The Mission of the Financial Aid Office is to assist students in obtaining the financial aid necessary to complete their education. All students needing assistance should carefully review this section of the catalog and the UMFK website. More than three-fourths of the students at UMFK receive assistance through University and Federal student aid programs. In addition to its own programs, UMFK participates in all Federal programs including the Pell Grant program, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program, the Federal Work Study (FWS) program, and the Federal (Student and Plus) Direct Loan Programs. Residents of Maine and other participating states may be eligible to receive state grants and loans as well. University grants, scholarships and University work study are available to eligible students.
Regulations, and policies associated with financial aid can change frequently, so please contact the financial aid office and/or review the financial aid section of the UMFK website to obtain the most current information/materials, and assistance. All information in this section is subject to change without notice.
Application Information and Procedures
For U.S. Citizens and Eligible U.S. Non-Citizens
The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). UMFK’s school code (002041) should be listed on the FAFSA before it is submitted. By listing UMFK’s school code, FAFSA data will be provided to UMFK electronically. The application can be completed online at: https://www.studentaid.gov.
The FAFSA and the Data Retrieval Process
Data Retrieval is the process by which students and parents can transfer IRS related income data directly from the IRS website into their FAFSA. Data retrieval provides applicants with the fastest and easiest method of updating the FAFSA and meeting verification requirements. Successfully transferred data will be noted on the FAFSA as “Transferred from the IRS”.
When completing the FAFSA, you will need an FSA ID, a username and password combination that allows you to sign your FAFSA electronically. You can create an FSA ID online at: https://www.studentaid.gov or www.fsaid.gov. For help with a live agent, call the Federal Information Center at: 1-800-433-3243.
Note: the FSA ID has replaced the FAFSA PIN number.
Applications may be selected by the Department of Education for a process called VERIFICATION. If an application is selected for verification, the student (and parent, if applicable) will be asked to verify that the information reported on the FAFSA is correct. Required actions/and/or documents may include, but are not limited to, the appropriate Verification Worksheet, the successful completion of required Data Retrieval, or submission of the IRS Tax Return Transcript, IRS verification of non-filing, verification of untaxed income, household size, other family members in college, and proof of certain benefits received. Once all pieces of required documentation have been completed/or submitted to the Financial Aid Office, an analysis of this information and a decision on the request for assistance will be made.
For Canadian Citizens
Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are not eligible for U.S. Federal financial aid and therefore do not need to complete the FAFSA. Student employment may be available through the University work-study program. This program typically allows a student to work about 5 hours a week on campus. To be considered for this type of employment, a University work-study application is required. To print the application, visit our website.
Students are encouraged to seek federal or provincial assistance. For current information on programs available to Canadian students, please visit www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/student-financial-aid.html.
Some students may also qualify for Alternative loans (in U.S. funds) through U.S. lenders. Alternative Loans may provide financial assistance to students and/or parents who are unable to borrow through traditional student loan programs.
If you have dual citizenship (i.e., having both U.S. and Canadian citizenship), you may elect to apply for U.S. Federal financial assistance (by completing a FAFSA) or you may elect to apply for Canadian assistance. You may, however, only receive aid from one source, (i.e., either Canadian or American). Dollar amounts provided to Canadian students are in U.S. funds unless otherwise indicated.
For International Citizens
Students who are not U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or eligible non-citizens are not eligible for U.S. financial aid. For more information on eligible categories, please visit https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/eligibility.
Student employment may be available through the University Work Study program. This program typically allows a student to work about 5 hours per week on campus. To be considered for this type of employment, a University work study application is required. The application is available to print from our website, at https://www.umfk.edu/student-employment/.
Students are encouraged to seek financial assistance through sponsors, local government, and/or private loans. Private loans are available through U.S. lenders, such as banks and credit unions and may provide financial assistance to students and/or parents who are unable to borrow through traditional student loan programs.
How and When to Apply for Financial Aid
To be considered for financial aid eligible students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The best time to complete a FAFSA is after October 1st of each calendar year. A FAFSA can be completed online at: studentaid.gov.
UMFK has a priority filing date of March 31st every calendar year. It is recommended that a student complete their FAFSA and their financial aid file, as soon as possible after October 1st. (Note: This would be 11 months prior to the start-up of the Fall semester.) Since files are reviewed as they are received, better financial aid packages are usually available to those students who have completed their financial aid file by the March 31 priority filing date. Financial Aid is awarded for each academic year i.e., Fall and Winter/Spring. (Note: Summer is an academic year trailer.) UMFK’s Federal School Code (002041) must be listed on the student’s FAFSA in order for the school to receive it. Late applicants not meeting the March 31 priority filing date will be considered for aid, however, some funds are limited.
Summer aid requires a separate “UMFK Summer” application that is available on the UMFK website. The best time to apply is in March/April prior to the summer session. Summer aid for UMFK is an academic year trailer. Summer aid would basically consist of Pell Grant and Direct Loan eligibility not used during the academic year. Undergraduate students must be enrolled for at least 6.0 credits to be considered for student loans.
