Responsibility for meeting college costs lies with the student and the student's family, who are expected to contribute toward costs to the extent they are able. Financial aid may assist students in meeting the costs of attending college when these costs could not otherwise be met.
Eligibility for most financial aid at UMF is based on financial need. Information on non-need based programs, such as the Educators for Maine Program administered by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), is available from the Financial Aid Office. A list of UMF scholarships based on factors other than need may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office website. Suggestions are also available about free scholarship searches on the Internet.
Need is determined by the Financial Aid Office by calculating the difference between educational costs for attending UMF and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated by the federal government using information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Renewal FAFSA.
Because not all students are financially dependent upon parents, UMF does not consider the parents' financial situation if it is not required to be reported on the FAFSA or is deemed inappropriate by the Financial Aid Office.
The Financial Aid Office uses all available funds to help needy students who have been accepted into, or are working toward their first undergraduate degree. Priority is given to students with the most demonstrated need of those who apply on time.
To be eligible to receive need-based financial aid, a student must have completed a FAFSA and have financial need; have a high school diploma, HiSET credential, or a GED certificate; be admitted as a degree candidate at UMF; be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen; not be in default on a federal student loan or owe an overpayment of a federal student grant; have a valid Social Security number; register with the Selective Service if required; be making satisfactory academic progress; and be in good academic standing or on academic probation.
A student who is academically suspended and fails to be reinstated is no longer eligible for financial aid, including federal educational loans.
Transporting Aid To Study off Campus
Students who are matriculated at UMF and who will be studying away from the UMF campus (as transient or exchange students, for example) are not automatically eligible to receive aid from UMF. Such students must have prior approval from the Financial Aid Office and their advisor via completion of a Study Away form, in order to transport financial aid.
When and How To Apply
Students who wish to apply for need-based financial aid (or a PLUS or unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan) at UMF are required to complete the FAFSA or the Renewal FAFSA. Applications for financial aid are processed continually; however, priority consideration for funds is given to students whose FAFSA arrives at the federal processor by March 1 preceding the award year. (A March 1 postmark does not meet the requirement.)
Eligibility for Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work-study, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Direct Student Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), and need-based University scholarships and employment programs is determined using information provided on the FAFSA. The financial aid award notice tells FAFSA applicants how to apply for a Federal Direct Student Loan. Information is also supplied about Federal PLUS loans for parents of dependent students.
The student and the parent of a dependent student may be requested to provide their prior prior year's federal income tax information via IRS Data Retrieval to the Financial Aid Office. Students will be notified in the Student Center in MaineStreet if federal tax return information or other documents are required and how to obtain the information. Currently enrolled students should check their maine.edu e-mail accounts for such notices, as not all notices are sent via U.S. mail.
All application materials submitted to the Financial Aid Office are handled confidentially.
Withdrawing and Financial Aid
A student who is receiving financial aid and who withdraws from UMF before the end of a semester may be required to return all or part of the financial aid funds received for that semester. Details are included below.
Consumer Information for UMF Students regarding Withdrawal and Return to Title IV Funds (R2T4)
Federal student aid law specifies how your school must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that you earn if you withdraw from school. The Federal Title IV student financial aid programs covered by the law at UMF include Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs), and Federal Perkins Loans.
Though your aid is posted to your account at the start of each term at UMF that comprises a payment period (i.e. Fall, Spring, Summer), you earn the funds that have been allocated to you for each term as you complete each term. If you withdraw completely from the University during a term, the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received or if UMF and/or your parent received on your behalf less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, UMF and/or you must return the excess Title IV funds to the Federal government.
The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if you complete 30% of your payment period on enrollment, you earn 30% of the assistance you were originally schedule to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period.
If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If your post-withdrawal disbursement includes loans funds, UMF must get your permission before UMF can disburse them. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you do not incur additional debt. UMF may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with the UMF). UMF needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges (e.g., health fees, health insurance, or other charges). If you do not give your permission, you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow UMF to keep funds to reduce your debt at the school.
There are some Title IV funds that you may have expected to receive that cannot be disbursed to you once you withdraw because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if you were offered a Federal Direct Student Loan and you had not accepted the offer until after you withdrew from UMF, then those funds cannot be disbursed to you.
