St. Mary’s is committed to offering an accessible and affordable education.
Incoming Class Fall 2020 Financial Assistance Statistics:
- 96% were offered financial assistance
- 94% received a St. Mary’s grant and/or scholarship
- $6200 was the average combined institutional grant/scholarship assistance per student (annual figure)
- Merit awards ranged from $1000 – $18,000 in the 2020-2021 academic year
What are my chances of receiving financial assistance?
The only way to determine your eligibility for financial assistance is to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The likelihood of receiving some form of financial assistance is probably better than most students and their families anticipate.
In order to receive financial assistance, do I have to apply every year?
Yes. In order to receive consideration for all programs, you must file a Free Aid for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) each year. File the FAFSA in the month of January. If necessary, you may estimate your taxes to complete the form.
What is the deadline to apply for financial assistance?
To receive maximum consideration for assistance, students apply using the FAFSA, which must be received by the processor, prior to March 1st of each year to be considered for MD State Scholarships. High school seniors applying for St. Mary’s College of Maryland scholarships must apply before February 15.
I missed the March 1 application deadline, can I still apply for financial assistance?
Yes, students may still apply for a loan or a Pell Grant. There is no specific deadline for these two federal programs. Anyone who completes a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before May 1st of the enrollment year will be considered for these two types of assistance. You must be enrolled at the time funds are disbursed.
Will I be required to submit additional forms to St. Mary’s College of Maryland other than the FAFSA?
Yes, all students who receive need-based assistance must complete the verification process.
What is verification?
The verification process assures the accuracy of the information on the FAFSA. A Verification Worksheet is submitted to the Financial Assistance Office to document family size, number in college, and other data. Families must also use the IRS Data Retrieval process to populate the FAFSA with actual figures submitted on tax returns. Returning students must complete the verification process before an award will be made. New students must complete verification to finalize their awards.
How do I apply for merit-based St. Mary’s College of Maryland Scholarships?
You apply by completing the Application for Undergraduate Admission.
What happens after my freshman year? Will my assistance stay the same?
The Financial Assistance Office at St. Mary’s College of Maryland is committed to meeting as much of our students’ need as possible throughout their undergraduate years. However, an individual student’s need may change from year to year. Educational costs may increase, and changes in family size, number in college, and gross income can increase or decrease parental contribution from year to year. If a family’s circumstances remain the same, the parents’ calculated contribution should be relatively consistent.
If I am awarded financial assistance for both fall and spring semesters of the academic year, but do not enroll in the fall semester, will my assistance change?
Yes, assistance will be canceled for students choosing not to enroll in the fall semester. Students enrolling in the spring will be considered for assistance on a funds available basis.
I want to take a Summer or Winter session course, can I receive aid for those classes?
For both summer and winter courses, students may be eligible for additional aid. Pell-eligible students can use the Pell grant for summer classes. Students may use any available loan funds to cover the cost of the winter and summer sessions. Students should contact OSFA with questions and eligibility. More information on the session costs can be found here: Winter Session – Summer Session
How can I apply for work-study?
All students who receive the federal Pell grant are eligible to participate in the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program. Students will receive the work-study as a part of their financial assistance package. Once you have agreed to participate in the program, you will receive additional information regarding applying and working through the FWS program.
What does it take to be considered an independent student?
Step Three of the FAFSA is used to identify students as either dependent or independent. To be considered an independent student, you must answer ‘Yes’ to at least one of the questions listed in the student section, step-3. The Financial Assistance Office can override a student’s dependent status but to do so requires some very unusual family situations. These situations require documented evidence from third-party witnesses (police reports, clergy, counselors, etc.).
If my parents are separated or divorced, whose income is reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
The parent you live with should complete the FAFSA. If the parent you live with has remarried, the income of that parent and their new spouse (step-parent) must be used.
Will my award be revised if I receive an outside scholarship?
If a student is awarded a scholarship by an outside agency or organization those funds may be used to reduce the self-help portion (loans or work-study) of the student’s award or to cover the student’s unmet federal need. Outside awards in excess of assigned self-help and unmet need may reduce a student’s institutional need-based grant. Pell Grants and state scholarships are NOT considered outside scholarships, and when these funds are increased after the initial assistance offer, eligibility for the need-based St. Mary’s Grant is recalculated. Generally, the St. Mary’s Grant is reduced dollar for dollar by the increase in state scholarship or Pell Grant.
Is the money I receive from financial assistance programs taxable?
Any scholarships, benefits, fellowships, or grants (gift assistance) received from St. Mary’s College of Maryland or any other source that, when combined exceeds the cost of tuition, fees, books, and required equipment and supplies, are considered taxable income. Loans are not included. Since you are required to report taxable awards to the I.R.S. as income, you should keep a detailed record of all expenditures for tuition, fees, books, and required equipment and supplies. Housing and food are considered non-exempt, so money spent on these items is subject to income tax. For more detailed information, consult a personal tax advisor. Work-study earnings are taxable and must be reported on tax returns.
What should I do if my family’s financial circumstances change after I apply for financial assistance?
If a family’s financial circumstances have changed due to the death of a parent, divorce, separation, or loss of employment; they should contact the Financial Assistance Office at (240) 895-3000. OSFA will do all we can to make SMCM as affordable as possible.
Does St. Mary’s College of Maryland require the CSS profile?
No, all you need is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Will the financial assistance offered at one school transfer to another school?
No. Financial assistance does not transfer from school to school. Students planning to transfer to another school should contact the Financial Assistance Office at both schools to find out what is required.