The Financial Aid Process for students completing the FAFSA
The University of Maine at Fort Kent strives to provide financial assistance to qualified students. The basic philosophy of the UMFK Financial Aid program is that the primary responsibility for meeting college expenses rests with the student and the student’s family. Accordingly, earnings, savings, and other assets of the student and, where appropriate, parents’ or spouse’s resources are taken into consideration when making a determination of resources available to meet educational expenses.
A contribution toward educational expenses from the student and family is calculated by the U.S. Department of Education when the FAFSA is filed and is reviewed by the UMFK Financial Aid Office. This need analysis system takes many factors into consideration including family income, assets, number of dependents, number of dependents in college, age of parents, and state of residence. Also included is an expected contribution from the student’s earnings and the student’s assets. These factors result in a figure called Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is used to determine eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant, as well as other financial aid programs.
The EFC is subtracted from a standard student budget, which is based on average educational and living costs to determine the student’s need for assistance. A financial aid package, which may consist of one, two, or more types of aid will be created using this data. The amount of need-based aid, which includes grants, federal-work study, and some types of student loans and scholarships, cannot exceed determined financial need.
Please note that aid decisions are based on FAFSA data. If a major change occurs in the financial circumstances of the student, or student’s family during the academic year, that change should then be reported to the financial aid office. Other changes that should be reported are a change in a student’s credit load (i.e., from 12 credits to 9 credits) or in housing arrangements (i.e., from on-campus to off-campus). It is the student’s responsibility to report all such changes. Withdrawal from the University before the completion of the academic period for which an award has been made may result in an adjustment of awards. This may require the student to return aid funds to the U. S. Department of Education. The return of funds calculation is independent of institutional refund policies and may also result in the student owing a balance to the University.
Cost of Attendance
A student’s Cost of Attendance, also known as the student’s budget, includes both direct and indirect expenses. Direct expenses are costs that are charged to the student’s bill and paid directly to the University, such as tuition and fees. Indirect costs are expenses incurred, but are not directly paid to the University, such as travel and personal expenses.
Student budgets are based on full-time attendance for a nine-month academic year, consisting of two semesters of 15 credits each. Budget categories include: tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, books and supplies, loan fees, and miscellaneous expenses. Fees/costs not included include, but are not limited to: lab fees, health insurance, breakage deposit (for resident hall students only), key deposit (for resident hall students only), and the single room charge. Additional charges/fees not listed in this section may apply. Review the Financial Information section for more information.
Initial financial aid awards are based on full-time enrollment (i.e., 12 credits or more) for one (1) academic year (i.e., two semesters) and anticipated living arrangements per the student’s stated intention on the FAFSA. Any changes to enrollment (i.e., full-time to part-time), academic year enrollment, (i.e., attending only one semester rather than two), changes in living arrangements (such as moving from on-campus housing to an apartment off- campus) may result in adjustments to the financial aid budget and award. Such changes must be reported directly to the Financial Aid Office.
Individual adjustments for expenses connected to a disability or for childcare while the student is in school may be made based on individual circumstances, and documentation is required. For more information, please call the Financial Aid Office at (207) 834-7605.
Financial Aid Award Packages
There are three basic types of financial aid:
- Grants and Scholarships are frequently referred to as gift assistance because they do not have to be repaid.
- Self-Help/Federal Student Loans offer a low-interest rate, and repayment usually begins after the student has left school or is enrolled less than half-time.
- Self-Help/Work assistance allows the student to work on-campus. It is part-time employment during the school year and may include summer employment as well.
Applicants are considered for all categories of assistance for which they may qualify. Students should thoroughly review all information accompanying the Award Notice, as well as available UMFK website resources, to be aware of their rights and responsibilities in regard to financial aid. Students may accept, reduce, or decline all or any part of the financial aid package offered on the Award Notice via MaineStreet.
Students may need to complete additional documents for programs such as work-study and loans. Financial aid will not be credited to the student’s account until documents are complete. Loan funds are credited to the student’s account to offset charges. Federal Work Study is paid no less than once monthly, directly to the student for hours worked in the pay period.
If financial aid credited to a student’s account exceeds his or her charges, the student may: receive a refund, request that funds be returned to the lender, or request funds be kept on their student account for future charges. For more information regarding student accounts, please contact the Business Office.
Other Important Things to Know
Statement of Educational Purpose
All recipients of Federal grant, loan, and work study programs are required to sign a Statement of Educational Purpose which states that all Federal aid received will be used solely for expenses related to attendance or continued attendance at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. This statement is signed by all students at the time they sign the FAFSA.
A student can be randomly selected by the Federal Processor to complete a separate Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose form and provide a State ID for verifying purposes with the financial aid office.
