Eligibility Requirements and Maintaining Eligibility
In order to be eligible for financial aid, UMGC requires the student to
Be enrolled and working toward a degree or eligible certificate/program of study
Possess a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate
Have a valid Social Security number (SSN)
Not be in default or owe a refund on any Federal student aid (FSA) program from any source
Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards
Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
Demonstrate financial need
Have a completed financial aid file
UMGC's Office of Financial Aid (OFA) is required by Federal and state regulations to monitor the academic progress of all financial aid recipients. All financial aid recipients must comply with SAP policy as a condition of continued eligibility. OFA evaluates SAP annually after spring grades are posted. Students are evaluated on the basis of grade-point average, completion of attempted credits, and maximum timeframe limitation. The financial aid recipients are required to be in good standing and maintain SAP toward their degree/certificate requirements for each semester they are enrolled. Learn more about Satisfactory Academic Progress, or read the policies for undergraduate SAP and graduate SAP.
Per Federal regulations, UMGC must prorate undergraduate Federal loans for any student who is only attending one semester and/or graduating in the summer or fall. This process may limit the amount you can borrow in subsidized and unsubsidized loan funding.
If you plan to graduate at the end of a summer or fall semester and have not already done so, we encourage you to contact Graduation Services and visit their graduation to-do list for instructions and information about applying to graduate. UMGC's Office of Financial Aid will be notified of your anticipated graduation date and will notify you via e-mail if any changes are made to your financial aid award.
Federal financial aid regulations affect UMGC's ability to base financial aid awards on courses for which you have already received a passing grade. If you have taken and passed a course (defined as receiving a grade of ‘D' or higher), Federal financial aid will only pay for you to repeat the course one time. If you decide to repeat a successfully passed course for a second time, Federal financial aid will not cover the cost of that course.
In addition, repeated coursework that falls under these conditions cannot be included in a student's enrollment status for Title IV/Federal Student Aid (FSA) eligibility. All repeated coursework affects financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) calculations. Each repeated course attempt will be included in the student's completion rate and maximum timeframe determinations. Appeals cannot override these Federal regulations.
Awards affected by these regulations include the following:
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Direct Subsidized Loan
Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Federal Parent PLUS Loan
Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
Federal Perkins Loan
More About Repeated Coursework Regulations
Repeated enrollment that is not aid eligible will be excluded from the student's enrollment status for the term.
Federal financial aid will be recalculated based on the student's reduced enrollment status.
This regulation applies whether or not the student received aid for the earlier attempts in the course.
Repeated courses may be included if the student received an unsatisfactory or failing grade. There is no limit on the number of attempts allowable if the student does not receive a passing grade. Grades of A, B, C, D, P, and S are considered passing grades.
Examples of Repeated Courses
Example 1: A student is repeating a previously passed 3-credit course for the second time. The student is enrolled in a total of 12 credit hours for the term. Per Federal regulations, the repeated course must be excluded from the student's Title IV enrollment status. Only 9 of the student's 12 credits can be used to calculate Title IV aid eligibility. The student's Federal Pell Grant will be reduced to reflect three-quarter time instead of full-time enrollment.
Example 2: A student took Math 115 in the fall 2015 term and the spring 2016 term. Each time, the student received a grade of D. The student is currently enrolled in Math 115 for the fall 2016 term. Since the student has previously passed this course twice, the third attempt would not be eligible for financial aid. The course will not be counted in the student's total enrollment hours for Title IV/Federal student aid purposes.
Example 3: A student took Financial Decision Making for Managers (3 credits) in spring 2016 and received a C. The student would like to retake the course in the fall term. This would be the first repeat of the previously passed course. The course would be eligible for financial aid.
A student is required to self-disclose their incarceration at the time they are admitted or if they become incarcerated while enrolled in UMGC. The disclosure should be made in writing, via email, to the Registrar’s Office and should include the following information:
- student’s name and ID number;
- name of the institution in which the student is incarcerated;
- date incarceration began; and
- expected release date.
Incarcerated students are not eligible to receive Federal Pell grants or Federal Direct Stafford Loans.
Incarcerated students who are released must notify the Financial Aid Office upon their release if they wish to be reconsidered for financial aid.
Cost of Attendance and Award Amount
UMGC estimates the Cost of Attendance (COA) and provides students with projected educational costs. The COA is used by UMGC Financial Aid to determine students' financial need and aid eligibility.
The COA consists of both direct (fixed) costs, such as tuition and fees, as well as indirect (variable) costs including books, transportation, computer, loan fees, personal expenses, and room and board. Each student's COA will vary depending on the student's academic program, actual enrolled credit load, residency, and living situation.
