fall 2020 semester questions

Will my aid change if I change my housing status to Living with my parents?

Yes, your aid may change, but in almost all cases, the money you save will significantly exceed any aid reductions.  How your aid will change will depend on what kind of aid you are receiving. 

Federal Pell Grant amounts will never change based on housing status changes.

For almost all other aid programs, your total combined aid (grants, scholarships, loans, etc) can’t exceed these Cost of Attendance Budgets.  Because the Living-with-parent budgets are much lower, if your total aid exceeds these Living-with-parent budgets, we must reduce your aid according to these over-award reduction formulas, which usually reduce loans first.

In addition, the following aid programs always change based on housing status:

  • For the TU ”Institutional Grant” and Federal SEOG Grants the maximum Living-with-parent amounts are $1,200 for in-state students and $5,000 for out-of-state students. Your award could be lower if your aid also exceeds these reduction formula requirements.
  • If you have an MHEC Guaranteed Access Grant, the Living-with-parent amount can’t exceed $7,300, but your award could be even less based on additional factors in MHEC’s formula.  This is much less than their maximum on-campus amount.

If you have an MHEC Educational Assistance Grant, based on MHEC’s formula your award may remain the same or may be around $500 less.

If you decide to live with your parents for fall, you must notify the TU Financial Aid Office.  If you are unsure of your plans, please wait until you are sure.  To notify us:

  • Login to TU Online Services
  • Choose Self Service and Student Center
  • Then under the Finances section, choose Financial Aid Forms
  • Then choose the 2020-2021 aid year and the Housing Verification Form.

If you also receive any of these Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) aid programs, you must also notify MHEC via their MDCAPS system.

If I don’t attend the fall semester, will I lose my scholarships?

Your answer will depend on the source of your scholarship.  To keep all of the Towson University Scholarships listed on this web page and Honors Scholarships, you must take full-time fall and spring classes at TU.  This web page also explains the appeal process. 

While most fall classes will still be on-campus in a modified format, any students who prefer to take all their classes in a fully online format should be able to do so.  These options should allow most students to choose between on-campus or online instruction.

If you are a new admit to TU and you want to defer your enrollment to spring, please also see the Admissions FAQs about deferring enrollment. 

If I don’t attend the fall semester, will my other aid change?

The answer varies by aid program. 

For scholarships, see the answer above.

For federal Pell Grants, student loans, and parent loans, we can reoffer you the spring portion of these funds if you enroll in spring classes. Failure to attend fall won’t hurt your eligibility for spring awards from these programs.   

For the “Institutional Grant” and Federal SEOG Grant and Federal Work-study funds, if you don’t attend any TU fall classes, your fall and spring awards will be canceled. In October, if we have any remaining funds still available for returning spring students, we will re-offer them to students with higher financial need.

If you received any Maryland Higher Education Commission grants or scholarships, you must accept your awards in their MDCAPS system. Do not decline your award.  If you won't enroll for fall, you can change your fall enrollment status to not enrolled.  Then, the spring portion will remain available for spring.

If you have already received an MHEC Guaranteed Access or Educational Assistance grant for at least 2 years, then you must earn at least 30 units during the 2020-2021 academic year to remain eligible for a renewal grant for the 2021-2022 year.  Please carefully review MHEC's credit completion requirements.


Questions about Accepting Aid

How can my parent apply for the optional parent loan?

This is the maximum PLUS Loan amount that your parents can borrow. To apply for a Federal Parent PLUS loan, your parent must complete a Master Promissory Note and annual PLUS Loan Request. Please carefully follow these PLUS Loan instructions.

Do my total aid offers match my expected bill from TU?

No. Your aid offers are based on the aid that we are able to offer you and your estimated annual Cost of Attendance Budget, which includes estimated TU charges and allowances for other expenses, such as books and living expenses.

If your expected charges exceed your aid offers, you must pay the remaining balance by the Due Date on your online eBill. If your aid exceeds your charges, the Bursar’s Office will send you a refund after your bill is paid. For more detailed financial aid refund information, please visit our Aid Disbursements & Rebates; and for more detailed billing information, visit or call the Bursar’s Office at 410-704-2100. 

What situations can change my financial aid?

These are the most common situations. For more information, see Award Changes & Reductions. Please notify our office of any changes listed below so we may adjust your financial aid promptly.  

  • Part-time enrollment
  • Receipt of additional aid
  • Corrected FAFSA errors
  • Changes or corrections to Housing status
  • Academic Progress Policy violations
  • Dropped/withdrawn courses
  • 2nd Repeats of passed courses
  • Reapplication requirements

To avoid late or unexpected aid changes, please read Your Award Guide and promptly complete all the steps on the Undergraduate Student Instructions or Graduate Student Instructions for accepting aid. 


Other questions

How will financial aid office communicate with me?

We will primarily communicate with you through your TU student email account. You must read all aid emails, complete all aid tasks, and must notify parents of all requests for parent data. (See below for instructions on how to automatically forward copies of your financial aid emails to your parent's email accounts.)

We will also post documentation requests on your To-Do-List at Towson Online Services.  Please check your To-Do-List weekly. 

How do I forward financial aid emails to a parent?

From your TU email account, go to Settings and select the source you want forwarded — . Select More to filter messages “to” and “from.” Be sure to disable “all forwarding” and apply the filter.

How can I authorize you to release aid information to my parents or others?
Please go to our forms page and complete the online Release of Information Form. (Federal law prohibits TU from discussing your financial aid with your parents or others without your authorization.)
What are the aid deadlines?
 See Aid Deadlines.
What if I change my housing plans after completing the fafsa?
Your award is based on the housing information you provided on your FAFSA. If your housing plans change, please complete the online Housing Verification Form as soon as possible. The change may affect your federal, state and institutional aid offers.
How do I determine if I am an independent student?
The federal government determines a student’s dependency status based on several factors, including but not limited to; age, marital status, and support of dependent children. For more information visit this federal Dependency Status page. 
What is a 1098T and where can I get one?
The TU Bursar's Office provides 1098T Tax Information to assist students and families with determining their eligibility for federal IRS income tax credits.
Can I receive aid with a second bachelor’s degree?
A student obtaining a second bachelor’s degree can receive federal loans funds if they haven’t exceeded their lifetime loan maximum. They can't receive Federal need-based aid.



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