Continued Financial Aid Eligibility and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Financial aid is awarded annually. A student must reapply for each subsequent year in which consideration is desired. Continued eligibility from one year to the next depends on (1) continued financial aid eligibility, which may change from year to year, and (2) satisfactory academic progress towards the degree, which is reviewed at the end of each academic year.
At the end of each academic year, each student’s academic standing is reviewed to determine if the minimum requirements are being maintained. In the event that the student fails to meet the minimum requirements, the student is placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Students placed on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal, in writing, to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee. If granted an appeal, a student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.
Financial Aid Suspension and Academic Separation differ. A student who has been academically separated is no longer in a UMFK degree program or allowed to take classes at UMFK for up to one year. To be considered for financial aid, a student must be in a degree program. Therefore, a student who has been Academically Separated is no longer eligible to receive financial aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy - For Financial Aid Recipients
Federal financial aid regulations limit how long any student can continue to receive financial aid. In order to keep your eligibility for financial aid, you must be making progress toward earning your degree. You can lose eligibility for aid if you are not doing well in your classes and/or if it is taking a longer than average time to earn your degree. If you are not meeting the minimum standards, even if you are allowed to continue your enrollment, you will have to do so without benefit of financial assistance.
Federal Regulations (34 CFR Part 668) require that in order to receive student financial aid under the programs authorized by Title IV of The Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended, students must be maintaining satisfactory academic progress in the course of study they are pursuing according to the standards and practices of the institution. Therefore, students receiving federal financial aid are expected to maintain full academic standing as described in the University Catalog. In addition, students must maintain satisfactory progress according to the policy stated below.
These Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) regulations require that all Universities establish and publish a policy that takes into account both qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (progress through the program toward completion) measures as well as establishing a maximum time frame that cannot exceed one and one half the normal time frame for the program. At the University of Maine at Fort Kent, students’ progress is measured by their grade point average (GPA) and the number of credits successfully completed compared to the number of credits attempted. Students must meet both the minimum GPA requirement and have successfully completed the required percentage of credit hours attempted within established time frames to retain eligibility for federal financial aid.
**ALL** courses taken at UMFK will be used in calculating SAP
Students who have a break in attendance will be reviewed including all UMFK credits attempted and including any credits transfer into UMFK toward the degree. All courses taken at UMFK will be used in calculating SAP, including any UMFK courses taken while in high school and courses taken at other institutions including Away courses, while a UMFK student. Transfer credits are also included.
SECTION I Policy Details
The following shall be considered as credits successfully completed:
a. “A” through “D” grades;
b. “P” passed for credit on a Pass/Fail basis.
The following shall be considered as credits attempted but not successfully completed:
a. “F” grades b. “AUD” - audited course; i. “MG” - missing grade
c. “W” - withdrawal; d. “I” - incomplete;
e. “PR” - in progress; f. “Non-credit” courses.
g. “DG” - deferred grade h. “L” - did not attend the course
Change of Program - For one time only, when a student changes program, SAP is based on all the credits attempted to date, excluding those that would have no place in the new program even if the student had successfully completed the course.
Transfer Students - If a student earned credits at a previous institution(s) that will be accepted toward his/her degree, satisfactory progress evaluation will take place at the proper level in the time frame; e.g., a full-time student who transfers 30 credits toward the UMFK degree would be considered to have attempted and completed 30 credits towards the degree.
Financial Aid Suspension - At the end of each academic year, each student’s academic standing will be reviewed to determine if the minimum requirements outlined in Section II are being maintained. In the event that the student fails to meet the minimum requirements, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. The student will be notified by the financial aid office. A student in this status is not eligible for financial aid. Any prior aid offers made to the student will be retracted for the applicable time period. If a student has extenuating or mitigating circumstances that would justify why they did not do well, the student may appeal the financial aid office decision.
What your SAP Suspended Aid Appeal Letter Should Address: - A student placed on Suspension may appeal, in writing, within 30 days of notification, to the financial aid office stating:
a. What went wrong and why the minimum requirements were not met
b. What you have done and will do differently in order to succeed in the future. What are you doing to correct the problems that led to the unsatisfactory academic progress?
c. Third party documentation for extenuating circumstances must be included in the appeal submission.
A student who’s aid is suspended and who chooses not to appeal, or whose appeal is not accepted will remain on financial aid suspension beginning with the subsequent semester, and may not receive aid until the student is again in compliance with the requirements.
Letters of Appeal should be returned to:
University of Maine at Fort Kent, Financial Aid Office, 23 University Drive, Fort Kent, ME 04743
Appeal Review: Upon review of the appeal, the Financial Aid Office will notify the student in writing and/or by email (at your @maine.edu email address) of the decision. If the appeal is not granted, a student wishing to appeal the Financial Aid Office decision may do so (in writing) to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee, if still not granted, the student may appeal (in writing) to the President.
