MHEC Update on FAFSA Delay

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Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) Update


State Financial Aid Priority Deadline is Extended to May 15, 2024

The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) has extended the priority deadline to submit the 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the MHEC One-App for undocumented students from March 15 to May 15, 2024.

Students who complete and submit their FAFSA or MHEC One-App by the priority deadline are included in the initial round of awards in June of 2024.  

The awarding for 2024-2025 academic year will not begin until June of 2024. If applicable, students will have until June 15, 2024 to submit requested documentation for priority awarding.

The MHEC One-App is available in the student's Maryland College Aid Processing System (MDCAPS) account. The MHEC One-App replaces the Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA) by including a section for undocumented applicants and all other applicants ineligible to complete the Free Application for Federal Student  Aid (FAFSA) to apply for MHEC State aid programs.  

While students who are eligible to complete the FAFSA are not required to complete the MHEC One-App to be considered for the Guaranteed Access (GA), Educational Assistance (EA), and Maryland Community College Promise scholarship, all applicants may complete the One-App to apply for all of the other numerous grants, scholarships, and loan assistance repayment programs offered through MHEC. 

MHEC is currently in the process of updating the financial assistance webpage to reflect new information for the upcoming 2024-2025 award year. MHEC urges all students to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible and include at least one Maryland institution of higher education on the list of colleges.  Important: Students will not be considered for the Guaranteed Access (GA) or Educational Assistance (EA) grants unless a Maryland institution of higher education is listed on the FAFSA and students will not be considered for the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship unless a Maryland community college is listed on the FAFSA.

Important changes for the 2024-2025 academic year as a result of Federal Student Aid (FSA) FAFSA changes for 2024-2025 are on the MHEC website.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email OSFA at

The Maryland Higher Education Commission Keeps Open Communication with Stakeholders During Federal FAFSA Delay 

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is keeping students and stakeholders updated on the rapidly changing FAFSA delay information coming out of the U.S. Department of Education. Meanwhile, Acting Secretary Dr. Sanjay Rai is working with the General Assembly to keep Maryland legislators informed on potential implications and to discuss options to ensure all Maryland students will receive the financial aid they are entitled to, despite the federal delay.

“I want to assure our residents that the Maryland Higher Education Commission is working to guarantee we meet the needs of our students and families when it comes to receiving financial aid for their college education,” said Acting Secretary Sanjay Rai. “To that end, we have postponed the final deadline for Maryland students to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, until June 1, 2024. This was a deliberate effort to prevent our students from missing out on millions of dollars available to them in State financial aid. Additionally, we continue to work with higher education stakeholders to explain the FAFSA changes and the anticipated delays, while exercising patience as new challenges surface.”

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced it will delay sending state higher education agencies, the institutions, and designated scholarship organizations the 2024-2025 Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) data from the students' FAFSA until March. This is critical information used by the Maryland Higher Education Commission to determine financial aid eligibility and will impact the April 15th priority awarding date for the Howard P. Rawlings Educational Excellence Awards Program, which is given to students who are most in need of Maryland financial assistance.

Moreover, the data delay is impacting many Maryland colleges and universities' ability to access the students’ financial information and prepare their financial aid packages by the May 1st deadline. For these reasons, University System of Maryland (USM) universities are extending undergraduate students’ decision deadline to May 15, and some may push that deadline back further if there are additional FAFSA delays.

In the meantime, MHEC continues to work with all 50+ universities and colleges across the state and continues to meet with them frequently, keeping information sharing at the forefront of our ongoing discussion during these uncertain times. 

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