Frequently Asked Questions

The Merit Scholarships Unit strives to provide as many resources as possible to assist students in getting answers to the many questions they have about scholarships. Below, we have curated a number of frequently asked questions that we hope can assist you in getting quick, easy-to-understand answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. If you cannot find the information you are looking for below or elsewhere on our website, please feel free to contact our office for further assistance.

Incoming First Year and Transfers

You don’t! General merit scholarships do not require a separate application, you will be automatically reviewed for a merit scholarship, provided a timely application for admissions. Incoming first year students are strongly encouraged as long as you submit your admissions application to apply by the early action admissions deadline of November 1and incoming transfer students by March 1 (for Fall applicants) or October 15 (for Spring applicants).

The student will have an alert on their account for ‘Merit Scholarship Agreement.’ This agreement needs to be signed in order for the scholarship to be processed in their financial aid package. An award letter will also shipped via USPS mail. The award amount can be found on your merit scholarship agreement, or alternatively, you can locate your award amount by logging into your myUMBC profile and selecting the “Financial Aid” card.

Students can grant access to their student account information via Profile Sharing. Please note, we will not be able to provide you with specific account information unless the student has granted you access. Instructions on how to grant access can be found here.

It’s possible that you opened duplicate DocuSign forms. Instructions on how to void duplicate DocuSigns can be found here.

General merit scholarships disburse to student accounts about a week before the Fall and/or Spring term begins.

UMBC offers competitive merit scholarships for incoming community college transfer students, including undocumented and DACA students. Transfer scholarships are awarded based on academic accomplishment and timely and complete admissions application submission. Students may collect either the AAAT or the PTK award, but not both. Degrees to Succeed award cannot be combined with the TSA award.

No. Consideration for all transfer scholarships is based on the competitiveness of the applicant pool, among other requirements. Please review transfer scholarship requirements and eligibility here.

Terms and conditions for your specific merit scholarship can be found in the merit scholarship agreement document you received on your myUMBC account. Feel free to contact our office for a copy of your signed merit scholarship agreement if you did not keep a copy for your records.

Additional Scholarships

Our office awards merit scholarships to incoming first-year students and Maryland community college transfer students. As a current student, funding options are available from need-based financial aid and university departments. You may search for open scholarship opportunities using Scholarship Retriever.

All merit scholarship reviews are completed at the time of admission based on a set standard determined by the university’s senior leadership. Students cannot appeal these award amounts as they are final.

Additional scholarships available at UMBC can be found in Scholarship Retriever. Scholarships are posted year round. You must log in using your myUMBC information and complete the General Application each year to be considered.

You will only be notified if you are awarded a scholarship on Scholarship Retriever. This decision will be sent to your myUMBC email account–unfortunately students are not notified if they are not selected for a scholarship. There is no specific deadline for when students can expect to receive an award on Scholarship Retriever as each scholarship has its own individual deadline. Most of the time, you should expect to hear back within 4-6 weeks after the application deadline if you have recieved the award.

In addition to general merit scholarships, UMBC offers seven Scholars Programs based on academic interest. A separate application is required for these programs.

No. Students must decide to accept their Scholar Program offer OR their general merit scholarship. They cannot receive both awards.

No. Students are only permitted to accept one UMBC Scholar Program award offer.

Yes! Students are able to “stack” their Honors College scholarship with general merit scholarships or with a Scholars Program scholarship.

Yes! Student athletes can receive both an athletics scholarship and “stack” with their general merit scholarship or with a Scholars Program scholarship.

Yes. Any external scholarships or department scholarships on campus can be combined with the Scholar Program award. However, no matter what, all students at UMBC cannot receive financial aid in excess of their cost of attendance. A student’s total financial aid cannot exceed their cost of attendance.

Private scholarship checks should be sent to/dropped of at Student Business Services (SBS), at the following address:

Attn: Student Business Services
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250

The students name, campus ID and the semester(s) the funds are to be applied to should also be included. In addition to this, you should also complete a Private Scholarship Notification Form.

Scholarship Requirements

Terms and conditions for your specific merit scholarship can be found in the merit scholarship agreement document you received on your myUMBC account. Feel free to contact our office for a copy of your signed merit scholarship agreement if you did not keep a copy for your records. 

