Applying for Financial Aid

Federal Student Aid for College or Career School—The U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid provides grants, loans, and work-study opportunities to eligible students attending participating colleges or career schools. Federal Student Aid is the largest source of financial aid in the U.S. For further information and an online application, visit or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center toll-free: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). TTY for the hearing-impaired: 1-800-730-8913. 

To apply for consideration for all federal, state and institutional aid programs, students must complete an annual application known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) This form may be completed online at

FAFSA Simplification

Due to the passing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Simplification Act on December 27, 2020, as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the FAFSA is changing for the 2024-2025 academic year.

You can expect the following changes:

  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA application is now open. The 2024-2025 FAFSA determines your financial aid eligibility for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.
  • The FAFSA application process will be streamlined and easier for students to complete.
  • New terminology will be added to the FAFSA.
  • Eligibility for federal financial aid will be expanded.

We will continue to update this page as additional information becomes available. You can learn more about the specific changes, timeline, and how to prepare below.

FAFSA changes for 2024-2025


  • The redesigned and streamlined FAFSA Form will be available on December 31, 2023. 

Streamlined application process

  • The FAFSA will feature fewer questions, fewer requirements, and retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

New terminology and information

  • The need analysis formula to determine financial aid, formally known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI). The new formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation, better reflects the FAFSA results, and implements a separate eligibility determination criterion for Federal Pell Grants.
  • The FAFSA is introducing the new term " contributor" which refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA form, including the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse. Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student's college costs.

Expanding Pell Grant eligibility

  • The adjustments to the new Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation will expand Federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students.

Getting Started

Prior to completing your financial aid application, it is important to get organized and collect all needed information. This information may include student data only or student and parent data depending upon the student's "dependency" status for financial aid purposes. In accordance with federal regulations, all students are considered dependent upon their parent(s) or guardian(s) for financial aid purposes unless they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Born before January 1, 1979 and be at least 24 years-old by January 1 of the year you are applying for
  • Working on a degree beyond a bachelor's during the academic year
  • Are married
  • Have children who receive more than half of their support from the student or have other dependents who live with and receive more than half of their support from the student
  • Are an orphan or ward of the court until age 18
  • Are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces

Information and documents you will need to complete your financial aid application include:

  • FSA ID
  • Copies of the previous year’s Federal Tax return & Schedules/estimated tax information
  • Records of any untaxed income received in the last year (welfare, social security, AFDC or ADCW, veteran benefits)
  • Current bank statements, mortgage information (on residences other than your primary home), business and farm records, records of stocks, binds, and other investments.

Watch a video on how to complete your FAFSA.

Things to Remember:

  • When completing your FAFSA, please take your time and be sure to answer all required fields and essential information. Missing responses to required fields will prevent or delay processing of your application.
  • If exact data is not known at the time of filing, we recommend students and parents estimate their data and make adjustments/revisions at a later time.
  • Be sure to record your home institution's "Title IV School Code" and all required signatures.

Many financial aid programs have limited funds, so it’s critical that students apply early for financial aid. While USG participants will be considered for as much as possible, students should make every effort to meet both their institutional priority deadline as well as the State of Maryland’s deadline (MD residents only).

Title IV Codes and priority dates

InstitutionTitle IV School CodeInstitution Deadline
Bowie State University002062March 1st
Salisbury University002091March 1st
Towson University002099March 1st 
University of Baltimore002102March 1st
University of Maryland, Baltimore002104March 1st
UMBC002105March 1st
University of Maryland, College Park002103March 1st
University of Maryland Eastern Shore002106March 1st
University of Maryland Global Campus 011644(Fall) June 1st   (Spring) November 1st   (Summer) April 1st 


Estimate Your Financial Aid

The Net Price Calculator is designed to help you estimate your financial aid options. This calculator should allow students to calculate an estimated net price of attendance at an institution (defined as cost of attendance minus grant and scholarship aid) based on what similar students paid in a previous year. Please be sure to complete the entire process to ensure the best possible results.