FAQs (General)

The Office of Financial Aid has asked me for an IRS Tax Return Transcript. What is this and why do I have to provide it?

Selected U-M students and families have been asked to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript for their fall/winter financial aid application. This is part of the application verification process for federal student aid. This request will be listed on Wolverine Access where there is a link to instructions for requesting this transcript. You may also visit www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript (Note than an IRS Tax Account Transcript is not the same document and will not meet this requirement.) All requested supplemental documents must be received in our office by June 1 for you to be considered for available aid.

Can I still receive financial aid if I missed the March 31 deadline?

Yes, you may still apply for aid after the deadline. You will be considered for all remaining available funds based upon the date you provide all required application documents. We encourage you to complete your application as quickly as possible.

How do I submit my forms?

Submit any additional required documentation via email or fax using the contact information below. Do no use shared, cloud-based services such as Google Docs, as we cannot access them. Furthermore, do not upload these documents through College Board IDOC, as U-M does not participate in this service.

What will happen to my financial aid awards if I move to off-campus housing?

Moving from on- to off-campus housing does not affect your financial aid. However, your housing costs will no longer be automatically deducted from your student account and you are responsible for making rent payments to your landlord. 

I did not receive a Direct Unsubsidized Loan offer in my financial aid package. Can I still get one?

Initial financial aid offers for some undergraduates no longer include Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans, although they are available to eligible students through a new process which includes an online tutorial, calculating cumulative student debt and considering what it will cost to take out an additional loan. Visit www.finaid.umich.edu/SmartBorrowing for more information.

Do I have to report any grants, scholarships, or fellowships to the IRS as income?

Part or all of a grant, scholarship, or fellowship may be taxable even if you do not receive a W-2 form. If you are in a degree program, amounts you use for expenses other than tuition and course-related expenses (e.g. amounts used for room, board, and travel) are taxable. To determine this taxable amount, add up all grant, scholarship, and fellowship awards received in a calendar year, then subtract all tuition, fees and book and supply expenses. If the remaining amount is a positive number, it must be reported as income. This amount must also be reported on your FAFSA. If you are not in a degree-seeking program, the full amount of grant, scholarship or fellowship is taxable.

Contact the Internal Revenue Service for more detailed information.

What about Work-Study income? Is this taxable?
Yes. Any money received as the result of work (i.e., Work-Study employment, temporary employment on- or off-campus, some fellowships, etc.) is considered taxable income. You will be asked to file a withholding form (W-4) and you will receive a statement of income and taxes withheld form (W-2) each calendar year. Your taxable earnings from need-based employment must also be reported on your FAFSA. Questions regarding your withholding status should be directed to the University Payroll Office.

What do I do if my parent is laid off or loses his or her job?
If a parent loses his or her job and there is a loss of family income, you should contact our office immediately.  The Office of Financial Aid recognizes that special circumstances such as a change in employment may affect the family's ability to pay for college. Inform us of the change and provide documentation. Additional assistance will be determined based on your situation and whether funds are available at the time. See the Financial Aid Appeals page for more information about requesting a reevaluation of your aid eligibility based on your change in circumstances.

I would like to purchase a computer. Is there any way I can get money from the Office of Financial Aid to cover this?
Students are strongly encouraged to pay for a computer with financial gifts from relatives and friends or with summer job earnings.  If this is not possible, the Office of Financial Aid allows students to borrow (usually through a private lender) for the purchase of a computer.  Students may borrow for this only once during their time at the University.  Documentation (receipt or written estimate) of the purchase is required.  Contact our office to learn more.

What are the Federal Income Tax Filing Requirements?
For the most up-to-date information about Federal Income Tax requirements, visit the IRS website and use the Interactive Tax Assistant to determine your situation.

Will my financial aid be renewed after freshman year?

Yes.  All need-based financial aid and some scholarships are renewable; however, you must reapply for financial aid each year.  Renewal information and instructions are sent to all currently enrolled students in January for aid for the following year.

