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Graduate Student Financial Aid

Overview

Students enrolled in the Mount’s graduate programs may seek assistance through federal and state-funded programs. To qualify for financial aid, students must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis, i.e., at least three (3) credits per semester. Most financial aid will be in the form of deferred student loans, though some students may be eligible to receive state scholarships and/or grants.

Hours: Mon.-Fri.: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.  
Phone:  301-447-5207
Email: finaid@msmary.edu

Applying for Financial Aid


Registering for Classes

Students interested in receiving financial aid need to plan accordingly. Because enrollment status is critical to this process, students should map their coursework on at least a semester basis. This means preregistering for all courses they intend to take in the semester’s modules.


Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

This form can be completed at www.fafsa.ed.gov. First-time applicants must register for an FSA ID before submitting the FAFSA. It typically takes two to three days to receive the ID, which serves as an electronic signature. To apply for your FSA ID, go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and click on the icon at the top of the page that says FSA ID. The Mount's Title IV School Code is 002086. Please understand that this form must be sent to the Federal Processing Center first and takes three to four days to be processed. The FAFSA needs to be completed each academic year (July 1 through June 30).


Financial aid award letter emailed

Once the financial aid office receives your FAFSA and has been notified that you are enrolled at least half-time for a semester, we will email an award letter that will list your aid eligibility for the semester. Typically, fall semester award letters will start to be emailed in mid-July. Spring semester letters will be sent starting in November, and summer letters in April. The email will be sent to your Mount email account.


Complete the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note and online Entrance Counseling

First-time borrowers must complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note and Direct Loan Entrance Counseling. The FSA ID used for the FAFSA is required to complete this step. Both of these steps must be completed online


Sign and return the Financial Aid Award Letter

Upon receipt of the Financial Aid Award Letter from the Financial Aid Office, complete, sign and return the Direct Loan Certification form on the award letter to the Financial Aid Office. 


Verification

Students selected for federal verification will be required to submit appropriate paperwork to the Financial Aid Office. Federal aid cannot be processed until the verification process has been completed.   

Students are reminded that any change in enrollment status or the addition of any outside aid may affect their eligibility for federal funds and prompt a revised award letter to be sent.

Disbursements and Refunds

In addition to your financial aid eligibility, your award letter also provides estimated disbursement dates for your federal aid. This is the anticipated date that your loans and grants will be transferred to your tuition account. Any excess financial aid will be refunded to you by the Accounting and Finance Office within the next 14 business days after the disbursement date.

Consortium Agreements

Students who wish to receive aid for courses they are concurrently taking at another institution, or who need to use outside credits in order to maintain their enrollment status for student loan deferment, must seek prior approval for the courses from their Mount advisor. Upon receiving such approval, the student should then initiate the process by downloading the Consortium Agreement (.pdf). Federal regulations prohibit a student from receiving financial aid from more than one institution at a time.

Federal/State Financial Aid

State Grants

Some students may be eligible for Maryland state funding. Please check the Maryland Higher Education's website for information regarding programs and applications. Make sure your FAFSA form is filed by March 1 every year to be considered for state aid.

Federal Direct Student Loans

Graduate students may borrow up to their Cost of Attendance each semester not to exceed $20,500 a year in the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program. Learn more about subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the eligibility requirements to receive federal and state financial aid?

To receive Federal loans and state financial aid, a student must:

  1. Enroll at least part-time (at least three (3) credits).
  2. Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  3. Be accepted into a degree program or teacher certification.
  4. Not be in default on any previous loan or owe a refund on any previous grant.
  5. Be making satisfactory academic progress according to the University's requirements.
  6. Not be convicted for possession of sale of drug (federal programs only).

What is the Mount's Title IV code?

The Title IV code to use on the FAFSA is 002086.

When will financial aid decisions be made?

The Financial Aid Office will email award letters to students in the Continuing Studies program once it receives your FAFSA and has been notified that you are enrolled at least half-time for a semester. The letter will be emailed to your Mount email account. Typically, fall semester award letters will start to be emailed in mid-July. Spring semester letters will be sent starting in November, and summer letters in April.

Do I need to complete a FAFSA form every year?

You do need to reapply for aid each year by completing a FAFSA form. It becomes available each year after October 1 and should be filed prior to the March 1 deadline.

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

This tool allows data from your federal tax returns to be retrieved directly from the IRS's website in order to auto-fill the income section of your FAFSA form. This helps reduce errors and simplify the verification process.

I was awarded a scholarship from a private outside organization. Do I need to inform anyone?

Yes. Federal law stipulates that students may not receive federal support if their financial aid exceeds their demonstrated financial need. Total aid including outside resources cannot exceed your demonstrated financial need and cost of attendance.

How will adding/dropping classes impact my financial aid award?

Your eligibility for financial aid is based, in part, on your cost of attendance. Thus, adding or dropping classes could impact your financial aid. You must always maintain half-time enrollment (minimum three (3) credits). Dropping below half-time enrollment will result in cancellation of all of your financial aid for the semester. You should contact the Financial Aid Office directly to discuss the impact of dropping any classes.

What is the difference between the Financial Aid Office and the Accounting and Finance Office?

The two offices have separate administrative functions. The Financial Aid Office, located on the first floor of Bradley Hall, determines eligibility for grants, loans and work-study. Located on the third floor of Bradley Hall, the Accounting & Finance Office is responsible for billing and collecting payments from students for university charges.

How can I find out how much I owe?

You can access your account balance on the Mount’s portal. You must return your award letter in order for your student loans to be posted to your account.

I received an email from Maryland Higher Education Commission regarding a state award that I received, is this legitimate?

Yes, Maryland residents who complete a FAFSA prior to March 1 are considered for need-based awards from the state of Maryland. Please do not ignore these communications. You will be asked to create an account in the state's portal (MDCAPS) to review and accept these awards. In addition, you may be required to provide documentation to the state to confirm your eligibility.

Do I need to complete the verification documents mailed to me even though I already put the information on my FAFSA?

Yes, the Department of Education randomly selects student FAFSA’s for verification. As such, the school is required to collect various documents including a verification worksheet and tax information to verify that the FAFSA is correct. This is a Federal requirement.

What is student loan consolidation?

Loan consolidation allows students to combine all of their existing federal student loans into one. There are several advantages of loan consolidation. It simplifies repayment by having multiple loans under a single loan holder, reduces the required minimum monthly payments by extending the repayment period from the standard 10 years to a maximum of 30 years, and uses a graduated repayment schedule. The disadvantages to loan consolidation are that students end up paying more interest and they are no longer eligible for many types of deferments. At this time, the only federal consolidation loan being offered is with the U. S. Department of Education. You can obtain an application and more information online.

Where can I find a list of all of my federal student loans?

You are able to view all of your federal loan history by creating a login with the National Student Loan Database. To gain access to the NSLDS website, it is best to use a web browser such as Firefox or the newest version of Internet Explorer. You will need your FSA ID to log into the website.

I am a graduate student who just registered for classes. How can I apply for financial aid?

Graduate students who have registered for classes should make sure to complete a FAFSA form to be eligible for the Federal Direct Student Loans. Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and make sure you file the application. It is also a good idea to contact the Financial Aid Office to ensure receipt.

I am a graduate student who has applied for aid, how will I receive my award letter from the Financial Aid Office?

We will email your award letter to you as soon as it is ready. If it is your first time applying for aid as a graduate student, the email address we use is the email you reported on your FAFSA form. If you are a returning graduate student who has a Mount email address, that is the email that will be used. Graduate students are packaged each semester once registration has been processed.