If you receive - or UMF and/or your parent receives on your behalf - excess Title IV programs funds that must be returned, then UMF must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:
1. Your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
2. the entire amount of excess funds.
UMF must return this amount even if it did not keep this amount of your Title IV program funds.
If UMF is not required to return all of the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount.
Any loans funds that you must return, you (or your parent for Direct PLUS Loan funds) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.
Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. You do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. You must make arrangements with UMF or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.
The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from any refund policy that UMF may have. Therefore, you may still owe funds to UMF to cover unpaid institutional charges. UMF may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that it was required to return. You can find further information about cost adjustments in the Costs section of this catalog.
If you have any questions about your Title IV program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available on student aid on the web at www.studentaid.ed.gov.
Withdrawal and Return to Title IV Funds (R2T4) Policy
How a Withdrawal Affects Financial Aid
Federal Title IV student financial aid programs are awarded under the assumption that a student will remain enrolled for the entire period (term) for which the funds were awarded.
When a student withdraws from all courses, regardless of the reason, s/he may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds originally awarded. The return of funds to the federal government is based on the premise that a student earns financial aid in proportion to the length of time during which s/he remains enrolled. A pro-rated schedule determines the amount of federal student aid funds s/he will have earned at the time of full withdrawal. For example, a student who withdraws in the second week of the semester has earned less of his/her financial aid than a student who withdraws in the fifth week. Once the 60% point in the semester is reached, a student is considered to have earned all of the financial aid originally awarded and will not be required to return any funds.
Federal regulations require a recalculation of financial aid eligibility if a student:
• Completely withdraws from the University;
• Stops attending before the term’s end;
• Does not complete all modules (mini-sessions) in which the student is enrolled as of the start date of the mini session.
UMF students who receive federal financial aid and who do not remain in attendance through the end of the term could be responsible for repaying a portion of the financial aid originally received.
Students who do not attend at all are not eligible for federal financial aid and must repay all aid originally received.
NOTE: UMF’s institutional tuition refund policy is separate from federal regulations to return unearned aid. Receiving a tuition/fee refund from UMF will have no impact on the amount of Title IV aid that the student may be required to return to the federal aid programs.
How Earned Financial Aid is Calculated
Financial aid recipients “earn” the aid they originally received by remaining enrolled. The amount of federal assistance earned is based on a pro-rated system. Students who withdraw or do not complete all courses in which they were enrolled may be required to return some of the aid originally awarded.
UMF is required to determine the percentage of TIV aid “earned” by the student and return the “unearned” portion to the appropriate federal aid programs. UMF is required to perform this calculation within 30 days of the date that UMF determines that a student has completely withdrawn. UMF must return the funds within 45 days of the calculation. The R2T4 calculation is completed by the Financial Aid Office.
The following explains the formula used to determine the percentage of unearned aid to be returned to the federal government:
• The percent earned is equal to the number of calendar days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total number of calendar days in the payment period.
• The payment period for most students is a full, 15-week fall and 15-week spring term or the full, 10-week summer term. However, for students enrolled in modules (mini-sessions), the payment period only includes those days for the module in which the student is enrolled.
• The percent unearned is equal to 100 percent less the percent earned.
• Breaks of 5 days or longer are not included in the count of total days in the payment period.
Institutional scholarship funds are not subject to the R2T4 policy. Return of State of Maine Grant funds are governed by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME).
For Students Enrolled in Modules:
A student is considered withdrawn if the student does not complete all of the days in the payment period that the student was scheduled to complete. UMF tracks enrollment in each module that does not span the entire 10-week summer term or 15-week fall or spring terms and combines them to form a term. If a student withdraws from a course in a later module while still attending a current module, the student is not considered as withdrawn based on not attending the later module. However, a recalculation of aid based on the change in enrollment status may be required.
If a student provides written notice to the Financial Aid Office at the time of withdrawal from a current module that s/he plans to attend a later module in the same payment period, s/he is not considered a withdrawal. If the student does not provide that written confirmation, the R2T4 recalculation of aid will be done. However, if the student does return in a later module in the same payment period, regardless of whether prior written confirmation was received, the R2T4 process will be reversed and the student will be awarded the funds that s/he is eligible to receive at the time of return.
• A copy of the withdrawal form, complete with appropriate signatures and indicating the last date of attendance, is received in the Financial Aid Office from the UMF Merrill Center Student Services. The latest date of attendance which will be verified by the instructor(s), in the course(s) in which the student was enrolled will be used as the withdrawal date.
