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Frequently Asked Questions

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FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

What is a FAFSA?

The FAFSA is used to determine a family's eligibility for financial assistance.  Please list CSM's Title IV Federal code, 002064, in the appropriate box on the FAFSA.  This is a yearly process. You must apply online at: www.fafsa.ed.gov.

What is the college's Title IV Federal Code?

CSM's Title IV Federal School Code is 002064

Where can I get the FAFSA?

Visit the government's FAFSA website at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Do I fill out a FAFSA if I have a drug-related conviction?

Yes, you should fill out a FAFSA.  Please click here to find more information related to Title IV eligibility and drug convictions.

How do I check to see if CSM has my FAFSA application on file?

To see if CSM has received your 2015-2016 FAFSA results, go to my.csmd.edu and check My Documents under Financial Aid, within Online Services. To complete the 2015-2016 FAFSA, go to www.fafsa.gov and ensure you submit the application with the CSM school code of 002064. Allow 10 business days for your FAFSA results to arrive at CSM.

 

Refunds

When will I get my refund?

You will receive your refund once the funds for that specific award(s) have been received, processed and applied to your account. The Bursar's office sends out refunds to the students. If you have any federal financial aid and the funds have been disbursed the refund will be sent to you within 14 days. This includes any other aid you are receiving for that semester. Fall semester refunds start to be processed in late October and Spring semester refunds start to be processed in mid March.

How do I get my refund?

When your funds are transmitted and processed, you will have two options to receive your refund: via check or electronic transfer. If you have opted in to receive your refunds electronically, the funds will be transferred from CSM electronically to your CSM OneCard or via ACH to a bank account of your choice.  To get more information on this method, please go to the CSM OneCard web page.

If you do not opt in to receive your refund electronically, the Bursar's Office will send you your refund via U.S. Mail. Please review your current address on file with CSM by logging onto your myCSMD account, then going to Online Services, Current Students and Address Summary.  If you need to update your mailing address, please complete and submit an Update Contact Information Form to the Admissions Office. 

Military Unearned Tuition Assistance Refund Policy

When a student officially withdraws from a course, the date of withdrawal will be used as the last date of attendance. If a student stops attending, without officially withdrawing, College of Southern Maryland will determine the last date of attendance based on information received from faculty. College of Southern Maryland will calculate the return of unearned TA based on the following formula:

Withdraw or stop attending prior to the semester start 100% return of funds
Withdraw or stop attending prior to 10% point of semester 75% return of funds
Withdraw or stop attending prior to 20% point of semester 50% return of funds
Withdraw or stop attending prior to 60% point of semester 10% return of funds

Verification

What is Verification?

Students are chosen for verification either by the Central Processing Center or the College of Southern Maryland. Verification is completed by the financial assistance office. If you are picked for verification you will receive a letter from the financial assistance office requesting the appropriate documentation. You should submit this information as soon as possible. If you do not complete verification you will not receive Federal Aid or any other type of aid that requires you to file a FAFSA application.

How long does the verification process take?

The verification process generally takes 4-6 weeks. The financial assistance office can not perform verification until all the appropriate documentation is received in the office. Sometimes we will need to request additional documentation after starting the verification process if conflicting information is found that will affect your eligibility. This could possibly lengthen the processing time. The key to getting your verification completed is to submit your documentation in a timely manner.

Do I have to submit my tax transcript and W-2's if I am chosen for verification?

Yes. You will need to provide a copy of your tax transcript as well as copies of all your W-2's. You will submit these documents with a verification worksheet that will be provided for you when you are notified that you have been chosen for verification. If you did not file or were not required to file taxes for the appropriate year, you will have the opportunity to put that information on the verification worksheet.

Please note: CSM is no longer authorized to accept copies of tax returns.  You must submit copies of tax transcripts.  To order a tax transcript directly from the Internal Revenue Service, click here.

Eligible Programs of Study for Financial Assistance

All Associate Degree Programs (except those pending MHEC approval, see below), including

  • Associate of Applied Science
  • Associate of Arts
  • Associate of Arts in Teaching
  • Associate of Science
  • Associate of Science in Engineering

 The following Certificate Programs:

  • Accounting: Basic 
  • Accounting: Advanced
  • Commercial Vehicle Operator
  • Criminal Justice
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Electronics Technology: Basic
  • Electronics Technology: Communications
  • Graphic Design
  • Emergency Medical Services: Intermediate
  • Engineering Technology
  • Environmental Technology
  • Fitness Manager: Basic
  • Fitness Manager: Advanced
  • Manufacturing Technology 
  • Human Services: Alcohol and Drug Counseling
  • Human Services: Mental Health Technician
  • Information Services Technology
  • Management Development
  • Management Development: Marketing
  • Professional Communication
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Coding Specialist
  • Office Technology
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Security Management
  • Technical Support
  • Therapeutic Massage
  • Therapeutic Massage: Advanced
  • Web Developer