This depends on the type of merit scholarship that the student is receiving. While on-campus housing is encouraged for students receiving a general merit scholarship, it is not required. The award will not be affected if the student decides to live on campus or off campus. Please refer to your merit scholarship agreement.

Some Scholar Programs may require students to live on campus (varies). You can check your scholarship agreement, which will indicate if there are any housing requirements associated with your scholarship. Walker Avenue apartments are considered on-campus for scholarship purposes.

A FAFSA is not required to receive a UMBC merit scholarship, however, it is always encouraged for additional aid opportunities. More information about the FAFSA can be found here.

Merit scholarships are applied directly to the students e-bill. The award can cover charges related to tuition, fees, housing, meal plans, and any other charges listed on the e-bill. The e-bill is distributed by Student Business Services.

All financial aid, including scholarships, disburses to the bill about a week prior to the semester starting. The first disbursement date for Spring 2024 is Monday, January 22, 2024. After this, disbursements for Spring will occur every Tuesday.

No. PHED courses do not count towards credits, are not required for graduation, and have zero progress units associated with them. If you opt to take a PHED course, please make sure to take 12 additional credits of progress units to meet your merit scholarship minimum.

Per the scholarship agreement, all scholars must maintain full-time (12+ credits) enrollment or a minimum of 6 credits for transfer scholars each semester in order to receive their scholarship. If a scholar falls below their minimum enrollment status for any reason without receiving permission from the Scholarship Review Committee, their scholarship will be discontinued indefinitely.

Scholars planning on not enrolling during the fall or spring semesters may request a scholarship deferral prior to the beginning of the intended semester. A scholarship deferral allows the student a one-time, one semester of non-enrollment from UMBC while maintaining their scholarship eligibility upon their return.

As indicated in the scholarship agreement, all scholars must maintain full-time (12+ credits) enrollment or a minimum of 6 credits for transfer scholars each semester in order to receive their scholarship. If a scholar falls below their minimum enrollment status for any reason without receiving permission from the Scholarship Review Committee, their scholarship will be discontinued indefinitely.

Prior to making any changes to their enrollment, scholars may request to withdraw from class(es) by submitting the Scholarship Withdrawal Request Form.

The Merit Scholarship Unit reviews scholars’ academic standing at the end of each fall and spring semester to ensure they are maintaining their scholarship requirements. Recipients failing to meet these requirements will lose their scholarship and be notified by e-mail of their award discontinuation.

Once a scholar has been discontinued from their merit scholarship, their award will not be reinstated regardless if the student is able to meet the terms of their scholarship in a future semester. Students will have approximately 2-3 weeks following official notification to appeal the status of their discontinuation.

  • Scholarship Deferral Request – This form should be completed prior to the start of the intended semester, if you are planning on fully not enrolling in an upcoming semester(s).
  • Scholarship Withdrawal Request – This form should be completed is you are planning to withdraw from courses during the semester, that would put you below the requirements of your merit scholarship agreement.
  • Scholarship Discontinuation Appeal – This appeal should be submitted at the end of the semester following notification that your scholarship was discontinued due to not meeting your scholarship requirements. Students have a small window to appeal this decision to explain the extenuating circumstances that caused them to not meet the requirements of their scholarship. The appeal window following your discontinuation notice is the only period to appeal for your scholarship to be reinstated, regardless of if you improve academically in future semesters.

Scholars may have the option to participate in a study abroad program for one semester and utilize their scholarship for credit-worthy courses earned abroad. Any additional semesters abroad require special review. Prior approval is required from a member of UMBC Scholarships and the Study Abroad Office.

Check out our guidelines on how to write a scholarship thank you letter!

Contact Us

At UMBC, you have an assigned Financial Aid Counselor based on the first letter of the student’s last name. The contact information of your assigned financial aid counselor can be found here.

Contact the Bursar’s Office/Student Business Services (SBS).

SBS is located on the third floor of the Administration Building. You can also call SBS at (410) 455-2288, or submit an online Request for Help.

Our office is available to assist you 8:30-4:30 Monday-Friday. You are welcome to submit a contact form or give us a call at 410-455-3813.

Please visit our Faculty & Staff request page and submit a staff contact form for additional assistance.