If granted an appeal, a student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. A student on Probation may receive financial aid for the upcoming semester. If it appears that the student cannot bring academic performance into compliance with the requirements during the next semester, the student will be required to establish an Academic Plan for future semesters as part of the appeal. If the appeal is successful, the student may receive aid for the subsequent semester. The student’s record will be reviewed again at the end of the subsequent semester to determine if the student in now in compliance with the requirements and, if applicable, has met the requirements of the Academic Plan. In the case where it may take a student several semesters to come into compliance, as long as the student continues to meet the requirements of the Academic Plan, the student will be eligible to receive aid.
Failure to achieve the required minimum GPA and credits at the end of the Probationary semester will result in Suspension of Title IV financial aid eligibility.
Condition of Financial Aid Reinstatement - Students must complete the required percentage of credits within the maximum time frame, with the corresponding grade point average, in order to be reinstated. The student must notify the Financial Aid Office, in writing, that the conditions of reinstatement have been met. The student will observe the normal application procedures and deadlines for financial aid consideration and will receive written notification if financial aid is to be reinstated.
Section II Specific Progress Requirements
First, your total number of credits attempted is determined, regardless of whether or not you received financial aid for that semester. Your attempted credit hours are the total number of credit hours for which you were enrolled as of the last day of the Drop/Add period (plus any transfer credits accepted toward your degree.)
Then the total number of credits successfully completed is divided by the total number attempted to arrive at a percentage earned. The percentage earned must be at least:
0 to 30 credits attempted, must have earned at least 50%
30.01 to 45 credits attempted, must have earned at least 55%
45.01 to 60 credits attempted, must have earned at least 60%
60.01 to 75 credits attempted, must have earned at least 65%
75.01 to 90 credits attempted, must have earned at least 70%
90.01 to 999 credits attempted, must have earned at least 75%
0 to 11 credits attempted, must have earned at least 50%
12 and above credits attempted, must have earned at least 75%
Second, you must maintain a minimum GPA as indicated in the University Catalogue:
Undergraduate Minimum GPA:
0 -29 attempted hours 1.67 Cumulative GPA
30-59 attempted hours 1.75 Cumulative GPA
60+ attempted hours 2.00 Cumulative GPA
Graduate Minimum GPA:
0+ attempted hours 2.67 Cumulative GPA
Third, the maximum time frames are as follows:
For a four year, 120 credit Baccalaureate degree, 180 attempted credits
For a four year, 125 credit Baccalaureate degree, 187.5 attempted credits
For a four year, 128 credit Baccalaureate degree, 192 attempted credits
For a two year, 60 credit Associate degree, 90 attempted credits
For a 43 credit Graduate degree, 64.5 attempted credits
Add/Drop from Classes and Withdrawal from the Term
Financial aid is based in part on enrollment status. Changes in enrollment may require changes to a financial aid award. See the add/drop/withdrawal policies in this catalog or on the UMFK website for further information.
Classes Taken at Away Schools
Away forms should be completed, approved by your academic advisor, and submitted to the UMFK Registrar’s Office prior to the start of each semester. Approved credits taken at an Away school can impact your financial aid budget and financial aid award package at UMFK.
Return of Title IV Funds
Policy for Reimbursement to Title IV Accounts for Students Who Withdraw
When a student receiving Title IV student financial aid withdraws from all courses, the aid must be adjusted in accordance with rules established by the U.S. Department of Education. These calculations may result in the student owing the Federal Government and/or the University.
Return of Title IV Funds/Institutional Refunds
When a student withdraws, University policies and federal requirements may result in charges and financial aid being reduced. If a student withdraws before completion of the semester, the federal refund calculation is required to determine aid eligibility for that semester. This refund calculation follows a specific percentage of adjustment based on the date of withdrawal and may require a return of financial aid. The calculation is generally based upon the percentage of the enrollment period which the student has completed and is independent of the University’s tuition refund policy.
The day the student officially withdraws is determined to be the withdrawal date. If the student ceases to attend without providing official notification of withdrawal to the institution, the midpoint of the payment period will be the withdrawal date for the purpose of returning Title IV funds.
Return of Funds
Funds returned as a result of a refund or overpayments are returned to the Title IV programs in an order prescribed by law and regulations.
Order of Return of Title IV Funds Prescribed by Higher Education Amendments of 1998 Total Refund
- Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
- Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
- Federal PLUS Loans
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
- Other Title IV Aid Programs
- Other federal, state, private or institutional aid
If you have any questions regarding the Refund Calculation for Withdrawals, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
If your total semester financial aid applied to your account/bill, exceeds your semester charges you may receive an overage or “refund”. Because you were issued a refund does not mean your school bill/balance is paid in full. If you owe a “back” balance, it is possible to be issued a refund with a balance remaining on your account. It is recommended to check the status of your bill periodically in MaineStreet.
