Jul 21, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Main Campus Financial Aid

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.

  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.
  2. Recommended time: October-February 15
    The 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 the prior-prior year. Most families will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool to complete the income section of the application.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 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. The amount is determined by the federal government and should be the same at all colleges/universities for a student.

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).

Work Study

Federal Work Study

Students selected for this program are eligible to apply for a wide variety of on-campus jobs. On average, students work 8 hours per week.

Other College Employment

College employment other than the federal work study is available. Contact the Mount’s Human Resources Department for more information.


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 begin to repay their loans.

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. 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 parent must be credit worthy to obtain the loan.

ROTC Scholarships

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:

Semesters completed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Cumulative GPA 1.5 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
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.

Academic Scholarships

Additional University Scholarships

Need Based Financial Aid

Guaranteed Academic Scholarships

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 2020:

Trustee Scholarship ($29,000 per year)

Presidential Scholarship ($27,000 per year)

Provost’s Scholarship ($26,000 per year)

Dean’s Scholarship ($25,000 per year)

Leadership Scholarship ($20,000 per year)

University Grant ($12,000 per year)                                               


Additional University Scholarships

Founder’s 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.

Legacy Grant

This award is given through the Admissions Office of the University. Incoming freshmen or transfer students who had a relative graduate from the Mount will be awarded $1,000 per year, which can be renewed for up to four years. Legacy Grants are awarded to students who indicate their status on the admissions application. Financial need is not considered.

Family Discount

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. Financial need is not considered.

Athletic Scholarships

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


Students who have remaining financial need after their merit-based aid is awarded are candidates for the Grant-in-Aid. The Grant-in-Aid is renewable provided the student files the FAFSA and demonstrates similar need in future years.

Commuter Grants

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.

Maryland Programs

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.

Senatorial Scholarships

The average Senatorial Scholarship for Mount students has been $1,500. Contact the State Scholarship Administration for further information.

Delegate Scholarships

Write to each of your Maryland delegates for instructions on how to apply. Awards vary, with the average Mount student receiving over $1,000.

Veterans Benefits

Veterans who are eligible to receive educational benefits should contact the University Registrar, who serves as the veterans certifying official. For more information, call 301-447-5215.

Military Tuition Assistance (TA) Return of Funds Policy

Military tuition assistance (TA) is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws (officially or unofficially) on or before 60 percent of the course(s) meeting period has been completed, Mount St. Mary’s University will comply with the Department of Defense policy to return unearned TA funds to the federal government on a proportional basis through the 60 percent portion of the period for which the TA funds were provided. After a student completes 60 percent of the term, all TA funds are considered fully earned. 

The return of funds schedule is as follows:

15-week course  
Days 1-5 100%  
Days 6-12 80%  
Days 13-19 60%  
Days 20-26 40%  
27 34%  
28 33%  
29 32%  
30 31%  
31 30%  
32 30%  
33 29%  
34 28%  
35 27%  
36 26%  
37 25%  
38 24%  
39 23%  
40 22%  
41 21%  
42 20%  
43 19%  
44 18%  
45 17%  
46 16%  
47 15%  
48 14%  
49 13%  
50 12%  
51 11%  
52 10%  
53 10%  
54 9%  
55 8%  
56 7%  
57 6%  
58 5%  
59 4%  
60 3%  
61 2%  
62 1%  
63 0%  (60% of course is completed)
8-week course  
Days 1-5 100%  
Days 6-8 80%  
9 45%  
10 43%  
11 41%  
12 39%  
13 38%  
14 36%  
15 34%  
16 32%  
17 30%  
18 29%  
19 27%  
20 25%  
21 23%  
22 21%  
23 20%  
24 18%  
25 16%  
26 14%  
27 13%  
28 11%  
29 9%  
30 7%  
31 5%  
32 4%  
33 2%  
34 0%  (60% of course is completed)
5-week course  
Days 1-5 100%  
Days 6-8 80%  
9 80%  
10 77%  
11 74%  
12 71%  
13 69%  
14 66%  
15 63%  
16 60%  
17 57%  
18 54%  
19 51%  
20 49%  
21 0%  (60% of course is completed)