How do I apply for financial aid?

To apply for financial aid visit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website at Link URL: www.fafsa.ed.gov. Students must reapply each year. In addition, prior to filing the FAFSA on line students and a parent (if required) 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. A PIN can be obtained at www.pin.ed.gov FAFSAs submitted without proper PINs will be rejected and awards cannot be made until all proper signatures are received by the federal processor. The date required to file to be considered for financial aid through the State of Michigan is March 1.

For more detailed step-by-step instructions please visit the How to Apply section of our web site.

Do I re-apply for financial aid each year?

Yes, students must file the FAFSA each year as soon after January 1st as possible.

Is it safe to apply on-line?

The US Department of Education and the Office of Financial Aid recommend that you apply on-line using the FAFSA website (www.fafsa.ed.gov). The process is much faster than filing on paper and it makes corrections easier. Concerns regarding security can be examined at Link URL: http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/privacy/fafsa_security.mspx.

When is it too late to apply for financial aid?

A student applies for financial aid by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Valid FAFSA results must be on file with the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) prior to a student's last date of attendance for the academic year for which the aid is intended. However, the FAFSA form does expire on June 30th of each year. This means the Federal Processor will not process any FAFSA forms after that date. For example the expiration date of the 2010-11 FAFSA is June 30th of 2011. Students are encouraged to apply early. Due to the nature and funding levels of some aid programs it is important that a student apply early.

I have Michigan Educational Trust (MET) benefits. Do they influence my aid application?

Due to changes made by the Higher Education Reconciliation Act, prepaid tuition plans are treated as an asset of the owner, as long as the owner is NOT a dependent student.  For dependent students, a qualified education benefit would be reported on the FAFSA as an asset of the parent, if the parent (including a step-parent) is the owner of the account or plan.

What types of grants can I receive at UM-Flint?

The UM-Flint offers a variety of grants. Undergraduate students with the highest demonstrated need based on their FAFSA results may qualify for the Federal Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant. Many needy students may also qualify for our University Grant. For more information on all grants offered please see the Grant section of our web site.

How do scholarships work?

  • Students may apply on line for scholarships for the following academic year starting in mid-December through mid-February. UM-Flint offers over 200 scholarships made possible by our many donors. Once an application is submitted, immediately following the February deadline, a variety of committees begin work on selecting the recipient(s) for each scholarship.  When committee decisions are returned to the OFA, letters are sent to the applicants letting them know if they were selected or not (typically in May).
  • Students who receive scholarships from agencies or companies outside UM-Flint need to report them to the OFA.  Private scholarship checks are typically sent directly to the  OFA. If the check is made co-payable to the student and UM-Flint the student needs to endorse the check before it can be applied to their student’s account.

When is the application deadline for scholarships?

The deadline for making application for UM-Flint scholarships is mid-February. Please watch for email notifications on Outlook for posted official deadlines as well as multiple posting campus wide.

Are scholarships automatically applied to my account?

Scholarships are applied to a student's account after they fulfill all the requirements for a particular award. The most common requirement is a thank you letter for the donor of a scholarship.

Can students re-apply each year if they didn't receive a scholarship this year?

Yes. Students are highly encouraged to apply each year as each year students gain new experiences as a university student, thus making your qualifications for any given scholarship different from the year before.

What are the differences between loans and grants?

  • Loans are financial aid that must be paid back. Federal Subsidized Loans and Perkins Loans do not accrue interest until a student graduates unlike Unsubsidized Loans and PLUS which have interest added to a loan's principal balance while a student is in school.
  • Grants are gift aid based on financial need that does not have to be repaid.

How do loans work?

  • By indicating interest in student loans on the FAFSA, a student will automatically be awarded the maximum loan they have available.  The yearly maximum a student may be awarded is determined based upon grade level and dependency status.  Specific amounts per year and the maximum overall award of loan is listed in the required reading document. (http://www.umflint.edu/finaid/publications.htm)
  • The award notification that a student receives will list various types of financial aid, including loan(s), that have been awarded, the amount of aid per semester, and instructions on how to accept/decline/reduce it. 
  • Students will be instructed to read about their rights and responsibilities as well as any additional steps that must be completed in order to have the loan(s) pay to their student account.  For new borrowers this will include the completion of the Electronic Master Promissory Note (EMPN) and on line Entrance Counseling.

How do I know what loans I qualify for?

The award letter that a student receives will list what type of financial aid including loan(s) that he or she has been awarded, the amount of aid per semester and instructions on how to accept/decline/reduce the awards. Students will also be instructed to read about their rights and responsibilities as well as any additional steps that must be completed in order to have the loan(s) pay to their student account.

What is the difference between Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and Perkins Loans?

  • Federal Subsidized Loans are need based and do not accrue interest until a student graduates.
  • Federal Unsubsidized Loans are not need based and have interest added to a loan’s principal balance while a student is in school. 
  • Perkins Loans are need based, do not accrue interest until a student graduates, and at UM-Flint are typically only awarded to freshmen.  

