Applying for financial aid can be a quick, easy process, but it helps to make sure you've covered every step along the way.

A checklist for applying for aid may be found here.

Click each tab for more information about each step of the process, or click here for a guide to each specific type of aid.


1. Get a PIN

Prior to filling out the FAFSA, students (and a parent if dependent[?]) must have a PIN assigned by the U.S. Department of Education.  These PINs act as an electronic signature and are therefore mandatory when filing on line. FAFSAs submitted without proper PIN signatures will be rejected and awards cannot be made until all proper signatures are received by the federal processor.

Click here to create a PIN.

2. File a FAFSA

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

What do I need?

  • Students must first apply for a Federal Student Aid PIN. This PIN acts as a digital signature when filing the FAFSA online. To obtain a PIN, visit Dependent students[?] who are providing a parent's information must also have the parent apply for a PIN so that the application may be properly signed.
  • 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 2014, one would need 2013 tax data.) Students must also provide a Social Security Number, W-2 information, demographic information, and other info. For accurate, easily transferred information, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to supply this info. More information on this tool may be found here.
  • 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?

The FAFSA for the upcoming academic year is released on January 1st of that year. Due to the fact that certain aid is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, students should fill it out before February 15th as this will ensure the information will be filed before the March 1st priority deadline.

What if I'm having issues with the FAFSA process?

Financial aid officers are able to help! Click here for office hours and other contact information.

3. What's next?

After completing the FAFSA, the following steps will take place:



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.


Click here for information on financial aid for the Spring/Summer semesters.