FAQs: Completing the FAFSA
You do not need to wait until you have applied to or been admitted to UMGC before completing the FAFSA. It is always recommended to complete it as soon as possible.
To potentially avoid any disruption to your course enrollment due to a lack of funding, we encourage you to complete and submit your FAFSA by these dates:
- Summer term: April 1
- Fall term: June 1
- Spring term: November 1
Maryland Residents: The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) has a FAFSA submission deadline of March 1 each year to be considered for many of their state grant and scholarship programs.
A new FAFSA form becomes available every year and is used to determine your financial aid eligibility for the following aid year. UMGC’s financial aid years begin with the summer term each year, and each aid year includes the summer, fall, winter and spring term, in that order. It is recommended that you complete your FAFSA each year as soon as it becomes available if you plan to take courses in any of the terms that fall within the aid year that the FAFSA covers.
Below is a chart of FAFSA years, when they become available to students, and the terms at UMGC in which you may be considered for aid eligibility for each corresponding FAFSA:
|FAFSA||When is this FAFSA available?||Which terms at UMGC are covered by this FAFSA?|
|2023–2024||October 1, 2022–June 30, 2024||Summer 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024|
|2024–2025||December 2023 (tentative)||Summer 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025|
When you are completing your FAFSA, you will be prompted to add the school(s) where you want your information to be sent. Be sure to enter UMGC's school code: 011644. You will need to include this information to ensure we receive a copy of your FAFSA so we can review your eligibility.
You and your parent(s)/guardian(s) or spouse (if required) will provide financial/tax information on your FAFSA. You will be asked for “prior-prior” tax year information, meaning tax information that is two years old. For example, when you are completing the 2023–2024 FAFSA, you will need a copy of your 2021 Tax Return and your 2021 W-2 on hand.
- It is strongly encouraged that you take advantage of the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) within the FAFSA application. The DRT allows you to import your IRS tax information directly into the FAFSA form. Using this tool may reduce the amount of paperwork you need to provide your school.
- If you are not eligible to use the DRT tool, we recommend having a copy of your and your parent’(s)/guardian’(s) or spouse’s 1040 Tax Return from two years prior on hand to correctly transfer the figures from your return onto your FAFSA.
- Students who are married but filed separately should complete their FAFSA using both individuals' tax information. We also recommend having your W-2 forms available. This will help you accurately list your income.
For more information on completing the FAFSA, please watch the Financial Aid TV FAFSA tutorial for first-time filers, located at the bottom of this page.
If you or your parent(s)/guardian(s) or spouse choose not to use the DRT, upon completion of your FAFSA we highly recommend you request a tax return transcript from the IRS (or an official letter of non-filing if you did not file taxes) for the corresponding tax year. You can request this information on the IRS website. If the Department of Education selects your FAFSA for verification, having your request already in process with the IRS will help expedite the processing of your FAFSA at UMGC. However, please only send these IRS documents to UMGC if our financial aid office specifically requests them from you. If you send documentation to UMGC that we did not request, this could delay the processing of your application. Please see UMGC's financial aid policies for more details.
Step 2: Check Your E-mail and MyUMGC Student Portal for Updates
From the date you submitted your FAFSA, it typically takes three to five business days for us to receive your application. After initial review, the Department of Education will identify if you need to submit anything further for your application to be fully processed. We will contact you directly by email to notify you if additional information is needed.
We will also update your To Do List in your MyUMGC student portal with detailed descriptions of any additional requirements, you may need to complete. Make sure to check your portal frequently to stay on top of your requirements and submit any requested information to us promptly.
After all the required documents have been submitted and a Financial Aid Counselor has reviewed your FAFSA, you will receive an initial offer letter by email (make sure you are checking your UMGC student email if you have already received one), and you will be able to view the type(s) of financial aid you have been offered in your MyUMGC student portal.
Step 3: Review Your Financial Aid Offer and Accept or Decline Your Loan(s)
Your financial aid offer lists the amount of aid you are eligible to receive to attend UMGC. Your offer may be a combination of scholarships, grants, and loans. Your offer is based on your FAFSA and on the assumption that you will register at least half-time for each term that you receive financial aid. Students are awarded for the full aid year based on their career and grade level. If you decide not to attend UMGC, or would like to modify your aid offer, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 4: Complete Your Loan Documents and Receive Your Aid
If you choose to accept any student loans, and you are a new borrower at UMGC, you will need to visit StudentAid.gov to complete your Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note. Both documents must be completed before your loan funds will be disbursed to your student account.
Your aid may be revised according to your actual enrollment at the time you register. If you are owed a refund, it will be processed according to the refund disbursement procedures outlined by the Office of Student Accounts. To ensure that your aid is disbursed on time, it is important to check your MyUMGC student portal for updates to your financial aid file. You can review your financial aid offer details and any adjustments in the Financial Aid center of your student portal.
Step 5: Maintain Your Eligibility
To maintain your eligibility for financial aid, you must meet the standards set forth in UMGC's policy on satisfactory academic progress. You should also review how changes to your enrollment can affect your financial aid. It is also important to remember that each scholarship or grant you receive will have its own set of eligibility criteria that you must continue to meet, so be sure you take the time to check on the requirements for all types of financial aid funding you receive so that you do not risk losing your aid.