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.

Q: How does a student know if they received a merit scholarship?

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 was also shipped via USPS mail.

Q: I signed my merit scholarship agreement but the alert won’t go away from my account. How can I get rid of it?

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

Q: What are the terms and conditions of my merit scholarship agreement?

Terms and conditions for your specific merit scholarship can be found in the merit scholarship agreement document you received on your myUMBC account.

Q: I got a merit scholarship but I need more money. Can my award be increased? Can I negotiate for more?

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.

Q: Where can I find more scholarships?

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 to be considered.

Q: I received a Scholar Program offer and a general merit scholarship. Can I receive both?

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

Q: I received an Honors College offer and a general merit scholarship. Can I receive both?

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

Q: Can I combine any other scholarships with my Scholars Program offer?

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.

Q: Do I need to live on campus to receive my merit scholarship?

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.

Q: Do I need to submit a FAFSA to receive my merit scholarship?

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.

Q: What can my merit scholarship be applied to?

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.

Q: When will my merit scholarship apply to my bill?

All financial aid, including scholarships, disburses to the bill about a week prior to the semester starting. The first disbursement date for Spring 2023 is Friday, January 20, 2023. After this, disbursements for Spring will occur every Tuesday.

Q: I am a current student, how can I get a merit scholarship?

Our office awards merit scholarships to incoming freshmen 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 .

Q: I have a question regarding the FAFSA (Pell Grant, Loans, etc.). Who can I contact?

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.

Q: Do PHED (Physical Education) courses count towards my merit scholarship minimum credit requirement?

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.