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Paying for College
There are various merit scholarships and need-based financial aid options are available to UMBC students. This chapter explains both options and how to apply for assistance.
Need-based Student Financial Aid
UMBC assists students in meeting educational expenses by administering and coordinating various federal, state and institutional student aid programs, including grants, scholarships, loans and paid employment.
Grants and scholarships are considered “gift aid” and require no repayment. Loans and employment programs are considered “self-help” aid.
Educational loans, offered at low-interest rates, are generally required to be repaid after leaving UMBC. Employment programs allow students to earn an hourly wage for work performed at an approved job assignment.
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships administers various federal financial aid programs solely on the basis of need. UMBC determines the types and amount of aid students may receive by evaluating each student’s financial need and the availability of funds.
How and When to Apply
Students who wish to be considered for need-based aid must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.gov.
We strongly encourage students and parents to complete the FAFSA application online. Online applications are processed up to two weeks faster than paper applications and the online process has built-in edits that eliminate commonly made mistakes. Limited quantities of paper applications are available in high school guidance offices and public libraries for families without access to a computer.
Families should complete the FAFSA each year no later than February 14 to be considered for priority awarding of limited funds. You must include UMBC’s school code of 002105 on the FAFSA to ensure that your FAFSA results are received. Students that meet this deadline receive priority award processing.
UMBC will continue to consider FAFSA applications completed and submitted after February 14; however, funding assistance from some programs may no longer be available.
Families may be asked to provide documentation such as federal tax returns, proof of citizenship, etc to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to verify information provided on the FAFSA. It is extremely important for students to respond promptly to all requests for additional information. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the student’s financial aid awards.
Continuing students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards to continue to receive financial aid at UMBC. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships SAP standards conform to federal policy regarding continued eligibility for financial aid.
It is important to note that the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships SAP standards differ from UMBC academic standards. SAP standards may be reviewed at www.umbc.edu/financialaid/acad_progress.html and academic standards at www.umbc.edu/registrar/academic_policies.html.
For additional information, please visit our website at www.umbc.edu/financialaid. If you have general questions, please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm by phone at 410-455-2387 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Counselors are also available by appointment.
Our campus address:
Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250
UMBC offers merit scholarships to incoming freshmen and community college transfers.
Freshman merit awards at UMBC range from $500 per year to $22,000 per year. These scholarships are awarded to students with exceptional academic or artistic talent and do not consider the student's financial need.
All students who are admitted to UMBC are evaluated for our general merit scholarships based on a combination of GPA and standardized test scores. student is admitted to the university, his or her name is submitted by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to the Scholarship Committee for review. If selected, the student is notified in the spring.
Merit Scholarships at UMBC are competitive. Students are encouraged to apply for admission by November 1 to ensure full consideration. Merit scholarships are available to both Maryland residents and out-of-state students.
Merit awards may be renewed up to four years provided the scholar continues to enroll full-time and meets the maintenance requirements for their specific scholarship.
Freshman Scholar Programs
In addition to general scholarship opportunities, UMBC also offers six scholar program opportunities. A separate application is required for these programs:
- Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT) Scholars Program
- Humanities Scholars Program
- Linehan Artist Scholars Program
- Meyerhoff Scholars Program
- Sherman Teacher Education Scholars Program
- Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program
For additional information on freshman scholarship opportunities, please visit our website at www.umbc.edu/financialaid/scholar_fresh.html.
UMBC offers academic scholarships for Maryland community college transfers. A separate application is not required. These awards are competitive, and we recommend that transfer students apply for admission by March 1 (for fall) and by November 1 (for spring) for full consideration. To be considered, candidates must minimally have a 3.5 college GPA and have completed at least 35 credits at the time of application.
For additional information about transfer scholarships, please visit our website at www.umbc.edu/financialaid/scholar_trans.html.
UMBC, a NCAA Division I campus, offers athletic scholarships in all 19 of its sports programs. Additional information can be obtained by contacting UMBC’s athletics department at 410-455-2216 or email at www.umbcretrievers.com.
Scholarships for Current Students
Scholarship Retriever is an online database that helps current students identify scholarship opportunities outside of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. These scholarships are either sponsored by UMBC departments or sources outside of UMBC for UMBC students. Please visit our website at www.umbc.edu/financialaid and select "Scholarships" then "Current Students" to access the database.
The Veterans Affairs Office is located in the Office of the Registrar. Eligible students should contact the VA office prior to the start of each semester to ensure there is sufficient time to process their educational benefits since UMBC does not offer advance payment. Veterans are responsible for their tuition, fees and textbook costs. These charges will not be deferred because of non-receipt of VA funds. For additional information, please visit the VA website at www.umbc.edu/veterans
Monthly Payment Plan
UMBC offers a monthly payment plan that allows students to pay university expenses in regular monthly installments. For information about the plan, please visit the Student Business Services website at www.umbc.edu/sbs/mpp.