Student Financial Aid

2014-2015 Financial Aid Award Guide

Retaining Your Financial Aid

Maintaining Required Enrollment

To retain each type of award, you must maintain enrollment for the required number of credits with regular or pass/fail grading options through the end of the Schedule Adjustment period. Dropped, audited, wait-listed, and retroactively dropped courses do not count toward required enrollment.

Awards pro-rated for part-time enrollment:

Award Required Enrollment Percentage of Award
Perkins Loans 9-21 Credits 100%
6-8 Credits 50%
0-5 Credits 0%
Pell*, SEOG & TEACH Grants 12-21 Credits 100%
9-11 Credits 75%*
6-8 Credits 50%*
1-5 Credits 25%*

* Full-time Pell Grants of $588 or less per semester may be canceled for part-time enrollment.

The following awards may be canceled if you do not maintain the required credits.

Award Required Enrollment
Direct PLUS Loan 6 Credits
Direct Sub/Unsub Loan, Federal Work-Study 6 Credits
UM Grant 12 Credits
UM Scholarship 12 Credits
Educational Asst. Grant 12 Credits
Guaranteed Access Grant 12 Credits
Pathways Program
(Work Grant, Pell Grant Supplement, Senior Debt Cap)
12 Credits
Part-Time State Grant 6 Credits
Senatorial Scholarships*, Delegates Scholarships 12 Credits

* Senatorial and Delegate Scholarships may be received for part-time enrollment (6-11 credits) with special permission from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) Office of Student Financial Assistance, 1-410-767-3300.

Withdrawing, Dropping, Canceling, or Auditing Classes

It is extremely important that you speak with your Financial Aid Counselor before reducing your enrollment or changing course grading options to audit. Your awards will be canceled or reduced if you fail to maintain required enrollment. Courses that are audited, canceled, dropped, or retroactively dropped do not count toward required enrollment.

If you withdraw from a course with a “W,” the withdrawn course can still be counted toward required enrollment levels, but only for the following types of aid: Pell Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant, SMART Grant, SEOG Grant, Federal Work-Study, Perkins Loan, Direct Loan, Direct PLUS Loan, UM Grant, the UM Scholarship, Delegate Scholarship, Educational Assistance Grant, Guaranteed Access Grant, Part-time State Grant, and Senatorial Scholarship.

Repeated failure to complete attempted courses can lead to a violation of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. Please review the Satisfactory Academic Policy before withdrawing from any courses.


In order to receive a refund from your student account, you may submit a written refund request to the Office of the Bursar. This can be done by either visiting the Financial Service Center in Room 1135 of the Lee Building and completing a refund request form, by logging onto Student Account Inquiry and completing an online refund request, or by sending a letter or fax requesting a refund. The fax number is (301) 405-0659.

Upon verification by the Refund Unit, refunds are processed in the same manner in which you originally paid. Refund checks are made payable to the student and are mailed from the Bursar's Office. Credit balances attributable to payment made by personal check are subject to a 30-day hold to insure that the check clears the bank before a refund check will be issued. All refund checks are mailed to the permanent address of record.

Students with a credit balance of $250.00 or less are eligible to receive a cash refund, subject to the availability of funds. Please visit the office in-person to obtain a cash refund voucher, and be sure to bring a photo ID with you.

Credit balances attributable to payments made originally by credit card must be refunded back to the card originally charged. Credit card refunds are processed electronically and take about a week after the credit appears on your student account. To assist us in processing your refund request as soon as possible, be sure to include your credit card number and expiration date on your refund request. If you mail your request to our office, a receipt verifying that the refund was processed will be sent to you.


  1. Students who have made no payment on their account at the time of withdrawal will be billed according to the refund schedule for dropping a course or withdrawing from all courses. To view the refund schedule, please visit Testudo, review the Academic Deadlines and select the applicable term.
  2. Students receiving Title IV funds will have their refunds calculated in accordance with Federal Regulations.
  3. in computing refunds to students who have scholarships and loans from University funds, the computation will be made in such a way as to return the maximum amount to the scholarship and loan accounts without loss to the University.
  4. Only amounts in excess of the non-refundable enrollment deposit will be refunded.
  5. Refund rates are based upon withdrawals confirmed by Records and Registration by close of business. To view the refund schedule, please visit Testudo, review the Academic Deadlines and select the applicable term.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

The Office of Student Financial Aid is required by federal regulations to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term. The federal Title IV funds below must be recalculated in these situations.

Refunds are allocated in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  • Subsidized Direct Loan
  • Perkins Loan
  • Direct PLUS Loan
  • Pell Grant, if applicable
  • SEOG Grant, if applicable
  • TEACH Grant, if applicable

Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following formula:

Percentage of payment period or term completed = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:

Aid to be returned = (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or term.

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the institution.

If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student's withdrawal. The institution must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 30 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student's withdrawal.

Leave of Absence Policy

If you experience personal or academic difficulties during a semester, you may request a leave of absence for the last 60 days of that semester. If you are granted a Leave of Absence of less than 60 days, you must enroll for at least 6 credits during the following semester or your financial aid will have to be adjusted and you will have to begin repaying your student loans. Requests for a Leave of Absence must be submitted in writing to the Records Office. Forms are available from the Records Office, 1101 Mitchell Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, 301-314-8257.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to be eligible for student financial aid. This policy defines minimum standards for grade point average, ratios of completed credits to attempted credits, and the maximum time frame for completing a degree. The Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is included on next page and is printed in the Schedule of Classes.

Annual Reapplication Requirement

Federal and institutional need-based aid is not automatically renewed. You must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for every academic year that you want to receive aid. For maximum consideration for the upcoming academic year, your FAFSA form must be received by the federal processor by February 15.

All Awards Are Subject to Change

All financial aid awards are subject to change. The most common reasons for adjusting aid include: insufficient enrollment, over-awards due to receipt of aid from other sources such as tuition waivers or fellowships, and reclassification to in-state tuition rates. Awards may also be reduced or canceled due to discovery of changes or inaccuracies in any of the information on which your awards were based, failure to complete follow-up steps, maintain degree-seeking status, make Satisfactory Academic Progress, or comply with other federal or university aid regulations. Some scholarships may also be canceled for failure to maintain grade point average requirements.