Financial Aid Application Procedures
Below are the recommended procedures to apply for financial aid at Mount St. Mary’s University. Please pay close attention to the corresponding dates for each step in order to meet all of the University’s deadlines. The Mount’s deadline for receipt of financial aid applications is March 1.
- Recommended time: Fall
If you plan on submitting your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online, you must register for a FSA User ID for both yourself and your parent. Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and select the ‘FSA ID’ link at the top of the page. Each student and one parent must have their own unique FSA IDs.
- Recommended time: October-February 15
Beginning in the fall, 2016, the 2017-18 FAFSA becomes available in October at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Mount St. Mary’s Title IV School Code is 002086. The FAFSA will request income from 2015. Most families will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool to complete the income section of the application.
- Upon submitting your FAFSA, if you have special circumstances you wish to call to the attention of the Financial Aid Office, download the appropriate appeals form from www.msmary.edu/financialaidforms; complete it to the best of your ability and return it to the Financial Aid Office no later than March 1.
- Within several days of submitting your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report. This report will be sent to your email address provided on the FAFSA. Please share it with your parents and review it for accuracy. If any corrections need to be made, please make them and send a copy of any changes to our Financial Aid Office.
Financial Aid and Financing Options
Because most financial aid is offered on the basis of merit and demonstrated financial need, the Mount highly recommends that all first-year students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Forms should be completed so as not to miss the March 1st institutional deadline. Applications received after March 1st are considered based upon available funds. Returning students must file the FAFSA each year to be considered for need-based aid.
When determining a student’s need for aid, the financial aid office subtracts the expected family contribution from the total cost of attendance. In addition to the cost of tuition, fees, room and board, standard allowances are made for books, supplies, travel and personal expenses.
Federal Aid Programs
Mount St. Mary’s University participates in all of the financial aid programs offered by the U.S. Department of Education: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loads and the Federal Direct Loan Program. Eligibility for all federal programs is determined from the FAFSA.
Federal Pell Grants
This program provides students with extremely high need with grants of up to $5,730 per year.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
Designed to assist exceptionally needy students who are eligible for Pell Grants, these grants typically range from $500 to $1,500 per year.
This $4,000/year non-need-based grant is for students who intend to teach in high-need subject areas at low-income (Title I) schools. At Mount St. Mary’s, the high-need subject areas include reading specialist, mathematics education, and foreign study education. A recipient is obligated to be a highly-qualified, full-time teacher at a low income school for each year for which a scholarship is received. Failure to meet this obligation converts the grant to an interest-bearing loan. This grant is available to both graduate and undergraduate students who are admitted into the education program (i.e, at least junior class standing).
Federal Work Study
Students selected for this program are employed in a wide variety of on-campus jobs. On average, students work 10 hours per week and earn up to $2,030 per year.
Other College Employment
College employment other than the federal work study is available. Contact the Mount’s Human Resources Department for more information.
Federal Perkins Loans
This program enables selected students to borrow money interest free while they are enrolled in college. Loans, which typically range from $1,000 to $1,500 per year, are repayable after graduation, or termination of studies, at a 5% interest rate.
Federal Subsidized Direct Student Loans
Eligible undergraduate students may borrow up to $3,500 for the first year of study, up to $4,500 for the second year, and up to $5,500 for each remaining year. During periods of enrollment, interest payments are subsidized by the government. After graduation or termination of studies, and following a six-month grace period, students repay their loans at a 4.29% interest rate.
Federal Unsubsidized Direct Student Loans
Students who are not eligible or only partially eligible for a subsidized Direct Loan may borrow funds via this program at annual limits equivalent to those of the subsidized program. Students will be responsible for interest charges during periods of enrollment. The current rate is 4.29% In addition, all students may borrow up to $2,000 each year, and independent students may borrow up to $4,000 for each of the first two years of undergraduate work and up to $5,000 for each remaining year.
Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
This program enables parents of dependent students to borrow the entire annual cost of attendance less financial aid awarded. The loans are repayable at a 6.84% interest rate. The parent must be credit worthy to obtain the loan.
Mount students receive scholarships from the Army ROTC program to cover full tuition, and are eligible for additional aid from the University. ROTC scholarships are awarded through the Army Cadet Command which allocates funds nationwide, so it is important for applicants to apply as early as possible. To apply, visit www.goarmy.com/rotc/college_four_year_scholarship.jsp. Contact the Mount ROTC Department at 301-447-5350 for additional information on these scholarships.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal Regulations require that a student receiving Federal financial aid make satisfactory academic progress in accordance with standards set by the University. Progress is reviewed at the conclusion of the fall and spring semesters. The policy is required to review qualitative and quantitative measures to ensure timely completion of a degree.
The evaluation of total credits earned versus attempted (quantitate) and cumulative GPA (qualitative) will determine a student’s eligibility to receive Federal and State assistance in future semesters. Students are considered to be making satisfactory progress toward completion of degree requirements, and thus eligible for Federal and State aid, if they achieve a cumulative grade point average according to the following schedule:
|The above GPA standards are based on the University’s academic progress requirements.
In addition, a student must maintain a 67% completion rate after each semester. Your completion rate is determined by evaluating total credits earned versus total attempted credits. Attempted credits include grades of Withdraw (W), Failure due to excessive absences (FA), Incomplete (I), and Audit (AU). Credits accepted in transfer count as both attempted and successfully completed credits. Repeated courses count as attempted credits during each term the student is enrolled in the course. However, a repeated course is only included in completed courses once. Repetition of a course passed for a higher grade will be used in the GPA calculation.
Mount St. Mary’s University is not obligated to continue institutional aid to a student who requires more than eight semesters to complete degree requirements. However, Federal aid applicants must complete their current degree program within a timeframe that is no longer than 150% of the length of the program of study. Therefore, students cannot attempt more than 180 credits for a first bachelor’s degree.
