UMUC's Financial Aid Department administers a variety of financial assistance programs--including grants, scholarships, federal work-study, and loans--to help students meet the costs of their educational goals. Aid is available for students who demonstrate financial need, academic merit, or both.
Regardless of income level, all students are encouraged to apply for assistance; many financing alternatives are available. Awards toward textbook costs are also sometimes available.
General Eligibility Requirements
An eligible applicant for UMUC assistance must
- Be admitted to UMUC as a degree-seeking or eligible certificate-seeking student.
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen.
- Be enrolled for three or more credits for most federal and institutional aid programs. Federal loan programs require enrollment of at least six or more credits per semester. Audited courses, some repeated courses, credit by examination, and Portfolio credits cannot be counted.
- Demonstrate satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate according to UMUC policy.
- Have a high school diploma or GED.
- Possess a valid Social Security number.
- Register with Selective Service, if required to do so.
- Not be in default on any federal student loans, nor have borrowed in excess of loan limits, nor owe a refund on any grant under Title IV federal student aid programs.
- Not be ineligible based on a drug conviction.
Financial Aid Programs
Most aid programs are available to both full- and part-time students. Amounts and eligibility for financial aid vary from year to year. Following is a brief description of programs available for the upcoming award year.
Grants and Scholarships
Financial assistance, for which no repayment is required, is offered by the federal government in the form of Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.
The Federal Pell Grant is a grant program for high-need, first-time undergraduates. Awards will range from $602 to $5,550 per academic year and will vary based upon the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and enrollment status.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) provides up to $500 per semester to eligible students with the greatest financial need. Students must be eligible for and already have been awarded a Federal Pell Grant. The amount and number of awards vary depending on the availability of funds allocated by the U.S. Department of Education. Since funds are limited, students are encouraged to apply early.
The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is for students who are not Pell-eligible; whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 11 September 2001; and who, at the time of the parent or guardian's death, were less than 24 years old or were enrolled at least part-time.
The UMUC President’s Grant program offers grants to students who demonstrate financial need. Typical awards will range from $100 to $600 per term, based on need and availability of funds.
UMUC scholarship programs, which include the UMUC President’s Scholarship, offer a number of institutional scholarships as well as scholarships from corporate donors and foundations. A scholarship application must be completed online via MyUMUC for consideration. Requirements vary according to the individual scholarship program, typical awards for most programs range from $200 to $1500 per semester. Most scholarships require a minimum GPA for consideration.Students may refer to the UMUC Asia scholarship Web page for further information. Students may receive one UMUC scholarship/grant per academic year. Scholarships are awarded for the academic year on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is essential to submit a scholarship application as early as possible. Employees of UMUC and their dependents, as well as persons who receive remission of fees from other institutions, are not eligible to receive UMUC Scholarships or grants.
Loan programs are available to students enrolled at least half-time per semester. Students who accept loans to pay for college expenses must repay the principal and interest in accordance with the terms of the promissory note.
The Federal Perkins Loan program offers need-based, low-interest federal loans. UMUC is the lender. Award amounts are typically $2000 per semester. The current interest rate is 5 percent. Repayment is made to UMUC and begins nine months after the borrower leaves school or attendance drops below half time.
The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program offers low-interest federal loans to students. Loan amounts vary based on grade level and dependency status. Repayment begins six months after the student leaves school or when the student's attendance drops below half time. Students whose loans are disbursed after 1 July 2012 will be responsible for interest that accrues the while loan is in the grace period. For annual award amounts and general repayment terms, please visit the Federal Student Aid site.
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan program enables parents with good credit histories to borrow for a dependent student enrolled at least half-time per semester. It is a non-need-based federal loan program available to parents of undergraduate dependent students. Parents are eligible to borrow up to the cost of education less other financial aid received by the student. Repayment begins after the final loan disbursement is made (there is no grace period).
Private Student Loan programs are also an option for UMUC Asia students. Students whose financial aid awards do not meet their financial need may be able to borrow up to their cost of attendance from private student loan programs offered by banks and other lenders. These education loans are not federal loans; students borrow directly from and make payments to the lender. Students who are interested in a private student loan should contact the bank of their choice or visit UMUC's brochure on private student loans for more information.
