The FAFSA is the Federal Application For Student Aid. It is an application created by the government that is used to determine a student's financial need.

The above video explains the FAFSA process as well as some relevant terms.

How do I apply?

Students may apply for the FAFSA online at

The IRS DRT (Data Retrieval Tool) is currently unavailable.  As an alternative you may manually provide the requested financial information from copies of your tax returns.  Feel free to contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance at 810.762.3444.

You may also follow the 7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA guide (this is an external website).


What do I need?

  • Students must first apply for an FSA ID. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on the FAFSA. Visit the Federal Student Aid website to create your FSA ID.

  • Male students age 18 through 25 register with the U.S. Selective Service Systems before receiving aid. This may be done online at

  • Students will be asked to provide tax information from the previous year (for example, if attending in 2016, one would need 2015 tax data.) Students must also provide a Social Security Number, W-2 information, demographic information, and other info.

  • In order for the FAFSA information to be sent to the Financial Aid Office here at UM-Flint, students must also include the UM-Flint school code (002327) on the application.

When should I file?

Starting with the 2017–18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), these changes will be in effect:

You’ll be able to submit your FAFSA earlier. You can file your 2017–18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling you to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as October 1 every year.

You’ll use earlier income and tax information. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, you—and your parent(s), as appropriate—will report your 2015 income and tax information, rather than your 2016 income and tax information.

Our preferred filing deadline for new students graduating from high school is December 1, 2016, which will allow us to send out financial aid award letters to students as early as January 2017.  For returning students, new transfer students and graduate students the preferred filing deadline is February 1, 2017.

What's Next?

After the FAFSA has been processed, students will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) via email (if an email address was provided) or via U.S. mail. Review the report carefully to make sure all of the information is accurate. If there are errors, corrections should be made via the FAFSA web site. If a SAR is not received or if you have questions about it, call the federal processor at (800) 4-FED-AID or (800) 433-3243. Once the aid award letter is received, students must then accept the aid offered.

If you're having issues with the FAFSA process, contact us for help.