 to be considered for Universitywide programs with limited funds such as the University Grant, Perkins Loans, Nursing Loan, Health Professions Loan, and Work-Study. Additionally, the state of Maryland has a March 1 deadline for its financial aid programs.

I have not been accepted to UMB yet; should I still file the FAFSA?

Yes, even if you have not yet been accepted into the school, you should still file the FAFSA as soon as possible and make sure to meet that March 1 deadline to be considered for Universitywide programs with limited funds such as the University Grant, Perkins Loans, Nursing Loan, Health Professions Loan, and Work-Study once accepted. Additionally, the state of Maryland has a March 1 deadline for its financial aid programs.

I missed the March 1 deadline; should I still file the FAFSA?

Yes, because the priority deadline has no effect on your eligibility for Federal Stafford Loans and Plus Loans or Pell Grants.

Do I have to file the FAFSA every year?

Yes, you must complete a FAFSA every year to be eligible for financial aid because each year is looked at independently of the others.

What is University of Maryland, Baltimore’s federal school code?

002104 — This is the code for all the professional schools in the University of Maryland.

What if I haven’t finished my taxes by March 1?

Submit your FAFSA with the best possible estimate you have to meet the deadline; once your taxes are completed, you can update your FAFSA with the correct information.

Should I put my parents' information on the FAFSA?

All dependent (as defined by the Department of Education) undergraduate students must put their parental information on the FAFSA. Additionally, pharmacy and dentistry students who wish to be considered for the Health Professions Loans must put their parent information on the first transaction of their FAFSA.

Will I get the same financial aid award each year?

Not necessarily. Each year is looked at independently of the others; students who receive a limited funding award (University Grants, Work Study, Perkins Loans, Nursing Loans, or Health Professions Loans) one year may not get it the next year or vice versa. Stafford, Plus, and Pell Grants will remain mostly constant if your circumstances remain constant and the laws governing them do not change.

I am a dependent student with divorced parents; which parent should I put on the FAFSA?

You should list the custodial parent’s information on the FAFSA, or the parent who was last the custodial parent if you are now living on your own.

I am a dependent student and my parent divorced and re-married; do I have to list my stepparent’s income if they are not supporting me?

Yes. If your custodial parent is remarried, you are required to list both your custodial parent and your stepparent’s income without exception. Although the stepparent is not obliged to assist, the stepparent’s income is still considered by the Department of Education when figuring the Expected Family Contribution.

I am considered a dependent student but my parents are living in a foreign country; what do I do?

List your parents’ income from their country in the U.S. dollars equivalent as to that day’s exchange rates. Please note that this should go in parents’ income earned from work and not AGI.

Loans

When are loans disbursed?

If all requirements were completed in a timely manner before the start of the semester, the lender will disburse the funds no earlier than 10 days before the start of classes per semester.

What is an origination fee?

An origination fee is an amount taken off the top of the loan before the loan is disbursed to the school. For example, if the origination fee is 2 percent, then 98 percent of the loan will be received by the school; however, you will still owe and be charged interest on 100 percent of the loan. For information regarding origination fees by loan type, visit the following links: Direct Stafford Loans and Direct (Graduate) PLUS Loans.

Why was I not offered Subsidized Loans?

The Budget Control Act of 2011 eliminated Subsidized Loans for graduate and professional students, effective July 1, 2012. For undergraduate students, Subsidized Loans are need-based loans and are awarded based on the results of the FAFSA. The counselors must compare the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA to the total Cost of Attendance (COA) and other need-based aid received to see if the student has eligibility for Subsidized Loans. It is also possible that you have reached your aggregate limit on Subsidized Loans.

Why was I not offered the full amount I was eligible for?

There can be many reasons for this. (a) You listed the wrong year in school on your FAFSA and were therefore awarded a lower amount. Please correct your FAFSA and contact your counselor. (b) You have reached your aggregate limit in Stafford Loans. (c) You have reached your total Cost of Attendance. (d) You are an undergraduate student enrolled in only one semester and your loans were prorated to the percentage of yearly credits taken in that semester.