Direct deposit of refunds to a bank/savings account is available, FMI go to: www.umfk.edu/business. Otherwise, refund checks are released through the UMFK Business Office. Refunds are usually issued at the beginning of a semester, or as soon thereafter as a credit balance occurs. For more information or if you would like your refund check mailed to you, contact the Business Office at 207-834-8650. Note: If applicable, a refund may go towards paying your balance at a University of Maine System (UMS) Away school. For Away classes taken at non-UMS Away schools, the student is responsible for paying the balance. Contact the Business Office for more information.
Types of Financial Aid
Federal Pell Grant
The Pell Grant is a federally funded grant program designed to form the foundation of all aid received. Pell Grant funding is available to undergraduate students (who have not already earned a prior Bachelor Degree) who demonstrate financial need and have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) at an eligible level as determined by the Congress. To be considered for this type of aid, a student must: complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), list UMFK’s school code (002041) in the appropriate section and submit the FAFSA to a central processor for review.
The amount of a Pell Grant award varies depending upon eligibility, the cost of attendance, and the number of credits for which the student is enrolled (full-time, three-quarter-time, or less than half-time). Changes to enrollment status can change the Pell Grant eligibility/amount.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program is a federally funded program intended for undergraduate students who demonstrate significant financial need. To be considered for this type of aid, a student must: complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), list UMFK’s school code (002041) in the appropriate section and submit the FAFSA to a central processor for review. An FSEOG grant amount will depend on a student’s financial need and available funds. Students are encouraged to meet UMFK’s March 31st priority filing date. A student must be enrolled at least half-time to be considered for this type of aid.
Maine State Grant
The Maine State Grant is a need-based state grant awarded to eligible undergraduate students. The application is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which must be received by the Federal Processor May 1. State grant programs may be available for students who are not Maine residents. Those students are encouraged to contact the appropriate state agency for more information and to apply.
Federal Work Study Program (FWS)
The Federal Work Study program provides employment opportunities on campus or, in some instances, with off-campus agencies while the student is enrolled in school. This program helps students pay for educational expenses. Eligible students are limited to part-time employment during the academic year but may work up to 40 hours per week if employed under the FWS Summer Work-Study Program. Summer work hours are however, limited to the dollar amount of the work allocation granted to the student for this time period. Eligibility is based on need and available funds. To be considered for this type of aid, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To maintain eligibility for Federal work study, a student must be enrolled at least half-time during the academic year. For summer consideration, the student must be registered for summer classes or for the upcoming fall semester.
Note: Should FWS funds not be available, a student can apply to participate in the University Summer Work-Study Program. Contact the Student Employment Office for more information.
University Work Study Program
A limited amount of University money may be available to assist students who wish to work on campus but are not eligible for Federal Work Study. Students are limited to part-time employment during the academic year but may work up to 40 hours per week if employed under the Summer University Work Study Program. Summer work hours are, however, limited to the dollar amount of the work allocation granted to the student for this time period.
For consideration, the student must be enrolled at least half-time during the academic year, and during the summer period, the student must be registered for summer classes or for the upcoming fall semester.
A student interested in this type of employment should contact the UMFK Student Employment office or the UMFK website and search for the Student Employment Office.
Direct Loan Program
Federal Direct Loans, also known as Federal Stafford Loans, are low-interest loans made to eligible students attending school on at least a half-time basis. A student may be eligible for Direct Subsidized loans, Direct Unsubsidized loans, or both. The subsidized loan is need-based, and the U.S. Department of Education will pay the interest that accrues on your Direct Subsidized loan while in school, grace, and deferment periods. The Direct Unsubsidized loan is non-need based and the student is responsible for the interest that accrues on the loan while in school and during deferment and grace periods.
To be considered for Direct Loans, a student must: complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Annual and lifetime loan limits are determined by federal regulations. The Financial Aid Office will determine the student’s eligibility within these limits. Borrowing limits vary depending if the student is considered dependent or independent on the FAFSA and based on class year as determined by number of credits earned toward the degree. More information is available at the UMFK website.
A student is notified of their Direct Loan eligibility as shown on the Award Notice. All students who wish to borrow the offered Direct Loan must:
- Notify the UMFK Financial Aid Office of the acceptance of their loan(s), and the amount to be borrowed. This is accomplished by accepting (all or part of) their loan offer in their Student Center in MaineStreet or by accepting (all or part of) their loan “offer” on their paper Award Notice and returning it to the Financial Aid Office.
- First-time borrowers must complete Entrance Counseling and the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). Entrance Counseling and the MPN must be completed before a Direct Loan can be processed. Entrance Counseling informs the student of their rights and responsibilities as a loan borrower. The MPN is the promise to pay back the loan according to the terms of the note. Both Entrance Counseling and the MPN can be completed online at https://studentaid.gov. An FSA ID is required to login.
