My parents and I have not filed our taxes - what should we do?
Students and/or parents who have not filed their federal taxes can estimate on the FAFSA in order to meet our priority application deadline of February 14. However, it is important to estimate as accurately as possible so that your financial aid awards will be a true reflection of your eligibility. In addition, it is very important to return to your FAFSA and update your estimated figures as soon as you have filed for the current tax year.
Many students and families will have the option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool as early as two weeks after electronically filing their tax returns and 6-8 weeks after filing a paper return to update income information.
Why must I complete the FAFSA using my parents' information?
The US Department of Education considers a student to be dependent on his or her parents unless the student can answer "Yes" to one of the following questions:
- Were you born before January 1, 1989?
- At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, Ph.D., Ed.D., or graduate certificate, etc.)?
- As of today, are you married?
- Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you?
- Do you have dependents other than your children/spouse who lives with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2013?
- Are (a) both of your parents deceased, or (b) are you (or were you until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
If I live on my own am I considered independent for financial aid?
A student's living situation does not affect the student's dependency status. The dependency status is determined as noted above.
What is the difference between a Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan and a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan?
The student is not required to make any payments of principle or interest on a Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan while the student is in school. However the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is the student's responsibility from the time the loan funds are sent to the university until it is paid in full. The student can opt to allow the interest to accumulate; however, it will be added to the principal amount of the loan and increase the amount to be repaid. It is recommended that the student contact the lender to make quarterly payments on the interest.
Why do I have a late fee on my account?
A late fee is charged if your bill is not paid by the due date. UMBC's Late Fee Waiver Policy lists specific requirements necessary for late fee removal.
Will taking a course with a grading status of audit impact my financial aid?
Audited classes do not count toward the number of credits enrolled for financial aid purposes. If you opt to change your course to audit mid-semester it may impact your financial aid awards. Please contact our office prior to making any changes to your enrollment.
Can I buy books using my financial aid?
You may buy books using a financial aid book loan beginning two weeks prior to the start of the semester only if you are eligible to receive a financial aid refund. Click here to review our Book Loan process.
Does financial aid cover summer and winter balances?
Financial aid is available for the summer session; however, assistance for winter session is limited to Pell Grant eligible students that meet winter enrollment criteria.
Who has access to my financial aid information?
Students who want to release information about their financial aid may submit the Authorization to Release Information form. This authorization allows the designee to obtain the student's financial aid information via phone or in-person.