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Need Based Financial Aid Policies

Students who wish to be considered for need-based financial aid must file the appropriate applications each year. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine eligibility for state and federal (Pell Grant, Work Study & Direct Loan) programs.


Submit applications by March 1.

Maryland residents should be aware that the State Scholarship Administration requires the FAFSA to be filed no later than March 1 to be considered for any of their programs.

Calculating Need

In order to compute a student's need, the financial aid office must first determine the student's cost of attendance (COA). For a resident student, the COA includes charges for tuition, room and board, plus allowances for books, travel and miscellaneous expenses. For a nonresident, it includes tuition, plus allowances for living expenses, books, travel and miscellaneous expenses. After determining the COA, the financial aid office subtracts from it the expected family contribution (EFC) that is provided by the FAFSA. The cost of attendance minus the expected family contribution equals NEED. A change in enrollment status (full time to part time or ¾ time to ½ time) or a change in residence status will affect the cost of attendance, thus changing the need and prompting a review of the financial aid package. Likewise, students who receive additional financial aid after receiving their financial aid package will have their federal aid eligibility reviewed.

Financial Aid Packages

Financial aid packages for returning students are emailed to their Mount St. Mary's email account in June. To accept the offer, students are asked to sign and return a copy of the Award Letter to the Financial Aid Office within two weeks.


A random selection of FAFSAs are chosen for verification by the federal processing system. Those selected will be required to submit appropriate paperwork to the Financial Aid Office. The office will begin sending requests home to selected students in early May. Requests will include a Verification Worksheet which must be completed and returned to the office. In addition, families will be asked to submit tax information that was submitted to the IRS. Failure to comply with any of these requests will result in the cancellation of all federal and state aid in the student's package.

Commuter Grants

Up to 50% of tuition annually 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.

Special Circumstances

Families with unusual expenses (e.g., medical and dental expenses, elementary/high school tuition) should complete the appropriate Appeals Form and submit it to the Financial Aid Office with a letter of explanation