A student should follow all appropriate application instructions as provided with the Award Notice and as posted on the UMFK website. Once all application requirements are met, and the student remains eligible, the loan will be processed by the school and funds will be disbursed in two disbursements, one- half for the fall semester and one- half for the spring semester. Funds will go directly to the school and be applied towards the student’s school bill/balance. Should any funds remain once the semester’s balance is paid in full, the remaining (semester) amount will be given to the student as a refund.
Direct Loans require repayment. After a student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time, a student has a six-month grace period before beginning repayment. For Direct Subsidized loans, neither the interest nor the principal needs to be paid while the student is enrolled in-school for 6.0 credits or more. (Exception: You will be responsible for interest that accrues during your grace period for subsidized loans disbursed between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2014. If you choose not to pay the interest that accrues during your grace period, the interest will be added to your principal balance.) For Direct Unsubsidized loans, the student will be responsible for the interest from the time the loan is disbursed until the loan is paid in full. Interest may be paid while in school or accrued and capitalized upon the beginning of the repayment period. Interest rates change annually. More information on loan repayment is available at: https://studentaid.gov.
Direct Loan Deferments are available for those who return to at least half-time study at an eligible institution, graduate fellowships, rehabilitation training, or during unemployment and economic hardship. A student may be granted periods of Forbearance if not eligible for a deferment. Loans are canceled in the event of the death or permanent and total disability of the borrower. Deferment and Forbearance should be requested from the student’s loan servicer. Sign in to https://studentaid.gov to view federal loan history and servicer information. An FSA ID is required to login.
Default occurs when a Direct Loan borrower in repayment fails to make a payment for 270 days. The consequences of default are severe. The University, the lender or agency that holds your loan, the state and the federal government may all take action, including notifying national credit bureaus of your default. This may result in a negative credit rating for as long as seven years. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service can withhold your U.S. individual income tax refund and apply it to the amount you owe, or the agency holding your loan might ask your employer to deduct payments from your paycheck. Also, loans in default may be subject to loan collection. Borrowers with loans in default are not eligible for any federal financial aid at any school until the student loan default is resolved.
To avoid default, UMFK advises student loan borrowers to keep in touch with their servicer. It is always best to deal with your servicer directly as soon as trouble arises and to not wait to resolve issues at the last moment. It is important that your servicer knows where to reach you. Always keep your loan servicer updated with your correct address and phone number. There are tools to assist you with repayment problems as explained in the Entrance and Exit counseling sessions and available from your loan servicer. Don’t wait until it is too late to use them.
Cancellations for Current Students
If a borrower wishes to cancel his or her loan or return extra loan funds, he or she must contact the Financial Aid Office.
More loan information regarding borrowing, repayment, cancellations, repayment reductions, etc, is provided by the Federal Student Aid Information Center (call toll-free) at 1-800-4-FED AID or (1-800-433-3243). More information regarding the Direct Loan program is also available from https://studentaid.gov.
Direct Loan Exit Counseling
Exit Counseling is required for all undergraduate Direct Loan borrowers who enroll for less than 6 credit hours per semester or leave UMFK for any reason. Exit Counseling will provide useful information regarding the repayment process, deferment, forbearance, and in-school deferment. The session is required even if the student plans to return to UMFK in the future, or transfers to another school. A “UMFK-Hold” will be placed on the student’s UMFK account until the student’s Exit obligation has been met. A “Hold” will prevent the student from acquiring an official academic grade transcript, and receiving a diploma at UMFK, as well as other University of Maine campuses. Exit counseling can be completed online at: https://studentaid.gov. An FSA ID is required to login. FMI go to: fsaid.ed.gov.
You may contact Direct Loans at: 1-800-557-7394, or go to https://studentaid.gov.
Locate Your Federal Loan History
Check your student loan history at the National Student Loan Data System: https://studentaid.gov. Note that this system only records federal grant and loan programs - non-federal programs, such as the alternative and state loan programs will not be listed on this site.
On the website you can make inquiries about your loans and/or grants. Information is displayed on loan and/or grant amounts, outstanding balances, loan statuses and disbursements.
The Federal Student Aid Information Center (1-800-4-FED-AID) is also available to assist you with loan questions. Contact them by email at: https://studentaid.gov or visit their website at: https://studentaid.gov.
Parent Loan Option - For Parents of a Dependent Student
Direct Parent PLUS Loan - Parent Loan Options
A Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan is a loan that allows a parent, with no adverse credit history to borrow for educational expenses of their dependent undergraduate student. To be considered for this type of aid, a student must: complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Also, the parent must complete a UMFK Direct Parent PLUS Loan application, credit check, and a Direct Plus Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). A student whose parent is determined by the U.S. Department of Education to not be eligible to borrow a PLUS may be eligible for additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan funds. More information and application details are available on the UMFK website at: https://www.umfk.edu/financialaid/loans/parent-plus/ or by contacting the Financial Aid Office.
