How Aid is Awarded

The University of Michigan has made a commitment to meet the demonstrated financial need of Michigan resident undergraduates. Need-based scholarships and grants, loans, and Work-Study funds are awarded to eligible in-state students whose Cost of Attendance exceeds their family’s financial resources.

Non-resident students and resident students who do not qualify for need-based aid may wish to apply for departmental or private scholarships and supplemental loans to cover the cost of attendance.


The Office of Financial Aid distributes need-based grant, scholarship, loan, and Work-Study funds equitably among all eligible applicants who apply for financial aid by established deadline dates. Award amounts are determined by a combination of demonstrated financial need, federal award maximums, available funding and other factors.

Here's how we determine your demonstrated need: Your Cost of attendance at U-M for one academic year minus your expected family contribution (EFC) and other financial resources equals your demonstrated need (eligibility) for need-based financial aid.

U-M awards financial aid funds in the following order to eligible students:

  1. Federal and state need-based grants and scholarships (Pell Grants and Michigan Competitive Scholarships)
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized (Stafford) Loans
  3. Perkins Loans, Health Professions Loans, Nursing Loans, FSEOG and Work-Study funds (Federal regulations require these funds to be awarded to students with the greatest need. Because Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant funds are limited, they are awarded to applicants with the most need.)
  4. University need-based aid (If a gap remains between Cost of Attendance and student resources and aid, university grant sources such as the University of Michigan Grant are awarded.)

Students who need additional funds to cover expenses and those who are not eligible for need-based aid may consider supplemental loans such as the federal Direct PLUS Loan and/or private education loans. These require separate applications.

About University Grants and Scholarships: To ensure that students in comparable circumstances are treated equitably, U-M may limit grant and scholarships from University sources to individual students. If you receive grants or scholarships that exceed your total Cost of Attendance and they include awards a U-M source, they may be adjusted so that total awards equal the Cost of Attendance.


Non-Michigan residents may need additional resources to cover their costs of attendance. We encourage students to pursue private scholarships and to inquire in their home states about whether state grant funding is available to students attending out-of-state schools. Some students may also be eligible for scholarships from the U-M school or college in which they are enrolled.

Other options often used by nonresident families are the Federal Direct PLUS Loan (available to the parents of undergraduate students), the Grad PLUS Loan (for graduate students), and private education loans