Frequently Asked Questions


Applying for Financial Aid

How do I Apply for Financial Aid?

The University of Maine at Machias only requires one Financial Aid application: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?

The FAFSA is a federal form which determines a student’s eligibility for Federal aid. Based on the information provided, dependency status will be determined as well as the Expected Family contribution. Both of these items will be used to determine aid eligibility.

What is a FSA ID and how do I get one?

Students, parents, and loan borrowers are required to use an FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites.  The FSA ID replaces the Student Aid PIN.  You will use your FSA ID to access your personal information on the following websites:,,,

To create or retrieve your FSA ID visit

How do I know if I am a dependent student for financial aid purposes?

Dependency status is determined by the Federal Processing Center based on information provided on the FAFSA.  Financial Aid dependency is different than being claimed as a dependent on a tax return.

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

The U.S. Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have collaborated to develop a tool that simplifies the completion of the FAFSA application.  The IRS Data Retrieval tool allows FAFSA applicants and parents to request and retrieve their tax data directly from the IRS.  Once this data is retrieved from the IRS, it can be transferred to the FAFSA application.

What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?

The Student Aid Report is a document students are emailed or mailed by the Federal Processing Center after the FAFSA is processed.  Your SAR will list all of the answers you provided on the FAFSA.

What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

The information you reported on your FAFSA is used to calculate your Estimated Family Contribution, or your EFC. The EFC is used to determine your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award.

How do I make corrections to my FAFSA?

If you have changes to make to the FAFSA, including if you filed using estimated information and if you want to add UMaine Machias to your list of schools who receive your FAFSA, you will need to make corrections to your FAFSA.

What additional documents do I need to submit?

In order to comply with Federal regulations we may ask you to provide information that verifies the data you provided on your FAFSA.

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Financial Aid Award

How is my financial aid award calculated?

Your financial aid award is unique to you.  Many things may impact your financial aid eligibility, including: your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), number of classes you take each semester, your housing plans, and the number of credits you have earned toward your degree.

How does the financial aid office notify me about my financial aid package?

You will receive a paper letter when you’ve been awarded which will direct you to view and accept your award on MaineStreet. From that point forward, we will notify you via e-mail if you have anything you need to do in order to receive your aid, or if there have been changes made to your award.

What types of aid may I receive in my award as an undergraduate student?

As an undergraduate student you may receive an offer for the following aid in your award package: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Grant, University of Maine Grant, State of Maine Grant, Federal Work Study.  If you qualify for any of these awards, they will be a part of your Financial Aid Package.

How do I accept my financial aid award?

Certain aid (scholarships, grants, assistantships, etc.) are automatically listed as accepted on your MaineStreet account.  If you wish to receive any other type of aid such as loans, you must accept them on MaineStreet.

Is there anything else I need to do to receive my aid?

There may be additional steps to take in order to receive certain types of aid:

Federal Loans – First-time borrowers are required to complete a Loan Agreement/Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling before receiving the loan funds.

Federal Work Study – You will need to find a job before being able to earn your Federal Work-Study funds.

Can my award change?

Your award may change based on the following circumstances:

  • Corrections or updates to your FAFSA
  • Changes in your housing plans
  • Changes in your residency status
  • Changes in enrollment level each semester
  • Changes in your (or your family’s) financial circumstances
  • Receipt of additional assistance and/or scholarships
  • Receipt of additional information affecting eligibility
  • Discontinued attendance in classes
  • Withdrawal from all classes

Any time your award changes you will be notified by e-mail and you will be able to see the changes on your MaineStreet account.

Students are encouraged to notify our office as soon as any of the above circumstances occur.

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Scholarships & Loans

Do I need to report Outside Scholarships that I will be getting to the Financial Aid Office?

Students are required to report any and all additional resources to the financial aid office.  This includes any outside scholarships you may be receiving.

How do I complete the Loan Agreement/Master Promissory Note (MPN)?

If you are awarded either a Federal Direct Loan, and you are a first-time borrower, you will be required to complete a Loan Agreement/Master Promissory Note (MPN).

How do I complete Entrance Counseling?

Students who are first-time borrowers of Subsidized or Unsubsidized Federal Direct loans must complete entrance counseling before any funds can be released.

When do I have to pay back the loans I am awarded?

Federal Direct Loans have a 6-month grace period, which means you do not have to begin repayment until 6 months after you graduate or are no longer enrolled at least 1/2 time in college.

In addition to the grace period, Federal Direct loans are deferred (payment is not required) while you are enrolled at least half-time.

Interest that accrues on Unsubsidized Direct Loans is also deferred while you are enrolled, however there are options available if you would like to make payments on the interest while you are in school.

What other types of loans can I apply for to help pay my bill?

Parent Federal Direct PLUS Loans allow parents of dependent undergraduate students to borrow up to the annual cost of education minus any financial aid. If a parent is denied a Parent Direct PLUS Loan based on credit, the student may be eligible for additional Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Alternative Loans from private lenders are mostly credit-based loans and most will require periodic payments of principal and interest once disbursed. Interest rates vary, and a separate application is usually sent directly to the lender, which is then forwarded to our office for certification of the student’s status.

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Maintaining Eligibility

Do my grades impact my financial aid eligibility?

Federal financial aid regulations require financial aid recipients to make progress toward earning their degree, stay above specific GPA minimums and to complete the degree within a maximum time-frame. You can lose eligibility for aid if you are not doing well in your classes and/or if it is taking a very long time to earn your degree. Visit the Satisfactory Academic Progress section of our website for more information regarding this policy.

What happens to my financial aid if I drop a course?

Your financial aid is determined by how many credits you are enrolled in. If you are planning on dropping a course, please check with the Financial Aid Office to determine how your financial aid will be impacted.

What happens to my financial aid if I withdraw completely from UMaine Machias?

If you withdraw from all courses during a semester, the Financial Aid Office will perform calculations to determine what adjustments must be made to your financial aid.  You should contact your academic advisor and the Office of the Registrar to initiate the process of withdrawing from the University.

Can I get financial aid to help me cover a course that I have to retake?

Federal regulations allow for financial aid funds to pay for one repetition of a previously passed course. For more information on the policy for Repeated Coursework, please contact our office.

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