Awards to be applied toward the cost of textbooks are frequently available via the Financial Aid Office. These awards are typically $100 and can be applied for without completing a FAFSA or writing an essay. Check our financial aid resources page for current availability and eligibility requirements.
UMUC recognizes the importance of flexible, part-time employment for students who are in transition or who have financial need.
The Federal Work-Study program is a need-based program that provides jobs to assist students in meeting college costs. The amount of award varies according to financial need and availability of funds. Funds are paid monthly, based on hours worked. Students must apply and be hired for employment at UMUC.
UMUC Financial Aid Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require students receiving financial aid to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward their degree or certificate. Students who fail to meet the minimum academic standard are denied aid following the period of review and financial aid is not disbursed. Students should refer to the appendices for details of the appeal process and the complete Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for undergraduate financial aid students.
The Financial Aid Application Process
Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for any type of financial aid at UMUC. The FAFSA must also be completed for a student to be considered for need-based Maryland state scholarships. The FAFSA may be completed online.
To be given high priority for their financial aid applications and a determination of eligibility early enough for funds to be reserved by registration, students should complete their FAFSA by the priority deadlines listed below.
Students meeting these dates will have the opportunity to be considered for the various grant and scholarship programs with limited funds. Those who do not meet these deadlines may not receive their financial aid in time for registration.
Students who apply late may still receive aid, depending on their eligibility and the availability of funds. Eligibility for both loans and grants can be authorized even after the term has begun.
Program or Period Being
Priority Deadline for
Filing Financial Aid Forms
Maryland State Scholarships
Financial aid is awarded by academic year, and students must reapply each year. Financial aid may be used concurrently with scholarships, military tuition assistance, and military spouse tuition assistance. It is the student's responsibility to inform the Financial Aid Office when outside resources such as these will be used. Federal Pell Grants may be awarded retroactively. Student loans are processed and approved for current or upcoming enrollments during the academic year. As of 1 August 2011 only loans and funds under section 401(b) of the Higher Education Act f 1965 can be used concurrently with VA educational benefits.
Federal Return of Funds Policy
Federal student financial aid, including grants and loans, is awarded to students under the assumption that they will be enrolled for a specified period of time, such as a semester. When students receiving these funds do not enroll as expected, the Financial Aid Office is required to determine whether the student has been enrolled long enough to keep all of the financial aid paid to them. Therefore, UMUC's Financial Aid Office must calculate a "Return of Title IV Funds" any time a student stops their enrollment (withdraws, drops or stops participating in classes) before the end of the semester and does not certify his or her intent to return in another session before the end of the semester. Students who stop their enrollment before they have completed 60% of their registered class(es) will be required to repay a portion of any federal financial aid they received. For further information, students should visit this page.
Disbursement of Funds
The UMUC Asia Business Office disburses (applies) funds to the student's account based on federal and UMUC guidelines. Financial aid is released to the student account 10 days prior to the course start date. If a student is enrolled in a course with multiple start dates, the disbursement is released when the student is actively enrolled in 6 credits.
Awards applied to the student's account in excess of tuition and fee charges are refunded to the student within UMUC Asia and federally mandated time frames. The Business Office prepares refund checks and mails them directly to the student. In general, this refund process requires 7 to 14 days from the date the credit balance is created on the student's account at UMUC Asia. Students may also choose the direct deposit option by enrolling in direct deposit through their student center in MyUMUC.
For Further Information
Other Sources of Financial Aid
Scholarships are sometimes available through Officers' and Noncommissioned Officers' Spouses Clubs and other organizations on military bases. At some locations, the Air Force and Navy have spouse tuition assistance programs for spouses of active duty military members. Check with the local Education Services Officer or UMUC Asia Field Representative about the possible availability of these scholarships.
Maryland State Scholarships
Maryland State grant and scholarships provide financial assistance to Maryland residents based on demonstrated financial need. For more information, students should contact the Maryland Office for Student Financial Aid at 410-260-4565 or 800-974-1024, or visit www.mhec.state.md.us. The priority filing deadline for all state aid programs is March 1.