• The Financial Aid Office determines the amount of TIV aid originally awarded and whether it is “disbursed” or “could have been disbursed.”
• The Merrill Center Student Services, in conjunction with the Director of Administrative Systems (a.k.a., to some as the “Bursar”) provides the student’s original tuition and fee and other charges. (This does not include bookstore charges.)
• An R2T4 worksheet on the “FAA Access to CPS” site is completed using the above data. The calendar for the payment period will have previously been entered and saved.
• The Financial Aid Office will post the recalculated amount of aid for which the student is eligible (as per the results of the R2T4 worksheet) to his/her Financial Aid package.
• A copy of the worksheet is maintained in the Financial Aid Office and electronically scanned and made part of the student’s record after the end of the semester.
• UMF will return funds to the federal programs on the student’s behalf and will bill the student.
• In the instance in which a student owes a federal grant repayment in addition to what UMF has returned to the federal programs, the student will be notified in writing and the amount will be reported by the Financial Aid Office as an overpayment.
• The student is responsible for all UMF charges and federal overpayments resulting from an R2T4 calculation.
Withdrawal from a Study Away Program
The UMF Office of Student Exchange provides the withdrawn student’s last date of attendance to the Financial Aid Office for a student who had been participating in UMF outgoing student exchange programs before withdrawing completely in a specified payment period. Similarly, individual offices named in any contractual or consortium agreements for the host institutions are to provide the student’s last date of attendance to the Financial Aid Office for other UMF students who had been studying away prior to withdrawing completely in a specified payment period. Each official also, in turn, supplies the attempted and earned number of course credits completed as of the last date of attendance in a notification to the Records and Enrollment personnel in the UMF Merrill Center Student Services. These data elements are used by the Financial Aid Office in completing the R2T4 worksheet on the “FAA Access to CPS” site.
The procedure continues as outlined above.
Post-Withdrawal Disbursement of Loan Proceeds
When the R2T4 calculation results in the student’s eligibility to receive either Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan proceeds, s/he will be contacted via e-mail and US Mail by the Financial Aid Office. Written authorization from the student will be requested and is required before loan proceeds can be processed and awarded to the student.
Determination of Withdrawal Date
The withdrawal date used in the R2T4 calculation is the actual last date of attendance as provided by the UMF Merrill Center on the withdrawal form, and verified by your instructor(s).
Withdrawing Prior to the 60% Point of a Payment Period
Unless and until a student completes 60% of the term in which financial aid was awarded, the student will be required to return all or part of the financial aid originally awarded for the term.
When a Student Fails to Begin Attendance
If financial aid is processed for a student who never begins attendance in any course for which s/he registered in a term, all aid will be canceled.
The Financial Aid Office uses information from the Registrar. One report is an enrollment confirmation roster generated by a database query that lists the students and the packaged credit hours (i.e., units) as well as the registered credit hours (i.e., units) at the time of the Financial Aid census at the end of the student schedule change period (a.k.a. “the add/drop” or “schedule change period”). This facilitates an “enrollment confirmation/credit check process” to manage aid based on changes in enrollment status. Financial aid originally awarded is canceled for students who failed to begin attendance in all classes in which they were originally enrolled and is adjusted for those who fail to begin attendance in a portion of the classes in which they were originally enrolled.
When a Student Fails All Classes
If a financial aid recipient who has not officially withdrawn fails to receive a passing grade in at least one class during the term, the Financial Aid Office will determine whether the student actually established eligibility for the aid originally awarded. Instructors will be contacted and asked to provide information on the student’s attendance. If the student did not begin attendance, or stopped attending during the payment period, the financial aid originally awarded will be canceled or adjusted.
Order of Return to Federal Aid Programs
In accordance with federal regulations, unearned aid will be returned to the federal programs in the following order:
Federal Direct Loans: Unsubsidized, then Subsidized
Federal Direct Parent Loans
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
Information Regarding Loan Repayment
The R2T4 calculation may result in the responsibility of a student and parent to return additional loan amounts directly to the US Department of Education.