PLUS Loan Limits
PLUS Loan borrowing limits vary with each student. The yearly limit is equal to the student’s cost of attendance minus any other financial aid. More information, including interest rates is available at https://studentaid.gov. The repayment period for a Direct PLUS Loan begins at the time the PLUS loan is fully disbursed, and the first payment is due within 60 days after the final disbursement. The parent borrower may choose to defer repayment while the student (for whom the parent borrowed, for) is enrolled at least half-time and for an additional six months after the student is no longer at least half-time, however, this must be requested by the parent borrower from the loan Servicer. Interest that accrues during these periods will be capitalized if not paid by the parent during the deferment.
More information on this loan type and the loan application process is available from the campus website at: www.umfk.edu/financialaid/loans and https://studentaid.gov.
Alternative Loans - Another Student Loan Option
An Alternative loan is a private student loan made by a bank or credit union. This type of loan money is used to help supplement a student’s financial aid award offered by the school. Alternative loans may provide financial assistance to students who are unable to borrow through traditional student loan programs or who are unable to borrow sufficient money to cover college costs. This is a private loan based on credit. The submission of the FAFSA is encouraged to determine the need for more favorable types of aid, but not required. Visit the campus website at: www.umfk.edu/financialaid/loans for additional information and a list of lenders that UMFK is currently doing business with. Other lenders can be selected; however, there could be loan processing delays.
General Scholarship Information
There are three basic types of scholarships: Scholarships are awarded differently, depending on the type of scholarship, the application process, and the funding resource.
- UMFK Scholarships - There are several different types of scholarships provided by UMFK.
- Some UMFK scholarships can be awarded to you as part of your Award Package. To be considered for these scholarships requires a FAFSA, a completed financial aid file, the student meeting eligibility requirements and available funding.
- Some UMFK scholarships require a UMFK scholarship application. The UMFK scholarship application has a priority filing date of March 1st. Apply online at: https://www.umfk.edu/financialaid/scholarships. Resources include Endowed and Foundation funding.
- Some UMFK scholarships can be granted/awarded where a UMFK application is not required. Rather, the University will “select” the student based on scholarship eligibility criteria. This includes but is not limited to: the Bengal Academic scholarships, Athletic scholarships and other miscellaneous UMFK scholarships.
- University of Maine System (UMS) scholarships - Scholarship funds are made available through the University of Maine System, where some scholarship funds are earmarked specifically for UMFK. An application is not always required for awarding purposes but is recommended. A complete list of UMS scholarships, more information and the application form is available on the UMFK website. Deadlines vary. Apply online at: https://www.umfk.edu/financialaid/scholarships.
- Outside Scholarships - Many scholarships are available from sources other than UMFK. Connecting links are available from the UMFK campus website. Other outside scholarship resources are available online, school’s website, high school guidance office, libraries, local organizations, companies, etc.
Note: Additional scholarship information, application forms and links are available from the website at: https://www.umfk.edu/financialaid/scholarships.
UMFK Institutional Scholarships
The UMFK Athletic Department will determine the selection of students. The Athletic Department also will notify the financial aid office of all award offers. A scholarship application is not required.
Bengal Scholarships - (Sometimes also referred to as Academic and Merit scholarships)
The Bengal Scholarship was established to recognize deserving students for their academic achievements and is awarded to students based on their academic performance. SAT/ACT scores, high school class rank, etc. may be considered and may be used in determining eligibility. For transfer students, cumulative transfer G.P.A will be considered. Scholarship amounts may vary. The Bengal scholarship is available to U. S. Citizens, Canadians, and International students. The scholarship is renewable annually provided the recipient maintains the required G.P.A., remains in good academic standing, and meets all other eligibility requirements. UMFK’s Admissions Office will determine eligibility and will communicate with students and the Financial Aid Office. More information is available at the Admissions section of the UMFK website. A scholarship application is NOT required.
UMFK Need-Based Scholarships
The Need-based scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. The Financial Aid Office makes the determination of eligibility. If a student is eligible, the scholarship will be part of a student’s financial aid package and made available on the student’s award notice. FAFSA completion is required for consideration. UMFK’s priority filing date of March 31st applies.
Other Scholarships, Waivers, and Considerations
Maine License Plate Scholarship
This scholarship is a need-based program funded through the purchase of University of Maine System license plates. The amount of money available for grants each year varies depending on the number of license plates purchased and renewed.
Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) Scholarships and Programs (Various deadlines apply.)
FAME provides a variety of aid programs for eligible Maine residents Partial list includes:
- Educators for Maine Program (May 1st deadline)
- State of Maine Grant Program (May 1st deadline)
- Tuition Waiver Program (Foster Care)
A scholarship search is also available from FAME. For more information, visit FAME’s website at: www.famemaine.com or call FAME at 1-800-228-3734.
Educational Assistance from Public Agencies
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is approved by the State Approving Agency, Department of Education, Veterans Administration for VA benefit purposes, Social Security Administration, Maine Rehabilitation Commission, and other public agencies for educational benefits under a variety of programs. A FAFSA may be required to be considered for assistance.
