Incoming Undergraduate Instructions

These instructions explain the steps you need to complete after you receive Your Award Notification.

Deadlines

Complete Part 1 (application requirements) within two weeks of Your Award Notification, even if you have not decided to attend TU yet, because you might need to provide data that could change your aid offers.

Complete Part 2 (accepting aid) by June 1st or within 2 weeks of choosing TU (whichever is earlier).

Part 1 (Application Requirements)

1. READ YOUR AWARD GUIDE

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

2. AUTHORIZE DISCLOSURE OF YOUR AID INFORMATION

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

3. CHECK YOUR TO-DO-LIST WEEKLY

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

Note: Your Online Services To-Do List is a personalized list that is different from the Enrolled Student To-Do lists.

4. FAFSA DATA VERIFICATION

If your Online Services To-Do-List requests verification documents, we must verify the data your reported on your FAFSA.  Please promptly submit the Verification Worksheet and your IRS tax documentation.  Act now because it can take over six weeks to receive the required documentation from the IRS.

5. 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 TU Gmail instructions.

If you do not check your email and To-Do-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.

6. WILL YOU ENROLL PART-TIME?

If at any time you decide to enroll part-time (1-11 units) for the fall or spring semesters, you must submit a Course Load Change Form to prevent aid payment and rebate delays.  Visit Forms & Online Services.

7. REVIEW/UPDATE YOUR HOUSING STATUS

On your FAFSA, what housing status did you list for TU?

  • On-campus
  • Off-campus
  • Living with parents

If at any time you decide to change your housing status, you must notify both TU (and MHEC).

8. WILL YOU RECEIVE ANY OTHER AID/BENEFITS?

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

9. DO YOU NEED TO REQUEST ANY 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 (Accepting Aid)

10. ACCEPT YOUR AID AND CHOOSE YOUR LOAN AMOUNTS

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

From Towson Online Services
  • Log in to Towson Online Services
  • Choose Self Service and Student Center
  • Below the Finances bar, choose Accept/Decline Awards
From the TU Mobile App
  • (Download the TU Mobile App)
  • Choose MyTU
  • Choose Finances/Financial Aid
  • Choose View/Accept/Decline Awards
Maryland Residents

If the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) offers you any aid, they will notify you, and you must accept it in their MDCAPS system.  Then they will notify the TU Financial Aid Office, and after we confirm that you are meeting all of their eligibility requirements, we will add the award to your aid record.

11. CALCULATE HOW MUCH TO BORROW THIS 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).   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 students 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 loan disbursements:

  • 1.066% for Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized loans
  • 4.264% for Federal Parent PLUS Loans

The rates above apply to loans with first disbursements between 10/1/2017 and 9/30/2018.  For rates for loans disbursed after 9/30/2018, check the latest rates.

12. BORROWING FEDERAL DIRECT SUBSIDIZED/UNSUBSIDIZED LOANS

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

If this is the first time borrowing loans at TU, you must also:

  • Go to StudentLoans.gov
  • Complete a Direct Student Loan Entrance Counseling session
  • Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)

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

13. BORROWING FEDERAL PARENT PLUS LOANS

If your parent wants to borrow a PLUS Loan, follow our PLUS loan instructions.

14. EARNING FEDERAL WORK-STUDY (FWS) FUNDS

If your Award Notification offered you a Federal Work-study (FWS) award, then please review the Federal Work-Study Program information. If you think you may be interested in pursuing a FWS job, then accept the award in step 10 above and follow the FWS job search instructions on the FWS Program page.

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

15. BILL PAYMENT, AID DISBURSEMENT AND FINANCIAL AID REFUNDS

The Bursar’s 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 Bursar’s Office will send you a refund.

For more information about billing and payments, visit the Bursar's Office.

16. 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 Use of Funds form.  For more information, see the Use of Funds form at Forms & Online Services.

Contact

Office of Financial Aid

Location
Enrollment Services
Room 339
All Contacts & Resources
Hours
Mon-Thurs, 8:30 am-5 pm; Fri, 8:30 am-4:30 pm (Call Center)

Mon-Thurs, 8 am-5 pm; Fri, 8 am-4:30 pm (Reception Desk)
Phone
410-704-4236
Fax
410-704-2584