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Financial Aid Basics

How is Need Determined?

Towson University makes every effort to offer financial aid to students using a fair and evenly applied formula.  The formula allows the university to offer aid to as many students as possible.  Aid is packaged first for applications received by our March 1 priority deadline.  The packaging program sorts applications in order of Expected Family Contribution (EFC)* and packages aid first to the lowest EFC.  It continues to package aid in EFC order. 

The U.S. Department of Education uses a need analysis formula set by Congress, along with the information reported on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC measures your family's financial strength to pay for college, and is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid during one school year.

The packaging formula begins with a basic calculation of adjusted need: 

   Cost of Education (COA) 
-  Expected Family Contribution (EFC) 
-  Estimated Pell Grant 
= ADJUSTED NEED
 

Your financial aid offer may meet a portion of your need with grant or scholarship aid such as:

  • Pell Grant (for exceptionally needy students)
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (for exceptionally needy students)
  • Institutional  Grant
  • Maryland State Grants and Scholarships for MD residents (estimated grants show on your Financial Aid Notification)
  • Admission scholarships from the university such as the Provost Scholarship or the Top 10% scholarship

Funds for the remainder of your need come from the self-help programs:

  • Tuition waivers 
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Student Loan
  • Federal Work-Study.

Your offer may also include non-need based aid:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan
  • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Your total aid package may contain a combination of aid offered by the university and aid that you obtain on your own such as scholarships.

Aid applications received after the March 1 priority deadline are processed on a rolling basis, but students who apply for aid after the priority deadline cannot expect consideration for programs with limited funding, such as Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, and Institutional Grant.

If your financial aid offer does not contain the amount of grant aid that you hoped to receive, please remember that the federal government targets all federal grant funds to students with the lowest Expected Family Contributions. In addition, institutional grant funds from the university are limited and are quickly exhausted. As a result, only the earliest applications from the neediest students receive federal or institutional need-based grant funds.


Is there any kind of aid that can be received regardless of need?

Yes. Your aid package may include non-need based aid such as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.  If you are a dependent student, your parent may be able to borrow a Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student (PLUS).

When will I know how much I am offered?

The Towson University Financial Aid Office will begin to offer aid for the next academic year in mid-March of the calendar year prior to the academic year for which aid is sought.. If the U.S. Department of Education processes your application by our March 1 priority deadline, you will receive an aid offer by mid-April.

We evaluate applications received after the deadline on a rolling basis.  The earlier you apply, the earlier you will receive a Financial Aid Notification.  In general, you must allow about three weeks for the U.S. Department of Education to process your application, and another four weeks for the Financial Aid Office to evaluate your application.
 



Financial Aid Office
Enrollment Services, Room 339
Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Reception Desk)
            Monday - Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Financial Aid Call Center)

Phone: 410-704-4236
Fax: 410-704-2584
E-mail: finaid@towson.edu



 

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