The composition of your aid "package" may vary depending on the funds available in individual aid programs. However, you are likely to receive similar financial aid awards throughout your undergraduate education if:

  • Your scholarships and awards are not limited to one year.
  • Your family's financial situation remains similar. (Dramatic changes in income and marital status and changes in the number of children college will affect your Expected Family Contribution and your eligibility for financial aid eligibility.)
  • Federal, state, and institutional funding of financial aid programs remains similar.
  • You submit the appropriate application materials by priority deadlines.
  • You continue to meet enrollment level and Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. Our office monitors enrollment levels (the number of credit hours you take) during each term. If you fall below the minimum credit hour requirements, you may be required to repay all or part of the aid you received.
  • You report accurate information (income, assets, etc.) on your financial aid application(s).

Am I allowed to receive financial aid from more than one institution at the same time?

No.  If you are enrolled at more than one college or university at the same time, you may receive financial aid from one of the institutions but not both.  Contact our office for more information. 

I have completed a bachelor's degree and have returned to school in a different program to earn a second undergraduate degree. What aid is available to me?
Undergraduate students who have received one bachelor's degree and are pursuing a second degree in another program will only be eligible for loans. However, a student enrolled in an approved dual-degree program may qualify for aid. Contact our office to discuss your individual situation. 

If I have a parent enrolled in a college or university. Can she be counted as a family member in college when my financial aid eligibility is calculated?
No. When we calculate a student’s financial need, credit is given for each sibling (not parent) enrolled at least half-time in a college program leading to an undergraduate degree. The family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is reduced accordingly to recognize the financial impact of paying for a child’s college education. Credit is not given for parents who are enrolled in college or siblings in high school who are attending college classes. If you count a parent among your family members in college, we will reduce the number, which may significantly reduce your eligibility for financial aid.

I received an email stating that I need to submit additional documents before my aid can be processed. Why do I need to do this?
Because students sometimes make errors on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the federal government requires colleges to verify the information that some financial aid applicants report on their FAFSA. This process is called verification. If you are selected for verification, you will be asked to document the information you reported on your FAFSA by submitting information such as copies of tax returns, a Household Information Questionnaire, and a Miscellaneous Income Questionnaire. To be considered for all aid programs, you must see that our office receives your verification documents by June 1. If we do not receive the documents, we cannot process your aid application and you will not receive any aid.

Should I use the PROFILE College Board IDOC (Institutional Documentation Service) to submit my required documents to U-M?
No. The University of Michigan does not participate in IDOC.  Do not upload your documents there or we will not receive them. Send documents directly to our office in person, through the mail or via fax (734-647-3081). Note: We are unable to accept forms and other tax documents via email attachment at this time.

If I decline all or part of my aid package and my circumstances change, can I request that my aid be reinstated?
It depends.  If you request reinstatement within the term that the aid was granted, and if you are still enrolled and your eligibility has not changed, we can typically reinstate federal Direct  Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) and Pell Grants. Reinstating aid from other programs will depend upon your reason and whether funds are available.

Do I need to pick up a check for my financial aid?
Not in most cases. Depending upon your situation, you will either receive a direct deposit to your personal bank account (if you have completed a Direct Deposit Authorization form) or a check mailed to your local/current address on file with the Registrar's Office.

Is my Financial Aid Notice the same as my student bill?

No. Your notice lists any scholarships, grants, loans, or Work-Study that you are eligible to receive.  The Office of Financial Aid sends you an email letting you know when you have a Financial Aid Notice available on Wolverine Access.  The Student Financial Services Office sends you an email when you have a student bill available to view and print on Wolverine Access. Your bill shows the amount you owe the university.

Financial aid administered by the Office of Financial Aid is applied directly to charges listed on your bill, usually during the first month of the term. You are responsible for paying any amount not covered by these awards. For more information, see the most current Required Reading on our Publications page. For details about your student bill or to reach the Student Financial Services Offices, visit their website.

What percentage of students receive aid at U-M?

According to the most recently reported numbers, 70 percent of resident undergraduate and graduate students and 53 percent of non-resident students receive some form of aid at U-M.

Are courses offered through the Continuing Education Portal eligible for financial aid?
No. Course offerings through http://continuinged.umich.edu are not eligible for financial aid assistance. Not all university programs are eligible for financial aid, including some degree and certificate offerings. We are available to counsel students with financial aid needs and to help them determine whether individual programs are eligible. Contact us at 734-763-6600.