The loan grace period begins on the withdrawal date from the school, or when a student ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis. If the student does not re-enroll as a half-time student within 6 months of withdrawal or less than half-time enrollment, the Federal Direct loans enter repayment. The student should contact the loan servicer or the US Department of Education to make repayment arrangements. The promissory note signed by the borrower outlines repayment obligations. The student should contact the servicer or the US Department of Education with any questions.
Consequences of Non-Repayment
Students who owe the US Department of Education for an overpayment of Title IV funds are not eligible for any additional federal financial aid until the overpayment is paid in full or payment arrangements are made with the US Department of Education.
Students who owe UMF because of an R2T4 calculation will be placed on a financial hold and are assigned a negative service indicator. These students will not be allowed to register for subsequent semesters or receive academic transcripts until the balance is paid.
How a Withdrawal Affects Future Financial Aid Eligibility
Refer to the Financial Aid Office Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy to determine how a withdrawal impacts aid eligibility.
NOTE: This policy is subject to revision without notice based on changes to federal laws and regulations or UMF policies. If changes are made, the student is held to the most current policy. This statement is intended to provide an overview of policies and procedures related to a complicated and very encompassing regulation. Additional information, including examples of R2T4 calculations, are available from the Financial Aid Office.
Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid Eligibility
Returning students must maintain satisfactory academic progress to receive federal, state and institutional aid. This includes maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average and earning credits at a designated rate during each year of enrollment which is referred to as pace. The details of this policy are included below.
In compliance with Federal Student Aid Regulations, the University of Maine at Farmington Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for financial aid eligibility incorporates the University’s scholastic standards with the federal requirements for a specific time frame for degree completion. Students must meet these minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements in order to be eligible for student aid funds. Each of the three following standards must be met:
Matriculating students are required to maintain a grade point average based on the number of credits that are earned. The University uses the following scales:
Four Year Program Credits Earned GPA
Matriculating students are required to successfully complete a specific percentage of credits that are attempted. The University uses the following scales:
Credits Attempted Percentage Passed
Maximum Time Frame:
Federal regulations require that the University set a maximum time frame for successful completion of degree programs. For a four year degree the University has set the maximum number of attempted credits as 192. If a student attempts more credits than the maximum number identified for his/her degree, he/she is not eligible to receive financial aid.
For the purpose of this policy attempted hours include: Audited classes; all classes taken for credit; classes withdrawn from; deferred grades; incomplete grades; missing grades; developmental courses; repeated courses and failed courses.
For the purpose of this policy passed hours include: Passed credits hours that can be used for the purpose of completing degree requirements.
If a student earned credits at a previous institution(s) that will be accepted toward his/her degree, those accepted hours will be included as attempted and passed hours for the purposes of satisfactory progress evaluation. For example if a student attempted 15 hours at the University of Maine at Farmington and transferred in 30 credits to his/her academic record, all tests to evaluate satisfactory academic progress (Quantitative, Qualitative and Maximum Time Frame) would be based on 45 attempted and passes hours.
Financial Aid Probation and Suspension
Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured at the end of each academic year, after the spring grades have been posted. However, if a student takes a leave of absence for any term of enrollment or earns a GPA of less than 1.0 on a scale of 4.0, re-evaluation will be required before the following term’s disbursement will be authorized. Upon review, if it is determined that the student is not making satisfactory progress, he/she will be notified in writing that his/her eligibility for financial aid has been suspended.
Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension
A student placed on Financial Aid Suspension who has experienced undue hardship, (i.e.- death of a relative of the student; personal injury or prolonged illness of the student; or special circumstances as determined by the institution.), may submit a written appeal, by August 1 for fall aid and December 1 for spring aid, to the Director of Financial Aid. The appeal must explain the circumstance that prevented the standards from being met. Providing third party documentation, if available, supporting the circumstance is suggested. In the case of undue hardship, the student may be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one period, and will be able to receive financial aid during that time. If at the end of the probationary period the minimum standards are not met, or the student has failed to meet the requirements of the academic plan developed as part of the probation period, the student’s financial aid eligibility will be suspended. All appeals will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. The student will receive written notification of the committee’s decision within 30 days of receipt of the appeal.
Condition of Financial Aid Reinstatement
Students must complete the required number of credits and achieve the corresponding cumulative GPA as outlined during the probationary period in order to have their financial aid eligibility reinstated.
