Prospective Students

How do I compare financial aid offers from several schools?

You should be comparing ‘apples to apples’ instead of ‘apples to oranges.’ Financial aid is awarded in two primary categories: gift aid and self-help. Gift aid consists of financial aid that does not have to be repaid or earned. Examples include grants and/or scholarships awarded by the institution. Self-help is comprised of student loans and/or work-study. Examples include the Stafford loan and the Federal Perkins loan.

Some institutions may inflate your financial aid offer by including an alternative loan (such as a parent loan and/or private loans). St. Mary’s University does not pre-package these loans since this is a family decision and most, if not all, are based on a credit check. In your comparison of financial aid offers, you should only consider similar programs.

If you and your family decide to pursue these alternative loans, St. Mary’s University can assist you in the application process. Keep in mind that you are deciding where you will attend college for the next four to five years. Renewability of financial aid programs will vary from year to year, but the types and quantity should be consistent provided your family’s finances, size, meeting priority deadlines and your academic success are also consistent from year to year.

How do I apply for scholarships?

Academic scholarships are awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Admission during the admission process. Priority consideration is given to students who apply by January 15. Students are also encouraged to seek additional scholarship opportunities in their communities.

How do I accept my St. Mary’s University financial aid offer?

It’s easy to accept your financial aid award. Review the letter detailing your financial aid offer, then sign and return it to us promptly. You can also accept your offered financial aid via Gateway.

In addition, you ll need to choose St. Mary s University by making your enrollment deposit and residence hall deposit, if you will be living on campus. Then, attend an orientation session and register for classes (most financial aid programs require full-time enrollment).

How do I receive a Work-Study assignment?

Work-Study is awarded as part of the financial aid award; however, it is not automatically assigned.

Learn more about the Work-Study Process.

What is St. Mary’s University’s FAFSA code?


Do I have to wait until I file my taxes to do the FAFSA?

No, you may estimate using last year’s tax figures and make corrections later.

See more information about Federal Verification.