There are various merit scholarships and need-based financial aid options available to UMBC students. This page explains both options and how to apply for assistance.
Need-based Student Financial Aid
UMBC assists students in meeting educational expenses by administering and coordinating various federal, state and institutional student aid programs, including grants, scholarships, loans and paid employment.
Grants and scholarships are considered “gift aid” and require no repayment. Loans and employment programs are considered “self-help” aid.
Educational loans, offered at low-interest rates, are generally required to be repaid after leaving UMBC. Employment programs allow students to earn an hourly wage for work performed at an approved job assignment.
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships administers various federal financial aid programs solely on the basis of need. UMBC determines the types and amount of aid students may receive by evaluating each student’s financial need and the availability of funds.
How and When to Apply
Students who wish to be considered for need-based aid should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at the Federal Student Aid website.
The FAFSA must be completed annually, and becomes available October 1st for the upcoming academic year. Students should complete their application by March 1st to be considered for priority awarding of limited funds. It’s imperative to include UMBC’s school code, 002105, to ensure that FAFSA results are received at UMBC. Students that meet this deadline receive priority award processing.
UMBC will continue to consider FAFSA applications completed and submitted after March 1st; however, funding assistance from some programs may no longer be available.
Students and their families may be asked to provide documentation such as federal tax transcripts, proof of citizenship, etc. to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to verify information provided on the FAFSA. It is extremely important to respond promptly to all requests for additional information. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the student’s financial aid awards.
Continuing students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards to continue to receive financial aid at UMBC. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships SAP standards conform to federal policy regarding continued eligibility for financial aid.
It is important to note that the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships SAP standards differ from UMBC academic standards. SAP standards may be reviewed at the Satisfactory Academic Progress page of the Financial Aid website and academic standards at Academic Standards and Administrative Requirements .
Additional information is available at the Financial Aid website. Students with general questions can contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm by phone at 410-455-2387 or by e-mail from the contact information page of the Financial Aid website.
Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250
UMBC merit scholarships are awarded to incoming first-year students and community college transfers based on academic achievement or a combination of academics and a special talent.
First-Year Student Scholarships
First-year student merit awards at UMBC range from $1,000 per year to $12,000 per year and are available to Maryland residents, out-of-state and international students.
Candidates are reviewed based on a number of academic factors that may include high school programs (9th through 11th grade), individual grades, cumulative averages, and SAT or ACT scores. Award consideration is based upon a numerical standard and the competition of the applicant pool.
Merit scholarships at UMBC are competitive, therefore, students are encouraged to apply for admission by November 1 to ensure full consideration. There is no separate application required.
Awards may be renewed up to four years provided the scholar continues to enroll full-time and meets the maintenance requirements for their specific scholarship.
Additional information on scholarship opportunities is available at the Scholarships website.
Scholar Programs at UMBC
In addition to general scholarship opportunities, UMBC also offers seven scholar program opportunities. A separate application is required for these programs:
- Center for Women in Information Technology (CWIT) Scholars Program
- Cyber Scholars Program
- Humanities Scholars Program
- Linehan Artist Scholars Program
- Meyerhoff Scholars Program
- Sherman Teacher Education Scholars Program
- Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program
Additional information on these scholars programs is available at the Scholars Programs page of the Scholarship website.
UMBC offers academic scholarships for Maryland community college transfers ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 per year. A separate application is not required. These awards are competitive, therefore, transfer students are encouraged to apply for admission by March 1 (Fall applicants) and by October 15 (Spring applicants) for full consideration. Consideration begins at a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 and completion of at least 30 credits at the time of Admission application submission.
Awards may be renewed up to two years provided the scholar continues to meet the maintenance requirements for their specific scholarship.
Additional information about transfer scholarships is available from the Incoming Transfers page of the Scholarships website.
UMBC, a NCAA Division I campus, offers athletic scholarships in all 19 of its sports programs. Additional information can be obtained by contacting UMBC’s athletics department at 410-455-2216 or by visiting the UMBC Retrievers website.
Scholarships for Current Students
Scholarship Retriever is an online database that helps current students identify scholarship opportunities outside of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. These scholarships are either sponsored by UMBC departments or sources outside of UMBC for UMBC students. Students can visit the Scholarship Retriever website to apply.
The Veterans Affairs School Certifying Official (SCO) is located in the Office of the Registrar. Eligible students should contact the SCO prior to the start of each semester to ensure there is sufficient time to process their educational benefits since UMBC does not offer advance payment. Veterans are responsible for their tuition, fees and textbook costs. These charges will not be deferred because of non-receipt of VA funds. Additional information is available at the UMBC Veterans website.
Monthly Payment Plan
UMBC offers a monthly payment plan that allows students to pay university expenses in regular monthly installments. Information is available from the Payment Plan section of the SBS website.