Grants and Scholarships
Eligibility for need-based Federal Pell Grants is determined by the federal government. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) are need-based federal grants administered by the Financial Aid Office. University scholarships are awarded by the Financial Aid Office and based upon financial need. State Student Incentive Grants (SSIG) are need-based grants authorized by state agencies, which may set different deadlines. Application for these grants is made when the student completes the FAFSA. For example, the Maine State Grant program requires that the FAFSA be received at the Federal application processing center by May 1 in advance of the academic year. (Note: the Maine State Grant deadline falls after UMF's priority consideration deadline for student financial aid that requires that the FAFSA arrive at the Federal application processing center by March 1 in advance of the academic year.)
Federal Direct Student Loans are low-interest loans made to students attending at least half time. Applications are available through the UMF Financial Aid Office or by accepting the loans in MaineStreet. Students do not have to make payments on the loan during deferment periods. Students who do not qualify for the federal interest subsidy are responsible for the interest which accrues on the loan during deferment periods. Because eligibility for the interest subsidy is based on financial need, all Federal Direct Student Loan applicants must first have their eligibility for need-based financial aid determined and, hence, must first file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The Educators for Maine Program is a renewable loan program administered by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) for Maine residents. The loans may be forgiven in exchange for teaching service in a Maine public school. Recipients who do not teach in Maine after college must repay the loan at a fixed interest rate determined at the time of loan approval. Applications, as well as renewal requests, are due at FAME May 1 prior to the academic year. Information about eligibility, application, and renewal criteria is available from the Financial Aid Office.
Federal PLUS Loans are loans parents can obtain to help pay the cost of education for their dependent undergraduate children.
University of Maine at Farmington Emergency Loans are available during the regular academic year. These loans are small, short-term, and interest free. Funded by contributions from former UMF students, these loans are for bona fide emergencies which cannot be anticipated and are not for paying University charges.
Native American Aid Programs
Native American Tuition Waivers covering tuition and mandatory fees are available for members of the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Houlton Band of Maliseet and Aroostook Band of Micmac tribes, as well as other federally, state or provincially recognized Native American Tribes who have resided in Maine for at least one year prior to application for purposes other than education. More detailed guidelines for these waivers are available at the Financial Aid Office.
Native American Room and Board Grants are a need-based award for qualified Native American students living in a residence hall of the campus where they are matriculating. Students will be subsidized up to the double occupancy rate for the student’s residence. Charges for single, double single, or computer or telephone devices, for which there is a separate charge, will be the responsibility of the student tenant. Board charges will be subsidized up to the rate associated with the standard meal plan, not to exceed the cost of the maximum meal plan. Room and board charges will be covered only during the traditional academic year (fall and spring terms) and are not covered for breaks between semesters. Exceptions may be granted in cases where a student’s major requires enrollment in an academic session outside the traditional academic year.
The total amount a student receives from the Native American Room and Board Grant and from all other sources of financial support for the same purpose, whether from the institution or from outside agencies, may not exceed the student’s calculated financial need. The receipt of other aid may, in some cases, reduce or eliminate the receipt of the room and board grant. Applicants must submit the FAFSA annually. More detailed guidelines for the Room and Board Grant are available at the Financial Aid Office.
Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds are allotted to UMF by the U.S. Department of Education to fund jobs and are awarded by UMF on the basis of need. Student earnings are expected to help defray indirect education-related expenses. Work-study jobs are on campus.
University Work-Study funds are awarded on a limited basis regardless of financial need. They fund campus employment needs which could not otherwise be met.
Numerous work opportunities are also available through a work initiative program regardless of financial need. This work is integrated with academic studies and student life. It is designed to help students develop skills and knowledge in preparation for their careers.
Veterans' benefits are available at UMF based on the approval of the University's programs by the Maine State Approving Agency for Veterans Education for the education and training of veterans, service persons, and dependents of disabled and deceased veterans. Students should contact the nearest VA regional office for information concerning eligibility, counseling, and benefits. Once admitted, new students should advise the Merrill Center that they wish to be certified for VA benefits. They must be enrolled in at least twelve credits each semester for full-time benefits. It is the responsibility of the student and the University to notify the VA of any change in status which affects the student's benefit amount.
Vocational rehabilitation benefits are also available. UMF is approved for student benefits through the Maine Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Commission and the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Applicants for vocational rehabilitation educational benefits must also apply for financial aid.