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Student Financial Aid

2015-2016 Financial Aid Award Guide

Your Award Notification

Most initial awards are based on the assumption that you will enroll full-time for the academic year. If you will enroll part-time, please read the section about Retaining Your Financial Aid. The aid you have been offered is based on several factors: your financial need, whether the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) processor received your FAFSA by UM's Priority Deadline (February 15th), your academic achievement or potential, and the availability of funds. For more information on how financial need is determined, see the section on How to Determine your Eligibility.

Aid From Other Sources

You must report all aid you expect to receive that is not already listed in the award section of your Award Notification. This includes, but is not limited to: UM tuition waivers, non-service fellowships, UM scholarships, private scholarships, vocational rehabilitation benefits, veteran's benefits, employer tuition benefits, and Resident Assistant benefits. If it is not listed as part of your award package, the Financial Aid office does not know you are receiving the funding, and your financial aid award may be affected.

Completing Your Award Notification

A copy of your award notification can be obtained at Testudo. All correspondence will be via email unless you notify us that you prefer paper. Therefore, it is imperative that the University of Maryland have an accurate e-mail address. Please go to Testudo to change or add a correct e-mail address. In addition, you will need to know your Directory ID or UID and password. If you are unable to locate your Directory information or remember your password, please contact the Division of Information Technology.

Direct Loan Application Process

Your financial aid status is available on-line Monday through Saturday between 7:30 am and 7:00 pm. You may accept or decline your awards by visiting the Office of Student Financial Aid website. The website will prompt you to do the following:

  1. Complete the loan section(s) of your Award Notification by inputting the amount of funds you need in the Total Column, not to exceed the amount offered.
  2. All Direct Loans are funded through the Department of Education. If you have had previous loans through the University of Maryland’s Federal Family Education Loan Program (where you selected a lender), we cannot certify new loans using your previous lender.
  3. If you are a first time borrower at the University of Maryland, you will be required to complete an Entrance Counseling Session and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) with the Department of Education. Please complete the Entrance Counseling session and MPN when prompted since your loan funds will not disburse until these requirements are completed. You will need to complete only one MPN during your course of study here at the University of Maryland.
  4. After you complete your Award Notification on the web, click SUBMIT at the bottom of the page. Your awards will be automatically transmitted to our office for processing.
  5. Direct loans will disburse to your student account provided that you are enrolled at least half-time, have completed an entrance counseling session, and a master promissory note. If you are unsure whether you have met all of your requirements you can check your status with the Department of Education.

** The Master Promissory Note is a one-time contract between the borrower and the Department of Education that reflects the terms and conditions under which the borrower promises to repay the loan.