Jun 12, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Financial Aid

Henry Administration Bldg, Suite, 1100, 301-860-3540
Fax: 301-860-3549


The Office of Financial Aid offers financial assistance to students in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment.  Programs are funded by the Federal Government.  The State of Maryland, the District of Columbia and Bowie State University and other entities.

Application Procedures

Students who are interested in applying for financial assistance must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Application located at: www.fafsa.gov.

This process is an annual process-and is available October 1st  of every year.  It is recommended that students and parents complete the FAFSA as soon as possible on or after October 1.  The easiest way to complete the FAFSA with accurate tax information is by using the IRS Data Retrieval tool through fafsa.gov.

Students, parents, and borrowers are required to use an FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites.  Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and electronically signing your federal student aid documents. 

Maryland residents are encouraged to complete FAFSA by March 1. March 1 is the deadline for applicants who are seeking grants and scholarships from Maryland Higher Education Programs. All students interested in BSU must list Bowie State University school code (002062) in order for BSU to receive information regarding your FAFSA.

FAFSA Applications are processed on a continuous basis. To ensure timely process, students should submit all request documents by June 1st.  Documents received and processed after June 1st will be considered for campus based financial aid upon availability of funding.

It is highly recommended that students follow the steps listed below to ensure maximum funding in a timely manner:

  • Complete the FAFSA as soon as it becomes available on October 1.
  • Complete the admissions process early and be confirmed as admitted degree seeking student.
  • Submit all requested documentation for Financial Aid to complete the verification process if selected.

Important Deadlines

October 1 The Free Application for Federal Student Aid becomes available (www.fafsa.gov)
March 1 Maryland residents must complete the FAFSA to be considered for state grants offered by MHEC
July 15 Subject to change please check with the Office of Financial Aid Students interested in applying for BSU Institutional Scholarships must complete the BSU Institutional Scholarship Application.
June 1 All documents must be received to ensure an official financial aid offer prior to start of the FALL semester
Feb 1 - June 29 District of Columbia residents must apply for DC app. www.seo.dc.gov
December 1 Final deadline to submit documents for FALL only student
December 1 All documents must be received to ensure an official financial aid offer prior to start of the SPRING semester

Eligibility Requirements

Students must meet the following general requirements for determining eligibility for federal and institutional aid:

  • demonstrate financial need
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • have a high school diploma or GED
  • have a valid Social Security number
  • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • be enrolled or accepted as a degree-seeking student
  • be registered with the Selective Service (if required)
  • certification that you are not in default on a federal loan or do not owe money on a federal student grant


Verification is the confirmation through documentation that the information provided on a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is correct.  The federal government requires colleges and universities to verify or confirm the data reported by students and their parent(s) on the FAFSA.

The U.S. Department of Education uses a risk model to determine which FAFSAs will be selected for verification and which data elements will be verified.  If selected, students must provide an IRS Tax Return Transcript, verification worksheets and other requested supporting information.  The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to additional documents to aid int the completion of the verification process. 

Upon completion of the verification process, corrections will be transmitted electronically to the U.S. Department of Education resulting in the recalculation of your financial eligibility.

Students are encourage to respond promptly too any request for additional information. Verification documentation must be submitted by the last date of attendance. Failure to respond to the request for verification documents will result in the cancellation of any financial aid award(s).

Changes in Aid

Federal regulations governing Title IV assistance does not allow a student to receive aid totaling more than the cost of attendance. Bowie State University reserves the right to revise or cancel federal or institutional aid due to changes in a student’s eligibility for aid, including changes in the student’s Cost of Education or EFC. Other examples of circumstances that can result in revision or cancellation of existing aid includes  but are not limited to the following:

  • receiving additional aid at any time not already considered as a part of the student’s aid package
  • changes in residency (for example, from on-campus to commuter)
  • change housing status
  • changes to EFC 
  • changes to enrollment level (for example, from full-time to part-time)
  • withdrawal from the university

Institutional Grants

Bowie State University Grant Program

Bowie State University Institutional Grants are awarded to undergraduate students on the basis of financial need and/or first generation college students who demonstrate a financial need. Institutional grants are awarded based on eligibility and available funding.  To be considered for institutional grants, students must demonstrate need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

Federal Student Aid Programs

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides grants to undergraduate students who exhibit financial need and meet other eligibility requirements. The Federal Pell Grant is gift aid and does not have to be repaid. It is considered to be the foundation of a student’s financial aid package to which other aid may be added.   Award amounts usually depends on the EFC and several other factors including cost of attendance, the amount of time the student plans to attend college, whether it is a full academic year, and wither one is full time or part-time student.  

