IMPORTANT! Submit your FAFSA by Feb 15!

<p>Office</a> of Student Financial Aid</p>

<p>In order to receive need-based aid, you (your parents) must submit the FAFSA by Feb 15! Even if you know you won't qualify for aid (EFC is too high), you should still submit the form...sometimes it is needed for other awards, and if there should be some drastic change in your family's status in 2012, you need the proof a year from now. Really.</p>

<p>From the above link:</p>

<p>"The 2012-2013 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now available at Home</a> - FAFSA on the Web-Federal Student Aid. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine your eligibility for grants, loans and Federal Work-Study. Our institutional priority deadline is February 15. To receive Maryland State aid, you must complete your FAFSA by March 1st. Our University School code is 002103.</p>

<p>Please complete the 2012-2013 FAFSA by using the prior year data if you are unable to file your tax forms by February 15. "</p>

<p>Reminder.....</p>

<p>New for 2012, everyone(including B/K scholars) should file a FAFSA. Deadline Feb. 15!! It's quick and painless :)</p>

<p>I sent mine in yesterdau :"D</p>

<p>My parents haven't filed taxes yet but will do I chose that option when I submitted the FAFSA back in January, doe that still count?</p>

<p>
[quote]
In order to receive need-based aid, you (your parents) must submit the FAFSA by Feb 15! Even if you know you won't qualify for aid (EFC is too high), you should still submit the form...sometimes it is needed for other awards, and if there should be some drastic change in your family's status in 2012, you need the proof a year from now. Really.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I don't see any evidence of that on Maryland's site. What purely merit-based award requires FAFSA at UMCP?</p>

<p>It wasn't exactly quick and painless but I got it done</p>

<p>I would like to see some examples that @MisterK asked for. My parents have not and are not planning on filling out the FAFSA because my family's EFC is wayyyy more than the yearly price of UMD and only increasing every year. My college planner has also said that there is no need to do so. I can find no examples of programs or merit money that would require a FAFSA</p>

<p>
[quote]
FAFSA Completion Requirement</p>

<p>The Office of Student Financial Aid is strongly suggesting that you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2011-2012 academic year if you have not already done so. You may visit Home</a> - FAFSA on the Web-Federal Student Aid to complete this requirement.</p>

<p>Please note that for the 2012-2013 academic year completion of the FAFSA form will be mandatory for all undergraduate students.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>OSFA</a> - Banneker/Key Scholarship Program</p>

<p>^^^ I stand corrected</p>

<p>^^^^ Actually, probably not. </p>

<p>This kind of confusion is typical (and not just at Maryland). Admissions folks always suggest filing FAFSA, but it's rarely necessary if you don't qualify for FA. I confirmed this with Maryland by phone months ago. </p>

<p>By the way, from UMCP's own website, University</a> of Maryland - Financial Matters, Undergraduate Admissions, University of Maryland:</p>

<p>
[quote]
It is a simple process to apply for merit scholarships and need-based financial aid.</p>

<p>T*o be considered for merit scholarships*, a student must first apply for undergraduate admission as a degree-seeking student. Applicants who submit an application for undergraduate admission to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by the priority deadline will be given priority consideration for most merit scholarships.</p>

<p>To be considered for need-based financial aid, a student must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually. Do not wait to be admitted to the University of Maryland before submitting the FAFSA. The FAFSA can be filed beginning on January 1st. We strongly recommend that you submit the FAFSA no later than February 1st so that your information will be received by our deadline of February 15th.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>All students should fill in the FAFSA, even if their predicted EFC is high. Most college admission consultants recommend this as standard procedure. There are many reasons:</p>

<ol>
<li>Many people overestimate their EFC.</li>
<li>A major event that changes family income (job loss, death of one parent). Students cannot qualify for any financial aid if they do not fill out the FAFSA.</li>
<li>Some merit aid requires that a student file their FAFSA.</li>
<li>If you transfer to a college that has a larger EFC, you will not be eligible for aid unless you have filed for FAFSA.</li>
</ol>

<p>It takes less than an hour of work, you might as well file to be on the safe side.</p>

<p>@MisterK, when using the website of any large institution, there will always be a time lag between the implementation of new policy and the proper updating of the website. A good rule of thumb is to use the info that has a specific year and/or date included. (such as my link above)</p>

<p>Just to throw 2 cents in the pot, Many schools including MD require the FAFSA for everything including Merit. I can't quote policy or specific laws, but if the slightest bit of aid, be it FA , merit scholarship, senatorial etc. etc. is tied to government $ the recipient MUST have a FAFSA on file. I have talked to people that have students at UMD and other schools that have almost lost merit money because of not having the FAFSA on file. For example, one student reviewed their account and noticed their merit $ was not credited the send year. Upon contacting the Bursar's office it was discovered that a portion of the merit $ the student was awarded was moved from some left over federal aid $ thus requiring the FAFSA. They were luckily given an extension to get the FAFSA in right away. So regardless of your situation it doesn't hurt to complete it. You never know how money is moved around within the institutions to entice students with scholarship $. I would hate to see anyone miss out. One more point then I'm off the soap box, There are other scholarships out there wouldn't it really stink for you not to be able to accept an award because you didn't spend the hour or so doing it. Our kids work hard to get good grades, write the essays, apps, etc. some with us nagging by us parents to get it done early or on time, we owe it to them and show the example and do our part. Oh BTW today is the 15th!</p>

<p>Ha, after my reminders, I put off until today to fill our info out for D's FAFSA. One critical file (the one with all the PINS) was in a pile of miscellaneous notebooks in the office. Now it looks like a cyclone has gone through our house, but the FAFSA is filled out (until we correct it with actual #'s from our taxes.)</p>

<p>Confirmed with Maryland once again today, by phone (this is the third time I've checked - before applying, during my visit, and today).</p>

<p>The FAFSA is not required for merit scholarships, and the website has generated some confusion on this point (it "jumped the gun", in the terms of the UMD-CP representative). They are considering making FAFSA a requirement in the future, but have not done so yet. Naturally, they strongly suggest filing it, because often people incorrectly assume that they won't qualify for need-based FA.</p>

<p>To be honest, you guys had me a bit worried, you all sound so authoritative. :)</p>

<p>LMAO! There are so many contradictory statements here. I don't know about you guys, but i'm just going to stick w/ my college consultants recommendation not to fill it out. It doesn't seem abnormal for alot of my friends as we all have 6 figure EFC's and filing out that form would require a ton of early tax work on our parent's behalf.</p>

<p>Your college consultant knows what s/he's talking about.</p>

<p>If you have a six figure EFC, you definitely don't need to fill it out. I think you are a one-percenter. :)</p>

<p>The 1% is irrelevant. I'm still trying to get as much merit money as i can. I think everyone should. But i'm glad everyone has cleared this up. Lol</p>

<p>Sent from my DROIDX using CC App</p>