A financial aid recipient who fails to achieve the appropriate standard will be placed on financial aid warning. A student placed on financial aid warning must meet the above requirements at the end of their warning semester to maintain eligibility. Notification of such will be made, in writing, by the Director of Financial Aid and will include the minimum requirements needed to maintain future eligibility. Failure to do so will result in financial aid suspension.
A student who loses eligibility for Federal aid may appeal this decision, in writing. The appeal will be heard by the Associate Provost, the Director of Financial Aid and the Assistant Director of Financial Aid. The student will be asked to explain why they failed to make satisfactory progress and what has changed in their situation that will allow them to make satisfactory progress at the next evaluation. In addition, the student will need to document any extenuating circumstances such as severe illness, severe injury or the death of a relative.
A student with an appeal approved will be on probation if they can meet the above standards after one semester. If the student cannot meet standards after one semester, the student will be placed on an academic plan and must follow that plan until standards are regained. If the student does not meet standards after their probation semester or does not follow their academic plan, they will return to financial aid suspension status.
A student can regain eligibility for Federal aid by achieving the required standards listed above without an appeal.
Maryland State Aid Programs
Maryland residents may be eligible for state-sponsored, need-based grants or scholarships. Many of the programs require the FAFSA to be filed before March 1 of each year, and the scholarships typically require a separate application. More detailed information is available on the Mount’s financial aid web page at www.msmary.edu/financialaid or at www.mhec.state.md.us.
Institutional Aid and Scholarships
The Mount offers scholarships and aid to students in three categories.
Additional University Scholarships
Need Based Financial Aid
Guaranteed Academic Scholarships
Beginning in 2011-12, all first-year applicants accepted to the University are guaranteed academic scholarships based on several criteria, including course achievement, SAT and/or ACT results, and involvement in extracurricular activities. Financial need is not a factor in merit-based award decisions. The following are descriptions of the attributes of academic scholarship recipients entering in the Fall of 2015: (SAT score ranges noted below are based on Critical Reading/Verbal and Math scores only. We do not consider scores on the Writing section.)
Trustee Scholarship ($21,000 per year)
Accepted students are guaranteed this scholarship if they fall in one of two academic profiles: 1) An SAT score of 1250 or higher (28 ACT) with a GPA of 2.75 or higher, or 2) an SAT score of 1200 or higher (26 ACT) with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Presidential Scholarship ($19,000 per year)
Accepted students are guaranteed this scholarship if they have an SAT score of 1100 or higher (24 ACT) with a GPA of 2.75 or higher.
Dean’s Scholarship ($18,000 per year)
Accepted students are guaranteed this scholarship if they fall in one of two academic profiles: 1) An SAT score of 1050-1090 (22-23 ACT) with a GPA of 2.75 or higher, or 2) An SAT score of 900 or higher (21 ACT) with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Leadership Grants ($5,000 per year minimum)
All other accepted students who do not fall within the ranges above will be considered for these awards. Award amounts will be based on leadership qualities, involvement in school and community activities, and financial need. For full consideration, all students should file the FASFA.
Additional University Scholarships
Two full-tuition Founder’s Scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen who perform superbly during an on-campus written exam in late January and a personal interview for finalists in early March. Students must be accepted into our Honors Program and meet certain academic criteria to participate. The requirement for participation is a 3.5 GPA combined with either an SAT score of 1150 or higher (reading and math only), or an ACT score of 25 or higher. Invitations will be sent in November, December, and early January to those students who qualify.
Catholic Leadership Scholarship
The Catholic Leadership Scholarship is awarded to recognize five freshman Catholic students who have distinctive records of service and academic excellence. Applications are available at www.msmary.edu/financialaid. The application deadline is February 1.
Campus Ministry Scholarship
The Campus Ministry Scholarship will be awarded to incoming freshmen who have been leaders, innovators, and distinctive members of diverse ministry activities. Applications are available at www.msmary.edu/financialaid. The application deadline is February 1.
Fine Arts Scholarship
The Fine Arts Scholarship is awarded to recognize outstanding high school and community achievement in the areas of art, music, and theatre. Applications are available at www.msmary.edu/financialaid. Students will be invited to campus in late February/early March to interview/perform. The application deadline is February 1.
Mount St. Mary’s competes at the NCAA Division I level in 19 men’s and women’s sports. All varsity teams offer athletic scholarships. Contact the athletic director or head coach at 301-447-5296 for additional information on these scholarships.
Need Based Financial Aid
Mount Grants in Aid
Last year 98% of the Mount St. Mary’s freshman class was offered financial assistance from the University. Students and their families with demonstrated need (as calculated by the federal government) are considered for additional aid by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Up to 50% of tuition is awarded based on financial need to students who live at home and commute to the Mount. When combined with an academic scholarship, total money from the Mount cannot exceed 50% of tuition. The grant is not available for summer school.
Family Discount Grant
Each incoming student with a brother or sister enrolled at the Mount will receive a $2,000 Family Discount Grant. This grant is renewable as long as the siblings are concurrently enrolled.
Access the Maryland Higher Education Commission website at www.mhec.state.md.us for current information on these and other state programs.
Educational Assistance (EA) Grants
The EA Grant is awarded to Maryland students from families with low to moderate income. The average grant for Mount students has been $3,000. For eligibility, you must submit the FAFSA to the federal processor no later than March 1 of each year.
The average Senatorial Scholarship for Mount students has been $1,500. Contact the State Scholarship Administration for further information.
Write to each of your Maryland delegates for instructions on how to apply. Awards vary, with the average Mount student receiving over $1,000.