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program is awarded to undergraduates with the greatest amount of unmet financial need who also qualify for the Federal Pell Grant. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions (EFCs) will be considered first for FSEOG.  The average award ranges from $200 to $4,000 per year.


Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH). The TEACH Grant Program provides up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete work needed to begin a career in teaching.  As a condition for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant agreement to Serve in which you agree to teach. 

  • in high-need field;
  • at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families;
  • and for at least four complete academic years within eight years after completing (or ceasing enrollment in) the course of study for which you received the grant. 

The general eligibility requirements for receiving a TEACH Grant include the following:

  • U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen status
  • Completion of a FAFSA, although demonstrated financial need is not required
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 throughout the student’s academic program, or a score above the 75the percentile on a national standardized college admissions test
  • Undergraduate in first undergraduate degree program of study
  • Acceptance into an eligible degree program, majoring in education and pursuing a certification in a high need subject area, or majoring in a high need subject area with the intent of also completing teacher certification
  • Completion of an Agreement to Serve  (ATS) and counseling each year

TEACH Grant recipients must agree to teach for at least four full years within eight years of finishing their teacher preparation program. They must teach in elementary or secondary schools that have been identified by the U.S. Department of Education as serving pupils from low-income families. These schools are listed in the U.S. Department of Education’s Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits. www.tcli.ed.gov

TEACH Grant recipients must also teach in high need subject areas, including bilingual education and english language acquisition, foreign language, mathematics, reading, science or special education. There may be additional teacher shortage areas identified at the time a student begins teaching. These teacher subject shortage areas (not geographic areas) are listed in the U.S. Department of Education’s Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing. www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.doc

Annually, TEACH Grant recipients must sign a service agreement to acknowledge that failure to complete the teaching obligation will mean repaying the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accruing from the date that the grant funds were disbursed.

Additional information can be found at: www.bowiestate.edu/admissions/financial_aid/types/grants/TEACHGrant/

Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)

Federal Work-Study provides part–time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.  The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

Direct Subsidized Loans:

Loans are available for undergraduate students with financial need.  The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest for borrowers who are actively enrolled in school and are registered for at least half-time. If a borrower graduates, leave school or is not registered for at least half-time (6 credits), the U.S. Department of Education will pay the interest for 6 months in what is commonly referred to as grace period - borrower graduates, is out of school, or is registered for less than 6 credits and is not required to make payment. After the grace period, period of deferment a postponement of payments on loans is allowed under certain conditions. Interest will not accrue on subsidized, unsubsidized, and Perkins loans.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans:

Loans are available for both undergraduate and graduate students and there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.  Schools determine how much a student can borrow based on Cost of Attendance (COA) and other financial aid received as determined by FAFSA application.  You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods. If you chose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loans). 

If borrowers choose not to not to pay the interest while in school and during grace periods, deferment or forbearance periods, interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (added to the principal amount of borrower loans). 

Dependent Undergraduate Direct Loan Annual Limits/No Parent Plus Loans

Grade Level Credits
Subsidized  Loan Amount Unsubsidized Loan Amount Total Amount
Freshman 0-29 $3500 $2000 $5500
Sophomore 30-59 $4500 $2000 $6500
Junior 60-89 $5500 $2000 $7500
Senior 90+ $5500 $2000 $7500

Eligibility for Additional Unsubsidized Loans:

Independent undergraduate students may receive a higher amount of unsubsidized loan. Freshmen and sophomores may be eligible for up to $4000 in additional unsubsidized while juniors and seniors may be eligible for up to $5,000 in additional unsubsidized. (Please refer to the FAFSA form for criteria for in-dependency)

Dependent students whose parents have been denied parent plus loans are eligible to receive additional unsubsidized loans. Freshmen and sophomores may be eligible for up to $4,000 in additional unsubsidized while juniors and seniors may be eligible for up to $5,000 in additional unsubsidized.


