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Award Notification Instructions

Award Notification Quick Reference Guide

This Guide contains an overview of the aid process at Frostburg State University and step-by-step instructions for students who have already received an award notification from Frostburg State University.

If you have already received an award notification from our office, please use the following information to learn how to accept or decline the awards offered to you.  Also, it may be helpful to review our financial aid  Glossary of Terms before completing the steps listed below.  The Glossary of Terms may help you understand the awards that have been offered to you and the Cost of Attendance.

If you have not yet received an award notification from our office, please see the Applying for Aid Guide for more information on how to begin the financial aid process.

  • Step 1 - Log onto your PAWS Account

    After you receive your financial aid award package or your award-notification email, you will have information you need to access your electronic award letter and to accept your award.

    No type of financial aid offer is final (including loans) until the Financial Aid Office has received all information requested from the student. (Please see Conditions of Awards for more information).

    Please print this page, as you will need the following instructions to access and respond to your electronic award letter.

    Incoming/admitted students were mailed their PAWS username and password from the Financial Aid Office (with their award notification letter). They can view their awards by logging into PAWS .

    Returning/Current students may view their award letter by logging into PAWS with their existing username and password.

    If you have problems accessing your PAWS account, please contact the FSU Help Desk by calling (301) 687-7777.

  • Step 2 - Locate your Financial Aid Awards

    A successful PAWS log on will open the SA Self Service menu. Use the following "breadcrumbs" to access and respond to your financial aid award letter.

    Self Service>Student Center>Finances> 2022-2023 and Future Years

    Select "Financial" from the menu at the top of the student portal. 

  • Step 3 - Review, Accept, Decline or Reduce Financial Aid Awards

    Responding to Grants and Gift Aid (if offered)
    All grants and other forms of gift aid (items that you do not have to repay, such as scholarships, tuition waivers, and VA benefits) are already accepted for you. You do not have to accept these awards.

    Please note that the amount of such awards depends upon your enrollment status. Full-time enrollment status is assumed for all undergraduate students unless our office is notified of a change in enrollment. ( Enrollment Status Change Form (PDF)

    Responding to Federal Work-Study (if offered)
    You may only accept or decline Federal Work-Study. You may not change the amount. If you are accepting this offer, you must also report to the Financial Aid Office during the first week of the semester to pick up a Federal Work-Study contract and instructions on how to find a job on campus. Keep in mind that Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds do not credit your bill with the University as a payment. FWS awards are treated like a job and direct deposits are made to each student's personal checking or savings account on a bi-weekly basis.

    You will be sent further instructions at a later date. Please watch both your regular mail and check your FSU email account frequently for more information

    Responding to Federal Direct Stafford Loans
    To accept or decline the loans offered to you, click on the button called "Start Loan Acceptance" and follow the instructions. The loans offered to you are the maximum you can borrow. If you choose to reduce your loan, you will be given the opportunity to accept the loan at a lower amount during this step. You may not reduce your loan below $200.

    If you are offered both a Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan, you must reduce the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan first.

    If you accept any portion of a Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Stafford loan, you must also complete a Stafford Loan Entrance Interview, Master Promissory Note (MPN). 

    Instructions on how to complete these items will be posted on the Stafford Loans section of this web site. After completing the Stafford Loan Entrance Interview you must return to the main menu on the website and select a second link in order to complete the Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note. These are separate processes and all three must be completed. You should receive separate confirmation pages. Failure to complete these required items will cause errors and delays. Please watch both your regular mail and check your FSU email account frequently for any changes or updates.

    Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
    If your parent wishes to apply for a Parent PLUS Loan, please have him or her go to and log in as themselves. They will need their FSAID to log in. Once inside, they will need to select "Request PLUS Loan". All PLUS Loan borrowers must be approved through a credit check in order to obtain this funding. The credit decision should be instant after all of the required fields have been completed, and if approved, the parent borrower must then complete an MPN (Master Promissory Note) for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan for Dependent Students. Parent loans cannot be processed if the MPN is incomplete. Parents may not apply for the Parent PLUS Loan until after May 1, 2022.  We recomend waiting until the bills are available in July before applying for the Parent PLUS Loan, so  that you will know the amount you would like to apply for. 

    Click on the Submit button once you have made your selections.

    *Please note that the website where you must complete your Entrance Counseling and MPN is, and it is currently having issues with Google Chrome. If you need to complete an MPN or Entrance Counseling, please use Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge to complete the necessary items on this website.

  • Step 4 - Review and/or print Shopping Sheet information

    FSU has adopted the Shopping Sheet promoted by the White House. The Shopping Sheet can be found under your financial aid awards as a hyperlink. The link will display a page that contains your cost to attend FSU, your awards, and your net cost to attend FSU (cost minus financial aid). The Shopping Sheet is printable so that you can use it to compare the price and net costs of attending FSU to the costs and net price of attending other institutions.

    **Please note that we are experiencing problems with the option to download the Shopping Sheet inside of PAWS. At this time, the download function is not working, and all students must print the Shopping Sheet if they wish to retain a copy. Our software vendor is working to correct this problem and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

  • Step 6 - Read and Understand your Responsibilities as a Financial Aid Recipient

    Conditions of Awards
    Conditions of Awards will provide you with information on who is eligible for financial aid, navigation to your To Do List, and an explanation of the Verification process. Click here to read our Conditions of Awards.

    Withdraw Policy
    If a student receiving any type of financial aid officially or unofficially withdraws from the University, a federal law governs the amount of financial aid that may need to be returned to the federal programs. View our Withdraw Policy here.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress  (SAP) Policy 
    Policy All schools that award students federal financial aid must have a policy that governs academic standards for all financial aid recipients. Please Read our SAP Policy, which explains what students must do in order to continue to receive any type of federal, state, or institutional financial aid (including loans).


If you are no longer planning to attend FSU:

Please notify the Financial Aid Office by emailing us at