Submitting a FAFSA

You must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for all federal student and parent loan programs, most need-based grants, the Federal Work-study program, and some need-based scholarships. Several federal loans don't require financial need, but still require the FAFSA.

Apply online now at fafsa.gov.  TU's FAFSA Code is 002099.

  • Submit a 2024-2025 FAFSA for Fall 2024, Spring 2025, and Summer 2025 aid.
  • Submit a 2023-2024 FAFSA for Fall 2023, Spring 2024, and Summer 2024 aid.

Please carefully follow the instructions below. 

For FAFSA questions, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center Monday - Friday at 1-800-4FED-AID, use their Live Chat, or watch the help videos below.

If you need additional assistance, please contact us.

To apply for other types of aid, go to Applying for Aid.

FAFSA Eligibility Requirements

  • You must submit a new FAFSA every year.
  • Each FAFSA applies to one academic year (Fall-Spring-Summer).
  • You can submit it before you are admitted to TU.
  • FAFSA Applicants must meet all these Federal Eligibility Requirements.

Undocumented and DACA students can't submit a FAFSA, but if you qualify for in-state tuition status, you should submit a Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA).  See Undocumented Students.

FAFSA Submission Deadlines

This FAFSA is available now!  For priority consideration for need-based grants funded by TU, submit it by these deadlines:

  • Fall 2024 admissions applicants must submit the FAFSA and a complete admission application by March 1, 2024.
  • Current/returning TU students, must submit the FAFSA by April 1, 2024.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) offers many state grants and scholarships for Maryland residents.  Their application deadlines vary and many of them require additional MHEC aid applications.  Follow these state aid instructions.  To be considered for their first round of notifications, submit your FAFSA by March 1, 2024.  (Eligible applicants who file later will still get awards, but will be notified later.)

If you haven't submitted this FAFSA yet, please submit it NOW!  Late applicants can still apply for federal grants and loans, and TU grants may still be available.

FAFSA Changes

If you filed a FAFSA before, you will notice many changes on the 2024-2025 FAFSA. 

Please submit your FAFSA now and carefully follow the new instructions.

  • You can and should submit your FAFSA now.  Because the federal government hasn't launched the FAFSA correction process yet, if you make a mistake you won't be able to submit corrections until later in March or April.  
  • The new FAFSA removed many questions and will automatically retrieve most federal tax return data directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  
  • Students and all their FAFSA data Contributors must consent to share IRS data even if they didn’t file a tax return.  
  • FAFSA data Contributors include parents of dependent students and spouses of married students.  If your parents filed separate tax returns both parents must be contributors.  
  • All students and every FAFSA Contributor must each create their own Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID, and must use it to submit their data and their consent.
  • Parents who don't have a social security number can create an FSA ID.
  • If a student's parents are separated or divorced, the rules about which parent's data students must report on your FAFSA have changed from the parent the student lived with most to the parent who provides the most financial support after comparing the total financial support each parent provides.
  • The new FAFSA will calculate a Student Aid Index (SAI) value for each student, and we will use it to determine eligibility for most need-based aid programs.  (The SAI is replacing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) value from the old FAFSA.)

They also revised the formula that calculates the SAI values.  Most students will have similar results from the new formula, but some students will have higher or lower financial need. 

For more information, watch these FAFSA changes videos.

Phishing Warning

Scammers are taking advantage of concerns about the FAFSA delays by sending fake aid emails that try to trick recipients into sharing information. Carefully review all information especially the sending email addresses and the web addresses they try to link you too.  Follow these TU phishing protection tips

FAFSA Instructions

1) Creating an FSA ID

If you are a first-time applicant, you (the student) and your FAFSA Contributors must each create their own Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID.

For dependent students, at least one parent must create an FSA ID. 

2024-2025 FAFSA FSA ID Rules:  If your parents didn't file a joint federal tax return, then both parents must create their own FSA ID. If you are an independent married student and you didn't file a joint federal tax return with your spouse, then your spouse must also create an FSA ID.

2) Submit your FAFSA

  • Apply online at fafsa.gov.
  • TU's FAFSA Code is 002099.
  • If you already applied, but didn't list TU's code, return to fafsa.gov to add it.
  • Use the FAFSA Help Services below.  

3) For 2023-24, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

This tool is not applicable for the 2024-2025 FAFSA.

For the 2023-2024 FAFSA, please use the FAFSA's IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically upload your data from the IRS to answer all the federal tax return questions.  This process drastically reduces errors, delays, and requests for additional documentation.  

4) Wait for TU to receive your FAFSA.

Because of U.S. Department of Education FAFSA processing delays, they won't start sending FAFSA data to any colleges until late March.  After they start sending data to us, we will start loading it into our system.  Until then, we won't have any data about your application and won't even be able to confirm that it was submitted.

5) Submit additional documents to TU

  • After we receive your FAFSA, we may need to request additional documents from you.  If we do, we will email you and add them to the To Dos list on your Towson Online Services Student Dashboard.
  • Please submit all requested documents within 2 to 3 weeks.
  • For new students, we can prepare a tentative aid offer before you submit your documentation, but these offers could change after we receive and process your documents.
  • For returning TU students, we can't offer you any aid until you submit all required documents.

6) What's next?

We use the FAFSA data to determine eligibility for need-based grants and federal loans.  These aid offers will go out later than normal this year because of the U.S. Department of Education's late FAFSA processing.  We plan to start sending FAFSA aid offers to Fall 2024 admission applicants sometime in April.  We will start awarding current/returning TU students in May or June.

FAFSA Help Services

For all FAFSA questions, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center Monday - Friday at 1-800-4FED-AID or Live Chat.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

On the 2024-2025 FAFSA, a contributor is parent, stepparent, or spouse who must submit supporting data and consent to share their federal tax return data with the FAFSA processor.  When students complete the student section of the FAFSA, they must provide the names and contact information for their supporting contributors.  Then, Federal Student Aid (FSA) will send an email to each contributor asking them to complete their sections.  Each contributor must create their own FSA ID that they must use when they login to complete their section.

If you are dependent student and your biological or adoptive parents are still married to each other, list both of them on your FAFSA.  

If your parents are divorced or separated, you must list the parent who provided the most financial support. Compare the total financial support provided by each parent and count all child support payments with the parent who pays them. If your parents are unmarried but still living together, you must report both of their data. 

If the parent who meet the rules above is remarried, you must also list that stepparent's data.

For more information, review these federal guidelines.

The Student Aid Index (SAI) is a new financial need measure that we will use to determine your eligibility for need-based financial aid programs. Starting with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the SAI will replace the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) which was used in a similar way. They have also changed the formulas that they will use to calculate the SAI values.