Who is my lender?

Beginning with the 2010-2011 academic year, the Department of Education is the lender for all Federal Student Loans (Stafford and Plus Loans) as stated in the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010. If you no longer remember who your previous lender was, you can check the NSLDS website for Federal Student Loans or your Credit Report for Private Loans.

In what order should I accept my loans?

After grants and scholarships, loans should be accepted in the order of cheapest to most expensive up to the total amount the student wants to borrower. For undergraduate students, the Subsidized Loan is the best loan, followed by the Perkins Loan (if offered) and the Nursing Loan (if offered), then Unsubsidized Loans, and then the student’s parents should apply for Parent Plus Loans if Dependant, otherwise a Private Loan if more funds are needed. Graduate students should first take the Nursing or Health Professions loans if offered, then the Perkins Loan (if offered), then Subsidized, followed by Unsubsidized, and lastly Graduate Plus Loans.

What happens if my Graduate Plus or Private Loan is denied?

You must get an endorser with a good credit history to co-sign your loan.

When does interest begin?

Interest begins after the first disbursement of the loan.

When does repayment begin?

The start of repayment depends on the type of loan. Most loans have a grace period that begins once a student drops below half-time status (which would include withdrawing and graduation). Graduate Plus and Parent Plus Loans have a six-month grace period unless students do not select in-school deferment, in which case repayment begins 60 days after the final disbursement of the loan. Stafford Loans have a six-month grace period, Nursing Loans a nine-month grace period, and Health Professions Loans have a 12-month grace period. Private loan repayment is determined by the individual lender.

How much can I borrow in one year?

For Graduate Plus and Parent Plus Loans, the only limit is the formula Cost of Attendance minus Other Aid Received; otherwise, there is no yearly limit. Stafford Loans limits depend on program and year in school and are listed on the Stafford Loans page.

Can student loans be discharged in bankruptcy?

No. Federal and private student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

What is the aggregate limit for student loans?

Stafford Loan Aggregate Limits depend on year in school, program, and dependency status and are available on our Stafford Loans page. Graduate Plus, Parent Plus, Nursing, and Health Professions loans do not have an aggregate limit. Private loan aggregate limits vary by lender.

Can all student loans be consolidated with my federal loans?

All federal student loans; Stafford, Graduate Plus, Perkins, Health Professions, and Nursing loans can be consolidated together; however, Parent Plus Loans cannot be consolidated with the student loans since the borrower is the parent and not the student. Private loans cannot be consolidated with federal loans. Students seeking to consolidate their Perkins, Health Professions, or Nursing loans together with their Stafford and Plus loans are highly encouraged to first speak to their counselors, as they will lose some benefits from their original promissory note.

How often does interest accrue?

Interest accrues daily starting on the day of disbursement (the day the funds are released by the Department of Education). In a typical fall and spring academic year, this means that interest begins on the first half of the loan in late August (for most programs) and on the entire loan in mid-January (for most programs).

How can I calculate the amount of interest that is accruing on my loan?

To determine what your accruing loan interest is on a daily basis, you divide your interest rate (converted to decimal) by 365.25 (number of days in a calendar year) to obtain the Interest Rate Factor. Then multiply the Interest Rate Factor by your outstanding principal balance. This is the amount of interest that is accruing daily. For example, the Interest Rate Factor for a 6.8 percent Stafford Loan is 0.000186173854 and the Interest Rate Factor for a 7.9 percent Plus Loan is 0.000216290212.

What is the interest rate on my loans?

The interest rate depends on the type of loan and when the first disbursement of that loan was made.

  • Loans that first disbursed before July 1, 2006: Have a variable interest rate that is based on the 91-Day T-Bill plus 1.7 percent during school and 2.3 percent when not enrolled, the total percentage is not to exceed 8.25 percent.
  • Loans that first disbursed on or after July 1, 2006, and before July 1, 2016: Rates can be obtained by visiting Federal Student Aid's Interest Rates and Fees schedule.

