As of the 2018-2019 award year, the qualified children of undocumented immigrants who are eligible
for in-state tuition under §15–106.8.of the MD Education Article also are now eligible to apply for
various State financial aid grants and scholarships. Read the Maryland State Financial Aid
Application (MSFAA) User Guide, for more information.
Q1. Who should complete the Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA)?
The Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA) is available to applicants who are ineligible to
receive federal aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The MSFAA allows
qualified children of undocumented immigrants, who qualify for in-state tuition under §15–106.8 of the MD Education Article, to apply and be considered for certain types of State need-based financial
aid, such as: the Educational Assistance Grant, the Guaranteed Access Grant, the Campus Based
Educational Assistance Grant, the Part Time Grant, the Maryland Community College Promise
Scholarship, the Near Completer Grant, the Cybersecurity Public Service Scholarship Award, the
Legislative Scholarship Program, and the Richard W. Collins III Leadership with Honor Scholarship.
Q2. What are the requirements for qualified children of undocumented immigrants to be
exempt from paying the out-of-state tuition rate at an in State institution?
The requirements are set forth in §15–106.8 of the MD Education Article of the Annotated Code of
You should consult your institution with questions.
Q3. Will any of my information on the application be shared?
The personally identifiable information provided on the Maryland State Financial Aid Application is
confidential and used solely to determine eligibility for state financial aid. The personally identifiable
information will be disclosed only as required by law.
Q4. What is the difference between the FAFSA and the Maryland State Financial Aid
Students should only complete one of the applications (not both), according to the requirements
1. You are eligible to complete the FAFSA if you are a:
- U.S. Citizen
- Permanent Resident
- Eligible non-citizen
- T Visa holder
2. You are eligible to complete the MSFAA if you are:
Q5. As an undocumented student, am I eligible for State student aid?
If you attend an eligible Maryland public or private institution, you may be eligible for various
Maryland State financial aid programs. Those programs are the: Howard P. Rawlings Educational
Excellence Awards Program, Part Time Grant, Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship,
and the Richard W. Collins III Leadership with Honor Scholarship.
For more information concerning the eligibility requirements of these programs
Q6. What should I do if I’ve already submitted a FAFSA before learning that I should have
submitted a MSFAA?
You must complete the MSFAA through the Maryland College Aid Processing (MDCAPS) portal, as
MHEC will not be able to use the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for State financial aid. The
MDCAPS portal is found on the MHEC website at www.mhec.maryland.gov.
Q7. Can I fill out the MSFFA if I don’t have a Social Security Number?
Yes. Students are not required to have a Social Security Number to submit the MSFAA. However,
students will need to meet the non-resident exemption requirements as described under§15–106.8 of the MD Education Article to qualify for aid.
Q8. As an undocumented student, how do I apply for financial aid through the State of
The MSFAA allows qualified children of undocumented immigrants to be considered for various
State financial aid programs. Eligible applicants will complete the application online through the
Maryland College Aid Processing Portal (MDCAPS).
Note: U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens such as permanent residents should complete the
FAFSA. They may be eligible for federal student aid as well financial aid
through the State of Maryland.
Q9. When will the MSFAA be available?
The application is available through the MDCAPS portal.
Q10. Am I required to register for Selective Service?
If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25, in most cases you are required to register with the
Selective Service System (SSS) and show proof of registration to MHEC before receiving state
You do not need to have a Social Security Number (SSN) to register for Selective Service. If you do
not have a SSN, or have been issued a SSN through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
(DACA) program, you can register for Selective Service by completing a paper “Selective Service Registration” form, which can be picked up at any U.S. Post Office or can be downloaded for print
Q11. Do I have to wait until my parents or I file taxes to complete my MSFAA?
Yes. Under, §15–106.8 of the MD Education Article, the qualified children of undocumented
immigrants must file taxes. MSFAA uses the prior-prior-year tax information as noted below:
Example of Prior-Prior Tax year:
Example of Prior-Prior Tax Year:
|IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND COLLEGE FROM|
YOU WILL SUBMIT THIS MSFAA
YOU CAN SUBMIT THE MSFAA FORM
|USING INCOME AND
July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
October 1, 2020 - June 30, 2022
June 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023
2022 - 2023
October 1, 2021 - June 30, 2023
July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024
2023 - 2024
October 1, 2022 - June 30, 2024
Q12. When is the deadline to submit the MSFAA?
The MSFAA must be completed by the established deadline for the scholarship or grant program the
applicant is applying for.
View the MSFAA deadlines for the various state financial aid grant and scholarship programs.
Q13. What if my parents live in another country and I do not live with them?
Students who are under the age of 24 as of December 31 of the award year and do not meet any
other very limited criteria, are considered “Dependent” for financial aid purposes and therefore, must
provide parental information.
One parent must sign your application, even if you do not live with your legal parents (your biological
and/or adoptive parents). Widowed stepparents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, foster parents, siblings
or legal guardians are not considered your parent(s) for financial aid purposes, unless they have
legally adopted you.
If you are unable to get your parent information, complete the application as much as you can and
contact your college’s financial aid office (FAO) as soon as possible. The FAO will evaluate your
situation and inform you if they can override the need for parent information. MHEC does not have
the authority to override dependency or financial information.
Q14. I applied for financial aid using the MSFAA. What’s next?
After completing the MSFAA, you will be considered for the various State of Maryland’s financial aid
grant and scholarship programs.
It is important to note that several financial aid programs require applicants to complete a separate
application in addition to the MSFAA to be considered. Those grant and scholarship programs are:
Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship and the Richard W. Collins III Leadership with
Honor Scholarship. To apply for these programs you must complete an application through MDCAPS.
MHEC will notify applicants in late April if they are awarded an Educational Assistance Grant or
Guaranteed Access Grant for the 2023-2024 award year.
Awarding for the other state grant/scholarship programs will occur in the summer and eligible
applicants will be notified by email if they are awarded. Your institution will notify you if you have
been awarded the Part-Time Grant and Campus Based Educational Assistance Grant award.
Students are encouraged to monitor their “Check Application Status” in MDCAPS to verify no
additional information is required for any of the grant or scholarship programs you may have applied
for. If additional information is needed, be sure to submit all required documents by the deadline.
Note: MHEC communicates with all applicants by email therefore students are encouraged to
provide email address that they frequently check on all applications.
Q15. I was notified by email that I was awarded a State grant/scholarship? What do I do next?
You must accept your award online through your MDCAPS portal. Students have up to 6 weeks to
accept or decline their state grant/scholarship award. Failure to accept your award within that
timeframe will result in your award being canceled and the award will not be reinstated.
If you have any questions concerning the acceptance process of your grant/scholarship award, email
us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: This Q&A document is intended for informational purposes. If there are any conflicts
between this document and the laws or regulations, the laws and regulations apply. All State
financial aid is contingent upon the availability of funding in the State budget.
The Maryland State Financial Aid (MSFAA) User Guide