About the Native American Waiver and Educational Program
The University of Maine System has tuition waiver and room and board grant programs for eligible Native American students. The purpose of these programs is to encourage Native American students to participate in public higher education in Maine. The goal is to provide sustained support for all UMS Native American students who wish to pursue post-secondary study and, in particular, those who wish to obtain a certificate and/or an associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree or some other appropriate credential that will serve them personally and professionally as they plan for the future.
More information and application materials are available from the campus website, www.umfk.edu/financialaid/waivers/. A student must apply and be approved for this waiver.
A FAFSA is required and a FAFSA application deadline also applies to be considered for this type of assistance.
Native American Tuition Waiver Program
This program covers tuition and mandatory fees. Tuition and mandatory fees will be waived for qualified Native American students who are matriculated and who are enrolled in academic, credit-bearing courses at the undergraduate, graduate, or continuing education level at the campuses of the University of Maine System.
Native American Room and Board Grant
The Native American Room and Board Grant is a need-based award for qualified native students living in a residence hall of the campus where they are matriculating. Students will be subsidized at the double occupancy rate for the student’s residence. Charges for a single room, or computer or telephone devices, for which there are separate charges, will be the responsibility of the student tenant. Room and board charges will be covered only during the traditional academic year (fall and spring terms).
For more information, including questions regarding eligibility, contact the Wabanaki Center at 207-581-1417 or their website at: https://umaine.edu/nativeamericanprograms/wabanaki-center/.
Determination of Room and Board Grant: The maximum eligibility for the Room and Board Grant will not exceed the cost of the standard room and board charges, less all federal and state gift aid the student may receive for the purpose of funding educational expenses, as well as other assistance specifically identified as paying for room and board charges. For the purpose of this calculation, 50% of a Federal Pell Grant will be considered. During the award process the maximum eligibility is compared to the student’s remaining need and reduced if necessary, so that an over award situation is not created.
Total amount of aid permitted: The total amount a student receives from the Native American Room and Board Grant Program 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.
Exceptions: Exceptions to any policies associated with the Native American Waiver and Educational Program will only be granted by the Native American Waiver and Educational Program Coordinator in consultation with the UMS Chief Student Affairs Officer. Appeals should be presented in the form of a letter detailing the specifics of the appeal.
Veteran’s Dependent Waiver
Per Maine law, tuition and mandatory fees and lab fees will be waived for eligible orphans, widows & widowers of veterans as well as spouses and children of veterans who are disabled, missing in action, etc. Initial eligibility is determined by the Veterans Affairs Office of the State of Maine. Students must be enrolled in an associate’s or bachelor’s program. The tuition may be reduced by an amount necessary to ensure that the value of this waiver, combined with all other grants and benefits received by the student, does not exceed the total cost of attendance (COA).
Under certain circumstances, tuition may be partially or fully waived for: seniors (65 years of age or older), university employees, dependents of university employees, and early college high school program students. Also see the Tuition Waiver Program (Foster Youth) from FAME at: famemaine.com.
Additional Informational Resources
FSA ID and FAFSA
- A video on how to make your FSA ID: http://gcf.evsuite.com/fsaid-video/
- FAFSA HELP - for obtaining a new Federal Student Aid ID, FAFSA issues and questions - call: The Federal Student Aid Information Center: 1-800-4-FED-AID, (1-800-433-3243).
- The Federal Student Aid FSA ID is required to electronically sign your FAFSA, electronically sign your Direct Loan Master Promissory Note, login to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and other Federal websites.
Place To Get Assistance
- Federal Student Aid Information Center: 1-800-4-FED-AID, (1-800-433-3243) or 319-337-5665. Get help with the Federal Student Aid ID, with the completion of the FAFSA, loans and repayment.
- Student Aid HELP is available from the Federal Student Aid Information Center online at: www.studentaidhelp.ed.gov or call them at: 1-800-433-3243.
- FAME FSA ID, the FAFSA and/or the financial aid process from A-Z: www.famemaine.com, or 1-800-228-3734. FAME is available to assist with most aid related questions.
If you are interested in one of our graduate programs, such as our Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and would like to be considered for federal financial aid, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required and can be completed at: www.studentaid.gov.
Important Things to Know:
- Financial aid is limited to a Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan
- The annual loan limit for eligible graduate and professional students is $20,500
- Students must be enrolled half-time for loan consideration
- Half-time status is 3.0 credits
- Student must not have reached their aggregate loan limits
- Students must not be in default on prior education loans
The financial aid application process for graduate students is similar to the process for undergraduate students, with a few important differences.
*Graduate students are considered independent for the purposes of filing a FAFSA. Therefore, parent information is not required on the
*Student must be accepted into a UMFK graduate program.
Additional federal loan information is available at: www.studentaid.gov and www.studentaid.gov/interest/