PELL EFC determines Pell eligibility for students who have not earned a first bachelor's degree. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is need-based, and amounts are set at a specific dollar amount each year depending on the available funding; once funding is exhausted, no further FSEOG awards can be made. Award amounts for Federal Direct Loans are based on a combination of factors, including the student's grade level, financial need, and dependency status (with an additional check against the National Student Loan Database System).
After being admitted to UMGC and completing the FAFSA, your college financing plan will help you assess your total costs of attending UMGC. The plan presents information about costs and financial aid in a simplified format so that you can easily determine how much you may need to pay out-of-pocket to attend school, and use that information to make informed decisions. You will be able to view the plan once you have been awarded aid for the required academic year.
Leaving the University
Federal student aid is awarded with the assumption that you will be enrolled at least half-time for the semester. Any time you change your enrollment, UMGC's Office of Financial Aid must review your record and recalculate your aid. Learn how dropping classes or withdrawing can affect your financial aid.
All Federal loan borrowers must complete exit counseling if they are enrolled less than half-time, withdrawing from all classes, or graduating. Please visit studentloans.gov to log into your account and complete this process.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
A student who receives financial aid has the right to
Know how financial need was determined
Know how financial aid will be disbursed
Request an explanation of offered aid in the financial aid package
Refuse any aid offered
Request an explanation of UMGC's refund policy
Know what portion of financial aid must be repaid and what portion is a grant. If a loan has been offered and accepted, the student has the right to know the interest rate and loan repayment options and procedures
Examine the contents of aid records, provided a written request is made to UMGC's Office of Financial Aid in accordance with UMGC's Policy on Disclosure of Student Records.
A student who receives financial aid has the responsibility and is required to
Complete all requested forms accurately
Use all financial aid received solely for expenses related to attending UMGC
Submit in a timely manner all additional documentation requested by the Office of Financial Aid
Know and understand the eligibility requirements for offered financial aid
Understand the rules and conditions for any financial aid awards received
Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and entrance interview the first time a loan is received at UMGC, while enrolled at least half-time
Reapply for financial aid each award year before the published deadlines
Inform the university promptly of changes in name, address, or e-mail address
UMGC's Student Loan Program Code of Conduct was adopted to ensure uniform student loan practices focusing on the best interest of student borrowers. The Student Loan Code of Conduct restrictions are defined to avoid any potential conflict of interest in the student financial aid process among school employees, lending institutions, and students and students' parents, legal guardians, and/or spouses. They include the following:
Revenue sharing prohibition: UMGC will not receive anything of value from any lending institution in exchange for an advantage sought by the lending institution.
Gift ban: UMGC employees with responsibility for financial aid work will not solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor or servicer. A "gift" is defined as any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having a monetary value of more than a small amount.
Advisory board compensation rules: UMGC employees with financial aid responsibility will not accept anything of value for serving on the advisory board of any lending institution.
Opportunity pools: UMGC will not request or accept from any lender any offer of funds to be used for private education loans, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, in exchange for UMGC providing concessions or promises of a specified number or volume of Title IV loans, or a preferred lender arrangement for Title IV loans.
Contract arrangement prohibition: UMGC employees, officers and agents with educational loan responsibilities will not accept any fee, payment or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) from a lender as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
Staffing assistance ban: UMGC will not request or accept assistance from any lender to staff a call center or financial aid office.
Loan certification: UMGC employees will not refuse to certify or delay loan certification based on the borrower's selection of a particular lender or guarantor.
Assigning lenders: UMGC employees will not assign first-time borrowers to a particular lender.
Preferred lender guidelines/disclosures: UMGC will not use a Preferred Lender List. Students will be told that they have the right and responsibility to select the lender of their choice.
Cohort Default Rate
As of September 2022, UMGC’s three-year cohort default rate is 1.2 percent. The national cohort default rate is 2.3 percent. The percentage of students that borrowed during the 2021-2022 aid year was 17.99 percent.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, was created to protect the privacy of students. FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records, including, but not limited to,
The right to inspect and review their records
The right to request changes to information the student believes to be inaccurate or misleading
The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information
The right to prevent disclosure of directory information
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning FERPA violations
Visit FERPA for detailed information about these rights.
Methods of Providing Consumer Information
UMGC Financial Aid provides information through various channels, including publications such as the university's financial aid brochure, website, MyUMGC, e-mails, and catalogs (electronic and print). UMGC Financial Aid e-mails a variety of important information to students via their primary e-mail addresses; we use e-mail as the primary means for contacting students. UMGC Financial Aid uses MyUMGC and this website to notify students of any targeted or general announcements. Students can find other consumer information topics in consumer disclosures.
View the glossary of financial aid terms at UMGC.