Independent Undergraduate & Dependent Students with Parent Plus Loan Denials

Grade Level Credits Subsidized Loan Amount Unsubsidized Loan Amount Total Amount
Freshman 0-29 $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
Sophomore 30-59 $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
Junior 60-89 $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
Senior 90+ $5,500 $7,000 $12,500

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

New student borrowers to BSU must complete an electronic Master Promissory note (MPN) and an on-line entrance counseling session before receiving any disbursement of loan proceeds to the student’s university account. Use www.studentloans.gov . Students must create FSA ID that uses username and password to be able to login www.studentloans.gov to complete Electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN), Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and Exit Counseling.

Please note: For all new borrowers who receive a loan on or after July 1, 2013 a 150% limitation is in effect. This means a student who is eligible for a subsidized loan will reach their subsidized limit at 150% of a program’s length of study. Once a student has reached their 150% limitation, their interest subsidy Loan limit will end on all outstanding loans that were disbursed after July 1, 2013, and interest will begin to accrue. Students are therefore encouraged to complete undergraduate study on a timely basis.

In addition to annual loan limits, the Federal Direct Loan Program also has aggregate limit

Direct Loan Aggregate Loan Limits

  Combined Based Limit for Subsidized and
Unsubsidized Loans
Additional Limit for Unsubsidized Loans Total Limit for Unsubsidized
Loans (minus subsidized amounts)
$23,000 $8000 $31,000
$23,000 $34,500 $57,500
Graduate Professional $65,000   $138,000

Direct PLUS Loan

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is a credit-based government-sponsored fixed interest loan that is made available to parents to help pay for educational expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid the dependent student is awarded. Interest starts to accrue after disbursement and is charged during all periods.

Parent applicants do not have to demonstrate need;  however,  dependent  students  are  encouraged  to  use  their  full  eligibility  for  a  Direct subsidized or unsubsidized loan before parents apply for a PLUS Loan. Parent borrower should have their own account and not share their child account in order to keep track of those borrowed loans. The debt on parent PLUS loan is in the parent’s name and remains the parent’s legal financial responsibility throughout repayment.  The U.S. Department of Education  approves  a  loan  from  this  federal  program  only  after  an evaluation of  the  parent borrower’s credit history. If a parent is denied a PLUS Loan, the student may be eligible to receive additional direct unsubsidized loan. Additional direct unsubsidized loan is granted only after Bowie State University has received a denial of credit and application that is denied from the Department of Education.

Parent(s) of undergraduate students must apply online following the steps below. No paper applications are accepted.

Eligibility requirements

  • Applicants must be the biological or adoptive parents of the student.
  • The student must be a dependent of the parent, a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • The Student must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours per semester.
  • Parent borrower must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with satisfactory credit rating

In order to apply, parents of dependent students can apply go to www.studentloans.gov and select parent borrowers. Create a FSA ID Username and FSA ID Password that is separate from that of the child. If you previously established a pin, the process will ask you and merge your information. Login and select Apply for a PLUS Loan. Complete application for your daughter or son and submit.

The Department of Education will send you an email to acknowledge receipt of your application. A credit check will be performed and you will be notified of the decision by the Department of Education.  Bowie State University Financial Aid Office will also be notified of the credit decision and will proceed accordingly.  The Parent Plus award will be processed if your application is granted.  Additional unsubsidized loan will be offered to the student if the credit check is denied.

Additional Information

Your total Parent PLUS eligibility might be subject to adjustment based on any additional Financial Aid (scholarships and/or grants) that your daughter and/or son or may be awarded.

If additional Parent PLUS funds are required once the original application has been processed, a new application must be submitted.

A new Parent PLUS application must be submitted for each school year.

Credit Check are good for 180 days (6-months). A new Parent PLUS application must be completed if the credit check expires. Parent PLUS Application are available 45 days prior to the beginning of the loan period to prevent credit checks from expiring.

Maryland State Scholarship Programs

The State of Maryland offers scholarship and grant programs based on a student’s financial need, talents, and gifts, or career choice. FAFSA application must be submitted by March 1 for applicant to be eligible for Maryland State Scholarships and grants.

Qualification Criteria:

  • Applicants must be:
  • Residents of Maryland,
  • Accepted for admission or enrolled in a regular undergraduate program at an eligible Maryland institution, or
  • Accepted for admission or enrolled in a 2-year terminal certificate program in which the course work is acceptable for transfer credit for an accredited baccalaureate program at an eligible Maryland institution, and
  • Enrolled as a full-time, 12 or more credits per semesters. Part-Time Grants are available degree seeking undergraduates who are enrolled in at least 6, but not more than 11.5 credits per semester.
  • Awards are made based on availability of funds.

