New Undergraduate Instructions

These instructions explain the steps you must complete after you receive Your Award Notification from TU.

Aid Steps Deadlines

Complete Part 1 (Aid Application Requirements) within two weeks of Your Award Notification.  You must complete these additional aid application steps now because they could cause changes to your aid application data and aid offers.  Completing Part 1 does not obligate you to attend TU.

Complete Part 2 (Accepting Aid) within two weeks of submitting your TU Enrollment Contract.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions Video Presentation.

Part 1 (Aid Application Requirements)

Complete steps 1-11 now.

1. Review Your Financial Aid Notification

(To view your awards online, login to the Towson Online Services Student Dashboard.  Choose Financials from the main Navigation Menu, then View Financial Aid.)

2. Read Your Award Guide

All students are required to read the entire Award Guide because it explains your award requirements and your aid responsibilities.  It also explains your aid offers, and how they were calculated.

3. Release of Financial Information Form

To authorize TU to discuss your aid data with your parents (or others), you must complete our Release of Financial Information Form.  Visit Forms & Online ServicesFederal law prohibits us from discussing your aid without your authorization.

4. Check Your To Dos Weekly

It is also extremely important that you check your online To Dos list weekly because we may request additional documents as we process your file.  Submit all documents within two weeks of our first request.

5. FAFSA Data Verification

If your Online Services To Dos list requests verification documents, we must verify the accuracy of the data you reported on your FAFSA.  Please carefully follow our Verification Instructions, and promptly submit your Verification Worksheet and IRS tax documentation.  

6. Check Your TU Email Weekly

  • Because we only email most aid notices to your TU student email account, it is extremely important that you check it regularly.  You (the student) must read all financial aid emails and complete all financial aid tasks. 
  • You must also notify your parents of all requests for parent data.
  • If you want to forward all of your TU email to a different email account, follow these Outlook email forwarding instructions.

If you do not check your email and To Dos list regularly and fail to complete required aid tasks by the deadlines, your aid will be canceled or delayed, and you may receive a $150 late payment fine.

7. Text Notification Service

Please opt-in to our financial aid text service to receive important reminders about aid deadlines and missing application items. 

You can opt-out at any time by replying STOP to any message.  We can't receive text messages, and we will continue to send most aid notices to your TU email address.  

8. Will You Enroll Part-time?

If at any time you decide to enroll part-time (less than 12 units) for the fall or spring semesters, you must submit a Course Load Change Form to notify us and prevent delays to your aid payments and rebates.  Visit Forms & Online Services

Review the Minimum Credit requirements for each aid program.  Federal loans require at least half-time status. 

9. Review/Update Your Housing Status

We award aid based on the three housing statuses listed below.

  • On-campus
  • Off-campus not with parents
  • Living with parents

Review the housing status we listed on your Award Notification. If that status is NOT correct, you must submit a TU Housing Verification Form. Visit Forms & Online Services.  If the housing status on your award letter is already correct, don't submit this TU form.

If the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) offered you any state aid, you must accept their aid offers and provide your housing status in their MDCAPS system.

10. Additional Resources/Aid Form

If you will receive any other aid/benefits that are not listed on your TU award notification, you must submit a TU Notice of Additional Resources Form.   Go to Forms & Online Services.  (Examples of other aid include private scholarships, tuition waivers, and vocational rehabilitation benefits.)

11. Financial Need Adjustments?

If you have experienced any financial changes that you weren't able to report on your FAFSA form, please review our Special Financial Conditions process to determine if you are eligible to request financial need adjustments that might increase your eligibility for aid.

Part 2 (Accept Your Aid)

Complete these steps after you choose to enroll at TU.

12. Accept Your Aid / Choose Loan Amounts

You must accept/decline each aid offer and must decide how much you want to borrow.  See step 13 for more loan guidance.