What is a PLUS Loan and how do I apply for one?

  • A PLUS Loan is a non-need based loan that is available to the parents of dependent students and graduate students.
  • A dependent students’ parent(s) may apply for a Parent PLUS loan by completing the PLUS loan application available in the OFA or on line (studentloans.gov).  The application is then processed by the OFA and a credit check is performed by the Department of Education.  Parent(s) approved for a PLUS loan are then asked to complete the Electronic Master Promissory Note (EMPN) on line.  Once all of these requirements are met, the PLUS loan is automatically accepted.   With written permission of the parent, funds are applied directly to their student’s account.  Otherwise, PLUS loan funds are mailed directly to the parent.
  • A graduate student may follow a similar process in order to take out additional loan funds after their subsidized and unsubsidized limits have been reached for the academic aid year.

When will I receive the financial aid award letter and what is in the letter?

  • Around mid-March of each year the OFA begins to process awards for the upcoming academic year.  Students who are newly admitted to UM-Flint and who have requested that their FAFSA be sent to UM-Flint (school code 002327) prior to mid-March can expect to receive their paper award notification in mid-late March.  All subsequent award notifications and award notifications for continuing students will be made via the UM-Flint Outlook email account.
  • Students may also view their awards in the UM-Flint Student Information System (SIS); which can be accessed at sis.umflint.edu.    
  • Grants, loans, and work study (if applicable) are listed in the award notification.
  • Some award letters may be estimates only.  Students receiving an estimated award letter need to respond to the requested items immediately to avoid delays.  

How do I accept my awards?

  • Before accepting any award, students are expected to read the “Required Reading” for the particular academic year. This document is available on SIS as well as the OFA website (http://www.umflint.edu/finaid/publications.htm).
  • Awards can be accepted by going to SIS (sis.umflint.edu) and logging into the secure area.  The awards are listed in the Award section and you may accept/decline/reduce them by selecting Award by Aid Year and then the Accept Award Offer tab.

How do I pay for my tuition fees with my financial aid?

  • Financial aid funds (grants, scholarships and loans) are directly applied to tuition, fees, and other charges that appear on a student’s account.
  • Students living in the 1st Street Residence Hall will also see charges applied to their student account for their room and meal plan.  Financial aid will be applied to these charges once the tuition and fee charges are covered.
  • Students are responsible for checking the status of their student account. 
  • All bills are emailed by the Cashiers/Student Accounts Office to students in their UM-Flint Outlook email account.  Students are responsible for seeing that tuition is paid by the due date each semester in order to avoid late fees assessed by the Student Account’s Office. A student’s delay in submitting additional paperwork (at least one month prior to the first semester disbursement) as specified under outstanding requirements may result in a delay in disbursement.  Students are responsible for late fees in these situations.

When will financial aid pay to my student account?

  • Fall and Winter Semesters:  Financial aid funds will not be disbursed to student accounts any earlier than 10 days prior to the first day of the semester.
  • Spring/Summer Semester:  Financial aid funds will not be disbursed to student accounts until the first day of the semester.
  • The OFA then continues to disburse awards to student accounts on a daily basis.  Students should check the SIS system to see if their funds have been paid to their student account.  Financial aid awards will not pay if a  student has outstanding requirements, a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) hold (see back of paper award notice for SAP policy), or who is not officially registered for the amount of credit hours on which the aid was based for that semester.  NOTE:  waitlisted courses do not count towards the official number of credit hours registered.

I have been awarded and accepted work study. How do I receive this type of aid?

  • Work Study awards are earned as wages by working in positions with eligible employers.
  • Students who are interested in community service may find a number of positions available through the Work Study program.  The Office of Human Resources maintains a listing of eligible Work Study jobs and posts them on the web. Students contact employers directly for interviews.
  • Wages are typically paid bi-weekly through the University’s payroll system (they are not applied directly to a student account).

When will we know how much tuition will be?

  • Tuition costs for each year must be approved by the University of Michigan Board of Regents and are typically approved for all three campuses over the summer months.
  • Students receive a tuition E-Bill (electronic message sent to their UM-Flint Outlook email account approximately two weeks before a semester begins. Billing is handled by the Cashiers/Student Accounts Office.

My parent just lost their job. What can I do now that my need for financial assistance is greater?

Students can fill out a Request for Re-evaluation Form notifying the OFA about a change to their financial situation. A written explanation and documentation showing the reason for the change will be required from the student and/or parent(s) or spouse if applicable.

How do I give access to my financial aid record to my parent or spouse?

Due to the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) the OFA cannot release information regarding a student’s account to anyone but the student. 

The University of Michigan-Flint does not have a waiver in place to allow students to give their parent or spouse outright access to their University records.

We do have a system called SIS Proxy.  SIS Proxy is an option that allows a student to grant access to another person to view their student information/records at the University of Michigan-Flint.

To learn more about SIS Proxy, click here.