Some state scholarships require special applications and have different deadlines. For more information about state scholarships, students can call the Maryland State Office of Student Financial Assistance at 410-260-4565, or visit .www.mhec.state.md.us.

Bowie State University Institutional Scholarship

Students who wish to apply for BSU Institutional Scholarships should complete and submit the Bowie State Institutional Scholarship Application through Academic Works.  Notifications are sent directly to the student and awards are posted at the start of the FALL semester.  Additonal awards are made if funds are available. For additional information, please visit https://www.bowiestate.edu/admissions-and-aid/financial-aid/types-of-financial-aid/scholarship-opportunities/bsu-scholarships.php

Bowie State University Academic Scholarships

The University offers academic scholarships based on ACT, SAT and high school GPA scores. Additional Information can be found at www.bowiestate.edu/admissions or by contacting the Admissions Office at (301) 860-3415. 

District of Columbia Financial Aid Programs

The District of Columbia State Education Office (SEO) will award up to $10,000 to qualified students to attend eligible public universities and colleges nationwide through the DC OneApp. The DC OneApp is the only method which a college-bound District resident may apply for funding from the District’s three college financial aid grants: DCTAG, DCLEAP, and DCAS - using one application. The DC OneApp is located on-line at www.seo.dc.gov.

Financial Aid Policies

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)


    Any student who benefits from financial aid must be making satisfactory academic progress and performance.  SAP is measured through a program on the mainframe. Parameters are set to comply with federal and the college’s financial aid SAP guidelines.  SAP is reviewed annually (at the end of the spring semester) to determine if a students have met the financial aid standards of progress and performance (SAP) as outlined in the College Catalog.  

    The computer flags a student who is not meeting the standards either by virtue of the GPA or credits completed compared to credits attempted or both.  Students who are identified as “unsatisfactory” (not meeting SAP), will have their financial aid suspended until such time they submit an appeal to have their financial aid reinstated. Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress is established to satisfy federal requirements which are mandated by the Department of Education. It also ensure that requirements the University developed are applied in consistent and reasonable standard of academic progress.


    It is the policy of the Bowie State University to implement standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in accordance with federal regulations and requirements.  The University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) consist of reviewing several components, a quantitative (number of credits completed), and qualitative (grade point average), maximum time frames, all of which are measured on an annual basis at the end of the academic year (SPRING term).  Financial Aid applicants must comply with the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy as a condition of continued Federal Financial Aid eligibility.

    NB: Please note that the Financial Aid SAP requirements differ from the University academic satisfactory academic progress policy.

    Financial aid programs which are affected by the SAP policy include: Federal Pell. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Perkins Program, Federal Work Study, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan programs ( Subsidized, Unsubsidized, PLUS), iInstitutional Grants (Mission and Diversity) and State Grants/scholarships and all other programs which require the monitoring of academic progress.


For financial aid purposes, a student is considered to be in good standards if the following criteria are met:

  • Undergraduate students must maintain accumulative grade point average of 2.00
  • Graduate students must maintain accumulative grade point average of 3.00.
  • Pass at least 67% percent of the cumulative hours.
  • Completes their educational program within a time-frame of no longer than 150%.    

Maximum Time Frame

Students must complete their educational program within a time frame no longer than 150% of the published length of the educational program, as measured by transfer and attempted credits. (For example, a student could have up to 180 credits or 12 full-time semesters to complete a 120 credit undergraduate program).

Treatment of Grades, Course Work and Transfer Credits

1. Remedial (developmental) classes are defined as university coursework below the 100 course level. Students will receive a letter grade for these courses; however they will not be counted in the grade point calculation but are counted in the completion ratio. Financial aid eligibility for remedial courses is limited to a maximum of 24 credit hours.

2. Attempted credits include grades of A, B, C, D, F, I, NG, P, PS, T, W, AU, CR, S, U

3. Students may repeat courses in order to improve a grade. However, credits for repeated courses will count as additional credits attempted for financial aid purposes.

4. Transfer credits will be counted as attempted and completed credits for the completion ratio calculation and count towards the maximum time frame allowed.

To calculate the percentage of credits completed total all attempted credits and total all attempted credits. divide the number of completed credits by the number of attempted credits.
Total Completed Credits/Total Attempted Credits= Percentage Completed.