  • Log in to the Towson Online Services Student Dashboard.
  • From the main Navigation Menu, choose Financials, and Accept/Decline Awards.
  • Then, choose your Aid Year, and accept or decline each aid offer.
  • If you accept loan offers, you do not have to borrow the maximum amount offered. To borrow a lower amount, first accept the loan, then enter your amount.
Maryland Residents

If the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) offered you any aid, you must also login in to their MDCAPS system to accept their offer and tell them which school you will attend.  Then they will notify our office.  After we confirm that you meet their eligibility requirements, we will add their awards to your aid record.

13. Calculate How Much to Borrow for This Aid Year

If you will borrow loans, you must decide how much to borrow and which loans to borrow.

First, calculate how much you want to borrow for this academic year (Fall & Spring).  You can borrow loans to pay your TU charges and for your other living and personal expenses.  To calculate your remaining costs, subtract your total grants and scholarships from your estimated Cost of Attendance Budget.

Next, decide how much you want to borrow from each loan program.  You can reduce your borrowing by accepting smaller loan amounts and by accepting one loan program and declining others.  Borrow the loans with the lowest interest rates first (1st Subsidized Direct Loans, 2nd Unsubsidized Direct Loans, and 3rd PLUS Loans).  Review the federal loan interest rates table here.  Private loan rates vary based on your credit history, but they usually have higher rates.  For more information about each loan program, use the links below.

Your Award Notification lists the maximum amounts you can borrow from Federal Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Student Loans.  For dependent students, it also lists the maximum amount your parents can borrow from Federal PLUS Loans.  You could also apply for Private/Alternative Loans or use TU’s monthly Payment Plan.

The following loan origination fees will be deducted from federal loans with first disbursements between 10/1/2020 and 9/30/2024.

  • 1.057% for Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized loans
  • 4.228% for Federal Parent PLUS Loans

14. Borrowing Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans

Every year, you must accept/decline your loan offers and choose your loan amounts at Towson Online Services.

The first time you borrow loans at TU, you must also:

If you need to change your loan amount after you accept it, submit a TU Loan Change Form.  Go to Forms & Online Services.

15. Borrowing Federal Parent (PLUS) Loans

If your parent wants to borrow a PLUS Loan, please follow our PLUS Loan Instructions.

16. Earning Federal Work-study (FWS) Funds

If your Award Notification included a Federal Work-study (FWS) award, review this Federal Work-Study Program information. If you might be interested in pursuing a FWS job, accept the award in step 10 above.  Then, when you are ready, follow the job search instructions on the FWS page.

Because we receive limited annual FWS funding, if too many FWS students pursue FWS jobs, we reserve the right to freeze hiring.  If we do freeze hiring, students who haven't started FWS jobs yet will not be able to earn any FWS funds this year.

If your Award Notification did not offer you any FWS funds, then you can’t earn FWS funds, but you can still pursue many other part-time jobs on and off-campus.  Visit the Career Center’s Student Employment page.

17. Bill Payment, Aid Disbursements and Aid Refunds

The Student & University Billing Office will bill you for one semester/term at a time. Your online eBill will include tuition, fees, and other miscellaneous charges for each term. If you will live on campus, it will also include room and board charges.

If you met all of our aid deadlines, your eBill should list all of your pending financial aid disbursements.

  • If your eBill does not list enough authorized aid to pay all of your charges, then you must make other arrangements to pay your full bill balance by your bill due date.
  • If your total term aid exceeds your term charges, the Student & University Billing Office will send you a refund.

To grant your parent(s) or others access to your bill data, please visit eBill & Online Payment for instructions on How to Set Up an Authorized User and How To add an Alternative Email for eBill Notifications

For more information about billing and payments, visit the Student & University Billing Office.

18. OPTIONAL - Use of Funds Form

When we disburse your aid, we will automatically use it to pay all of your TU charges for this term unless you choose to restrict which charges we can pay with your aid funds by submitting the optional TU Use of Funds form.  Visit Forms & Online Services.