Programs of Study Ineligible for Financial Assistance

  • All Continuing Education Programs
  • All Letter of Recognition Programs
  • The following certificate programs
    • Computer Skills for Managers
    • Management Skills-Small Computers
    • Basic Computer Aided Drafting
    • Drafting
    • Emergency Medical Services-Paramedic
    • Environmental Technology: Environmental Planning
    • Patient Care Assistant
    • Information Processing
    • Medical Assistant
    • Pre-Clinical Associate Degree Nursing
    • Non Degree
  • The following Associates Degree Programs (awaiting MHEC approval)
    • Health Information Management
    • Legal Studies
    • Environmental Science
    • General Studies: Media Studies

As of: November 1, 2012

Other

Do I have to attend full-time (12 or more credits) to receive financial assistance?

No, most federal programs are available for less than full time enrollment.

Do you have the results of my FAFSA?

You can check to see if CSM has received the results of the FAFSA by going to our website at www.csmd.edu. Up in the right hand corner you would click on "Online Services" click on credit student, click continue, log in and click on "My Documents" If your results are on file at CSM you will see the document. Example: 2015-16 FAFSA Import to COLL.

Can I receive financial assistance from two schools for the same term?

No. You may apply for financial assistance at any number of schools, but you cannot be paid from more than one school during the same term(s).

What is the Cohort Default Rate for federal student loans?

The FY13 Cohort Default Rate (CDR) for College of Southern Maryland (CSM) students is 13.2 percent. The national average CDR is 11.3 percent. Repayment information for CSM students can be found online at: https://nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/defaultmanagement/search_cohort_3yr_CY_20_13.cfm

Drug Conviction

Drug Convictions May Affect Your Eligibility for Financial Aid

By law, some students who have drug-related convictions under any federal or state law may be ineligible for federal student aid.  According to the law, if you are convicted of an offense involving a controlled substance you may face these restrictions:

  1. For possession of controlled substances (illegal drugs), you are ineligible from the date of conviction for: 
    • 1 year for a first offense
    • 2 years for a second offense
    • Indefinitely for a third offense
  2. For sale of controlled substances (illegal drugs), you are ineligible from the date of conviction for: 
    • 2 years for a first offense
    • Indefinitely for a second offense.
  3. For sale and possession of controlled substances (illegal drugs), you are ineligible from the date of conviction for the longer period of time.

 

Do all drug convictions count?

Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which you received Title IV aid. Do not count offenses that occurred outside this period. In addition, do not count any conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from your record.  Also, do not count any conviction that occurred when you were a juvenile, unless you were prosecuted as an adult.

Further explanation of the term controlled substance is defined in section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(6)).

 

If I have drug convictions, should I still apply for student aid?

Yes, even if you have drug convictions, you should complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  You may be eligible, depending on the date and number of convictions.  Even if you are ineligible for federal student aid, you should complete and submit your FAFSA.  Many states and schools use information from the FAFSA, and you may still be eligible for scholarships or other types of aid from other programs.  There is a way that you can regain eligibility for the federal programs no matter how many or what type of drug convictions you have.  You must successfully complete an acceptable drug rehabilitation program that meets the standards set by Congress and the Department of Education. You will regain eligibility on the date you complete the program.

 

How do I answer Question 23 on the FAFSA?

Question 23 on the FAFSA asks about drug convictions.  Do not leave this question blank.  If you answer "YES" you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov if you need help filling out the worksheet after you receive it in the mail.

 

How do I regain eligibility for Title IV aid?

You regain eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when you successfully complete a qualified drug rehabilitation program.  Further drug convictions will make you ineligible again.

 

What is an acceptable drug rehabilitation program?

An acceptable drug rehabilitation program must have TWO unannounced drug tests AND it must meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state or local government program.
  2. Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a state or federally licensed insurance company.
  3. Be administered or recognized by a federal, state or local government agency or court.
  4. Be administered or recognized by a state or federally licensed hospital, health clinic or medical doctor.

If you want to find out if a drug rehabilitation program meets the described standards, you need to contact the rehabilitation program.

 

How can I get more information?

If you still have questions about the law, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).  Your personal information is confidential, and you will remain anonymous.  Further information relating to suspension of eligibility for drug-related offenses can be found in Sec 483(r) of the 1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965.