As of the 2022-2023 award year, qualified
children of undocumented immigrants who are eligible for in-state tuition
the MD Education Article are also eligible to apply for various state financial
aid grants and scholarships.
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
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 Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. 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 Application
Students should only
complete one of the applications (not both), according to the requirements
1. You are
eligible to complete the FAFSA at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa if you are a:
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 visit https://mhec.maryland.gov/preparing/Pages/FinancialAid/descriptions.aspx
Q6. What should I do
if I’ve already submitted a FAFSA before learning that I should have submitted
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
of the MD Education Article to qualify for aid.
Q8. As an
undocumented student, how do I apply for financial aid in Maryland?
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 at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa . They may be eligible for federal
student aid as well financial aid through the state.
Q9. When will the
MSFAA be available?
is available through the MDCAPS portal on October 1 for the respective
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 financial aid.
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
IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND COLLEGE FROM
YOU WILL SUBMIT THIS MSFAA
YOU CAN SUBMIT THE MSFAA FORM
USING INCOME AND TAX FORM
1, 2020 - June 30, 2021
1, 2019 - June 30, 2021
1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
1, 2020 - June 30, 2022
1, 2022 - June 30, 2023
1, 2021 - June 30, 2023
Q12. When is the
deadline to submit the MSFAA?
The MSFAA must be
completed by the established deadline for the scholarship or grant program for
which the applicant is applying.
To 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
If you are unable to
get your parent information, complete as much of the application 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
Q14. I applied for
financial aid using the MSFAA. What’s next?
After completing the
MSFAA, you will be considered for the various state financial aid grant and
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 at https://mdcaps.mhec.state.md.us/MDCAPS/login.aspx?c=-8586587860093499742&ReturnUrl=/MDCAPS/int/FinAid/index.aspx
MHEC will notify
applicants in late April if they are awarded an Educational Assistance Grant or
Guaranteed Access Grant for the 2022-2023 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.
encouraged to monitor their “Check Application Status” in MDCAPS to verify no
additional information is required for any of the grant or scholarship programs
for which you may have applied. If additional information is needed, be sure to
submit all required documents by the deadline.
communicates with all applicants by email. Students are strongly encouraged to
provide an email address that they frequently use when submitting 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 account. Students
have up to six weeks to accept or decline their state grant/scholarship awards.
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
6 North Liberty Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 767-3300
Toll Free: (800) 974-0203 (If calling outside of the Baltimore City area)