 Failure to Meet Minimum SAP Requirements

Student who fail to meet SAP may opt to go through the SAP Appeal process

Undergraduate Students who fail to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and above or fail to maintain the minimum completion rate of 67% and above in attempted credits will be placed in a “Not Meet” status for the following semester of enrollment and no financial aid will be awarded and or disbursed during subsequent semesters until the student has regained eligibility or reinstatement has occurred due to an appeal being granted.

Graduate Students who fail to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and above or fail to maintain the minimum completion rate of 67% and above in attempted credits will be placed in a “Not Meet” status for the following semester of enrollment and no financial aid will be awarded and or disbursed during subsequent semesters until the student has regained eligibility or reinstatement has occurred due to an appeal being granted

Students who do not earn their degree within the maximum time-frame will also be placed in “Not Meet” status. No aid will be awarded and or disbursed during subsequent semester unless the student has made appeal and the appeal has been granted.


SAP Appeal Process:

In order for a student who is Not-Meeting SAP to regain eligibility, student may opt to go through the SAP Appeal Process.

Academic Plan

Requests for Appeal which are submitted by the published deadline date are reviewed and the student is notified within 7-10 business days of an approval or denial.  If the appeal is approved, the students’ financial aid is reinstated for one (1) semester ONLY.  At at the end of each semester, the students’ status is reevaluated to determine if he/she has successfully satisfied both the qualitative and quantitative standards of the Academic Plan Agreement. 

If the appeal is denied, the student is not eligible to benefit from any federal, state, or institutional grant programs (including student loans).  Institutional scholarships and grants maybe awarded at the discretion of the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management, the Director or Assistant Director of Financial Aid.  However, the student may apply for an Alternative Loan, or a deferred payment plan with the office of Student Accounts.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid

Other Requirements:

Student submits a written letter of appeal. This appeal must include a plan for meeting SAP at the end of the next enrollment period. Circumstances may include death of an immediate family member, unexpected injury or illness of the student or other mitigating circumstances with supporting documentation.

Appeals must be submitted by the deadline date.

Student will be limited to two appeals during their undergraduate career.

Appeals submitted without supporting documentation will not be denied. Additional documentation will be requested if deemed appropriate. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the appeal request and respond via email to the student regarding the decision.

The Financial Aid Appeals Committee reserves the right to request a financial aid academic plan requiring the student to meet certain standards in the upcoming semester that would lead to the reestablishment of eligibility and upon his or her agreement if any terms of the plan are not met the student shall be placed in a Not Meet status for the next enrollment period.

  1. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee may grants or may not grant the appeal based on submitted documentation and review of academic performance. The student is placed on financial aid probation for the next semester of enrollment. At the end of the probation semester, SAP will be reevaluated. Student must meet all SAP requirements at the end of that semester or they will be placed in a   Not Meet status and they must reestablish eligibility as described in item 2.
  2. The student pays for all obligations, (tuition and fees), without financial aid assistance and reestablish eligibility by meeting the SAP requirements
  3. Exception To Two-SAP Limitation Criteria Probationary Terms and Conditions:

Financial Aid recognizes that it is extremely difficult for students to drastically improve all three aspects of the SAP, even if they meet the term GPA. A student can be granted a maximum of two SAP appeals. Financial Aid recognizes that though the student is not meeting all the criteria(s) of re-establishing SAP eligibility, he/she will have done everything humanly possible for that semester. The Financial Aid SAP committee reserves the right to inact professional judgment.  

All Decisions of the Financial Aid Committee are Final


Meet – the student has successfully met the quantitative and qualitative standards of the financial aid standards of performance and progress according to the terms outlined in the college catalog and posted on the website.

Not Meet - the student has unsuccessfully met the quantitative and qualitative standards of the financial aid standards of performance and progress according to the terms outlined in the college catalog and posted on the website.

Maximum Time-frame - the student has exceeded the maximum time-frame for their active degree program.

Denied - the student submitted a Request for an Appeal and the appeal was denied.  A student can regain eligibility for financial aid when he/she has satisfactorily met the financial aid SAP standards.  It is the students’ responsibility to request that their financial aid be reevaluated   reinstatement. 

Academic Plan Agreement - Agreement with criteria that must be adhere to in order to receive and  maintain financial aid.