Financial Aid Types for Undergraduate Residential and Commuter Students

Mary Baldwin creates customized financial aid packages that reward academic and extracurricular accomplishments and address financial needs. These packages may include:


You don’t have to go into debt to receive a quality education. Mary Baldwin awards over $16 million in scholarships annually. Our generous scholarship program brings a private education within reach for hundreds of students every year. From funds endowed by generous donors to awards from national foundations, MBU will match students with scholarships that meet their needs.

Scholarships are financial awards given to students based on their academic achievements, talents, or other criteria. They can be offered by MBU, various organizations, institutions, or private donors. Scholarships do not have to be repaid, making them a popular form of financial aid.

To find out what you’re eligible for, fill out the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) or talk to an MBU advisor today.

FAFSA code: Mary Baldwin’s FAFSA code is 003723.

Already submitted your FAFSA to MBU but haven’t received a financial aid package? Please let us know ASAP. The FAFSA can be complex, and we want to make the process as smooth as possible! 

The NASFAA president made this statement to the DOE on January 4th, 2024:

“Even by soft-launch standards, this weekend’s rollout was challenging and students, families, and financial aid administrators who have been waiting for this release for months are understandably frustrated.

Frustration will likely continue because even if students fill out the FAFSA today, we still don’t have an exact date of when schools will receive FAFSA applicant data, so financial aid administrators can begin building and communicating financial aid packages.

We know the Department of Education is working to bring the FAFSA online 24/7, but until that happens, and until we know more details about when schools will begin receiving finalized applicant data, schools cannot provide realistic timelines about when students and families will receive financial aid offers.”

If you have any questions about filing the FAFSA, types of aid you may be eligible for, or general questions about Mary Baldwin: Please don’t hesitate to call our Office of Financial Aid at 540-887-7022 or email us at


Grants are similar to scholarships in that they are financial awards that do not require repayment. However, grants are typically based on financial need rather than academic merit. They are often provided by government agencies, institutions, or private foundations to help students cover educational expenses.

MBU advisors can help you find available grants, but the best place to start is by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to find out what grants you may be eligible for.


Loans are a type of financial aid that students or their families can borrow to cover educational expenses. Unlike scholarships, grants, or work-study, loans need to be repaid over time, often with interest. Loans can be obtained from the government (federal loans) or private lenders, and the terms and interest rates may vary.

For the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters, approximately 66.5% of all enrolled students at MBU (undergraduate and graduate students combined) have used federal student loan funding. MBU’s most recent federal student loan default rate is 0%, while the national average is 0%.

Federal Loans

Most students are eligible for Federal Direct Loans, and eligibility is determined by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There are two types of federal student loans available to students:

  • Subsidized loans accrue no interest until after graduation. They are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need.
  • Unsubsidized loans begin to accrue interest immediately. Borrowers are not required to make payments while in school but may make payments at any time. You do not need to demonstrate financial need for an Unsubsidized loan, and this loan type is available to undergraduate and graduate students.

More information about federal loans can be found here.

Direct Parent PLUS Loan

The Direct Parent PLUS Loan is a loan for parents of undergraduate, dependent students. Loan eligibility is based on college costs, less other aid, subject to a credit check by the lender.  A parent can increase the loan amount up to the student’s cost of attendance less any other financial aid received. The extra funds can be used to cover loan fees, books or other educational expenses.

Review current and historical interest rates and loan fees here.

Contact our office for assistance in determining the amount of loan you may need. Parents begin repayment 60 days after the second disbursement of the loan (usually in March of an academic year); however, repayment may be deferred. Parents can contact their lender about the deferment process – lender information can be accessed at within a month of the first PLUS loan disbursement.

More information about the Parent PLUS Loan is available here.

Private/Alternative Loans

If you have used all of your federal loan eligibility you may want to consider applying for an alternative loan. An alternative loan is a student loan that may be borrowed through an outside lending institution to assist with education-related expenses such as tuition, housing, travel, and books. Alternative loans are based on credit, so loan applications are based on the credit of the student (and, if applicable) the cosigner. The Financial Aid Office strongly recommends that students exhaust all federal aid options before applying for alternative loans. We also caution students to be aware that alternative loans are credit-based, often carry variable interest rates, and cannot be consolidated with federal loans.

Mary Baldwin University is pleased to offer a list of lenders for review using the FastChoice lender selection and application tool. On this site, you will be able to compare the lenders on our list side by side, check out their benefits, interest rates, and terms. When you choose a lender, you can apply right from the site. You can access the FastChoice lender selection here. Please note, Mary Baldwin is happy to use any loan from any lender, provided that they are willing to lend to a student at Mary Baldwin. Students may apply for a loan with any lender they choose.

MBU wants to ensure you graduate with as little debt as possible.

Whenever possible, we want you to finance your education through scholarships, grants, and other forms of funding you won’t have to pay back. MBU advisors can also help you with any questions you have regarding loans to help you minimize your student loan debt after you graduate.

Additional Financial Support Options

Just as we create customized financial aid packages, we also provide additional opportunities that can enhance your financial aid journey. These options may include:

Student Employment (work-study)

The federal work-study program provides students with part-time employment opportunities, usually on campus, to help them earn additional funding towards indirect expenses. The student is paid from funds from the government. These programs enable students to gain valuable work experience while enrolled in school.

Employer Tuition Reimbursement

Some employers offer tuition reimbursement programs as a benefit to their employees. Under this arrangement, an employer agrees to reimburse a portion or all of an employee’s educational expenses, usually with certain conditions such as maintaining a specific grade point average or pursuing a degree related to their job.

There are additional opportunities available for veterans and students interested in studying abroad. Explore more, find answers to some Frequently Asked Questions, or talk with an MBU advisor to learn how we make an MBU education affordable for you!