Tax Requirements

Why am I being asked for a copy of my taxes?

The Department of Education selects many students for verification; some are triggered by conflicting information on the FAFSA while others are completely random. UMB is required to collect signed copies of the student’s (and applicable spouse/parent’s) federal income tax returns as well as the verification worksheet (dependent or independent). The counselor must then use this information to verify the accuracy of the information on the FAFSA and make corrections as needed.

I am independent; why are you asking for my parents’ taxes?

Dentistry and pharmacy students awarded the Health Professions Loan are required to submit a signed copy of their federal income tax return as well as a signed copy of their parents' federal income tax return, regardless of age. The loan will be canceled if the tax returns are not submitted.

I was not selected for verification; why are you asking for my taxes?

All students awarded a Nursing Loan or Health Professions Loan will need to submit a signed copy of their federal income tax returns. The loan will be canceled if the tax information is not submitted.

I (my parents/spouse) no longer have my (their) tax return; what do I do?

You can request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS online, by calling 1-800-829-1040, or by filing IRS Form 4506T. Once you have the form in hand, you must sign it and submit it to our office.

If you call or file IRS Form 4506T, you can request that they send it to us directly at Student Financial Assistance and Education, 601 W. Lombard St., Suite 221, Baltimore, MD 21201.

I (my parents/spouse) did not file taxes; what do I do?

You (and/or your parents/spouse) must file the Non-Tax Filers Certification Form to satisfy the requirement for taxes. This should be submitted along with W2 forms.

Awards

How do I accept my awards?

Step-by-step instructions are available here.

I accepted an incorrect award amount; how do I fix this?

Email your Counselor as soon as possible from your UMB email account so that your award can be reset. If you wait until after your loans are processed, you will have to contact your counselor and complete a Loan Adjustment Authorization Form for the additional amount requested.

How do I qualify for grants?

You must show sufficient financial need and have filed your FAFSA before the March 1 priority date to be considered for grants. 

How do I qualify for scholarships?

Each of the individual schools awards its own scholarships based on the results of the admissions application and the FAFSA. Most schools do not require any additional applications; if any scholarships do require additional applications, the school will notify students. Please do not contact schools about scholarships; just keep an eye on your email if any require additional applications; otherwise, you are automatically considered.

Why was I not awarded a Federal Pell Grant?

Only students seeking their first undergraduate degree are eligible for Pell Grants if their Expected Family Contribution falls within the federal formula. Graduate students and undergraduates seeking a second degree are not eligible.

Can I receive aid at two universities at the same time?

No. However, if you are enrolled in a dual-degree program at two universities, please contact your financial aid counselor at the school at which you are receiving aid in regard to completing a consortium agreement.

Charges and Refunds

How do I get my refund?

Once tuition and mandatory fees are paid, any excess funds are disbursed to students via BankMobile. All students will receive a BankMobile card, which they must use to select a refund preference. Additional information on this process can be obtained from the Office of Student Accounting.

When are refunds available?

Refunds are usually available the first week of classes; however, this can vary based on the source of the funds and when necessary paperwork was completed.

Why am I being charged for room and board if I do not plan to live on campus?

The Cost of Attendance is simply the budget we use to figure out the maximum a student can receive in Financial Aid. This budget includes costs for tuition and fees as well as an estimate for books and living expenses. The room and board listing on the Cost of Attendance is a budget item allocated to room and board, the same as with transportation and many other budget items. Students are not required to stick to that budget; they simply cannot receive financial aid in excess of the total Cost of Attendance.

When is tuition due?

All tuition- and fee-specific questions should be directed to the Office of Student Accounting.

I have lived in Maryland the past X years; why am I listed as out of state?

All students default as out of state until they can prove they meet the residency requirements. For more information on residency or to apply for in-state status, please contact the Office of the Registrar.