Applying for Financial Assistance

 

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Who is eligible for federal financial aid?

Eligibility for Financial Aid

In general, to receive aid from the Federal Student Aid Programs, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Have a high school diploma, General Educational Development (GED) certificate, pass an approved "ability to benefit" test, or have completed a high school education in a home school setting that is recognized as a home school or private school under state law.
  • Enroll in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate.
  • Be registered with Selective Service if required (in general, if you are a male age 18 through 25).
  • Meet satisfactory academic progress standards set by your school.
  • Certify that you are not in default on a federal loan or owe money on a federal grant.
  • Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.

And, only if you have previously received federal student aid:

  • Certify that you were not convicted for a drug offense that occurred while you were enrolled in school and receiving federal student aid.

How does academic performance affect financial aid eligibility?

Federal Student Aid Regulations requires institutions to establish and uphold policies governing financial aid eligibility as they relate to academic progress of financial aid recipients. The University of Maine at Machias (UMM) Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for continuation of financial aid eligibility incorporates and supports the University’s academic standards and policies. Students must meet these minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements in order to be eligible for student aid funds. SAP is measured once per year, generally after grades are posted following spring semester. Students not making satisfactory progress based on that review will have financial aid eligibility suspended and will receive written notification of their status.

How do I apply for federal student aid?

The first step in receiving financial aid is to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Visit FAFSA on the Web, and begin your application today! Students must file the FAFSA every year to be considered for all types of federal aid, as well as most university and state financial aid.

Students may apply for federal and state financial aid using the FAFSA any time after January 1 prior to an award year. UMM's priority funding deadline is March 1. This means your FAFSA must arrive at the Federal Student Aid Programs no later than March 1 to receive maximum funding possible. If you do not make the deadline, submit your FAFSA as soon as you can since applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis after the priority funding deadline. Maine's state scholarship deadline is May 1; if you are an out-of-state student, check with your state scholarship agency to determine your deadline.

The purpose of the FAFSA is to obtain for the family and school an estimate of the family's ability to contribute to the student's education from the Federal Student Aid Programs. The basic premise of federal student aid is that the student/family has the primary responsibility for meeting the student's educational expenses of the student. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is also provided to the state scholarship programs for their use in determining eligibility for state scholarships.

Get a new (or duplicate, if necessary) Personal Identification Number (PIN) at www.pin.ed.gov. Student and parent each apply for a PIN to complete a FAFSA. PINs are used as electronic signatures. Dependent students must include parental information on the FAFSA.

Gather income documentation for the most recent tax year prior to the academic year for both the student and the parents. The most common financial record is the tax return. If a tax return has been filed but the student or parent does not have a copy, order one from the IRS by calling 1-800-829-1040.

How do I apply for institutional financial aid?

Students meeting federal eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply for federal student aid regardless of income status. UMM uses the FAFSA to determine eligibility for University need-based grants. Funds from this program may be available to students whose EFC is too high to receive federal funds, but only if the FAFSA has been filed. Some UMM awards and scholarships are offered based on academic credentials as determined in the admission process. Others are based on living arrangements or specific award criteria.

What is verification?

Verification is a process established by federal regulation that requires schools to compare original information on your FAFSA to supporting documents such as tax returns or other income statements. Verification must be complete before UMM can disburse any federal or state aid to your account. Some verification documentation is collected on special verification worksheets. UMM will tell you which documents are required to complete your verification if you are selected.

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How do I receive my financial aid?

Confirmed scholarships, grants, and Perkins Loans are applied to your account in the Business Office after you complete all application requirements. Federal Work-Study is authorized by the Financial Aid Office based on federal eligibility requirements as noted above. Stafford Loans are disbursed via electronic funds transfer directly to student accounts when all federal application requirements are complete. You can review your UMM bill outlining your charges and any financial aid that has been disbursed to your account in MaineStreet.

What are some tips for financial aid applicants?

  • Keep your address and personal information updated in MaineStreet.
  • Inform the Social Security Administration of name changes for you or your parents.
  • Notify the Financial Aid Office of receipt of outside scholarships, grants or loans, or changes in enrollment or housing plans.
  • Notify the Financial Aid Office of any inaccurate information on your Award Letter.
  • Provide all requested documentation in support of your financial aid application to this office.
  • Read email from Financial Aid Office.

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