Financial Aid can include everything from gift aid (free money in the form of scholarships and grants) to earned money (like Federal Work Study) to student and/or parent loans. Financial Aid can come from an institution of higher learning itself, the Federal Government, your state government, or outside agencies and sources. There could be several different things you need to apply and several deadlines you need to keep track of. Always consult with the Financial Aid Office at the schools you are interested in for more information and assistance. Below are several resources to help you find the most money for school.
SPHS School Counselors recommend that each student applying to any post-secondary education opportunity (4-year universities, community colleges, trade schools) apply for financial aid by completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Even if you do not feel as through your family may qualify for any need-based aid, many institutions still need FAFSA data to award scholarships and any institutional awards. It is also the way students will become eligible for federally-backed student loans and parents will become eligible for federally-backed Parent Plus loans.
FAFSA will become available for all Class of 2024 students (starting post-secondary education in fall 2024) on December 1st, 2023. Students and families should apply by March 1st, 2024 to be considered for any financial aid that could be award by the State of Maryland.
FREE Application for Federal Student Aid
All Financial Aid starts here!
Application opens December 1,2023
Complete by March 1st* to be considered for State of Maryland Financial Aid.
***Some colleges have earlier FAFSA deadlines!***
You will submit a FAFSA EACH year you are in post-secondary schooling.
College Scholarship Service Profile
Only SOME Colleges require this form in addition to also completing the FAFSA.
Each school that requires the CSS Profile will have their own deadline for submission.
Maryland College Aid Processing System
MDCaps is not a financial aid application but it does serve as the hub for accepting and processing any financial aid that comes from the State of Maryland through MHEC (Maryland High Education Commission).
It is important to keep up with to-do tasks on MDCaps so you don't miss out on any state financial aid opportunities!