To apply for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For priority consideration for aid, the federal processor (Federal Student Aid Programs) must receive and accept the FAFSA by January 1. Please submit your form early to ensure adequate time for mailing and receipt by the processor.
To meet the January 1 deadline and ensure the tax information is reported correctly, we encourage you to take advantage of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). The IRS DRT allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the FAFSA, and transfer the data directly into their FAFSA from the IRS Web site.
Prospective students can submit the FAFSA before they are notified of their admission decisions.
The Maryland State Scholarship Administration (MSSA) has established an application deadline of March 1. Maryland residents whose FAFSAs are postmarked by March 1 will be considered for MSSA grants and scholarships.
Federal Student Aid Programs will completely reject and return the FAFSA and will not acknowledge its receipt if it is missing crucial information such as student, spouse, or parent signatures. The Department of Education will sent to the send the Student Aid Report (SAR) to students whose FAFSA applications are accepted. If a student receives a SAR but it requires corrections, the FAFSA has not been accepted.
Students whose FAFSA applications are received by the UM Priority Deadline will be considered for all available forms of need-based federal and institutional aid including the following "Priority Aid Programs": Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and University of Maryland (UM) Grant and UM Scholarships.
All students, including those whose applications are received after the UM Priority Deadline, will be considered for the following Federal Aid Programs: Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans, Pell Grants, and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).
Fairness to all students requires uniform application of this deadline policy. All students are informed of these deadlines in the UM Financial Aid Award Guide and the UM Admissions Application. The Federal Student Guide and the FAFSA instructions also advise students to file as soon as possible after October 1 and to check with college financial aid offices for specific university deadlines. Students are responsible for obtaining the FAFSA and submitting it to the processor on time.
Barring severe personal or family crises, no exceptions to this policy can be considered. Weather conditions or United States Postal Service delays can not be considered special circumstances. If you or your family experience severe crises which significantly influence your ability to submit your FAFSA by the priority deadline, please submit a General Appeal with relevant supporting documentation.