Financial Aid Guidelines for American Students

Financial Aid Checklist for Accepted Students


The McDaniel College Financial Aid department has created a checklist below for accepted degree-seeking undergraduate US citizens students who plan to apply for federal financial aid.


1. Create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID

You and one of your parents must create an FSA ID at The FSA ID will allow you and your parent to electronically sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For additional help, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.

2. File your 2018-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 for fall semester and by November 15 for spring semester at

  • This form will ask for income information for the 2016 tax year (for fall 18, spring 19 and summer 19). Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, if possible, to import the financial information from the tax returns into your FAFSA to avoid processing delays. If you (or your parent) are ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool, please add the information from your (or your parents) 2016 Federal Income Tax Return form 1040 (1040A, 1040EZ or 1040) manually to the FAFSA.
  • To make sure McDaniel receives the results of your FAFSA, be sure to list our school code – 002109.

3. Confirm your Social Security Number is on your Admissions application

To ensure that we can import the FAFSA information, please be sure that your Social Security number is listed on your admissions application.

3. FAFSA Follow-up

  • You will receive an email from the U.S. Department of Education with a link to the Student Aid Report (SAR) that shows the results of the FAFSA. Check the SAR for accuracy and make any necessary corrections.
  • The Financial Aid Office will contact you via your McDaniel email account if further documentation is required.
  • We will award you financial aid (federal Pell Grant and federal Direct loans) after your file is complete and your registration information has been received and processed by our Registrar’s office.

4. Access Financial Aid Self Service

Financial Aid Self Service is an online tool that provides a step-by-step guide through the financial aid process. You will need to use your McDaniel user name and a password to log to our online system.

You can use Financial Aid Self-Service to check on the status of your financial aid, learn about what information the Financial Aid Office may need from you, access forms, report outside scholarships, and receive other important information.

6. Complete steps to receive a Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan.

You must complete the Department of Education Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note before you can receive Federal Direct loan funds. You can access direct links to complete these steps online using your checklist on Financial Aid Self Service. If you decline all loans offered, you will not be asked to complete this step.

7. Review and sign your Financial Aid Award Letter

Using the Financial Aid Self Service tool, you must sign your Financial Aid Award Letter electronically. Failure to sign award letter may result in your financial aid not being disbursed to your student account.

8. Receive financial aid disbursement.

Financial Aid funds will be disbursed to the Bursar’s office during the first week of classes for students who completed all financial aid steps. The Bursar office will wire the funds to the Budapest office to provide students with access to their accepted financial aid funds.

Important Time Limitations on Loans and Pell Grants

Direct Subsidized Loans: For first-time borrowers applying for Direct Subsidized Loans on or after July 1, 2013 there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive such loans. If this limit applies to you, then you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of your program. This is called your “maximum eligibility period.”

Pell Grants: Effective July 1, 2012 students can receive the Federal Pell Grant for a maximum of 12 full time semesters. If you have used at least 450% of your eligibility funding, you will receive an e-mail notification from the Central Processing System (CPS), the system that processes your FAFSA.

Contact Us

The Financial Aid Office offers a full range of services and information on all aspects of financial aid. We encourage you to contact a financial aid counselor for any assistance you may need. Counselors are available Monday through Friday, 8:30AM-4:30PM via phone at 1-410-857-2233 or you can email