How Aid is Awarded

The University of Michigan has made a commitment to meet the demonstrated institutional financial need of Michigan resident undergraduates who meet all application deadlines. 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 (Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Michigan Competitive Scholarships. SEOG funds are limited; they area awarded to applicants with the most need.)
  2. Tuition-Based Scholarships (Wolverine Pathways, HAIL, Michigan Fairfax, privately funded tuition based awards, etc.)
  3. Institutional Scholarships (Tappan, Fairfax, Presidential, etc.)
  4. Institutional Grant Funding (based on an annually established award maximum) All other institutionally awarded assistance including LSA-funded U-M Grant replacement scholarships as well as the Michigan Competitive Scholarship, Federal Pell Grant, Michigan Education Trust (MET), VA Educational Benefits and TIP awards are considered when calculating U-M Grant and Go Blue Grant eligibility.*
  5. Federal Work-Study
  6. Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized (Stafford) Loans
  7. Health Professions Loans, and Nursing Loans (Federal regulations require these funds to be awarded to students with the greatest need.
  8. M-Pact/ Provost Award: Offered as a gap award to individuals within annually determined low socio-economic status parameters. This award will be the first award reduced should any additional assistance be received. The Provost Award is only available to continuing students.
  9. Perkins Replacement Grant

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.

* The university has instituted the Go Blue Guarantee, which pays tuition and mandatory fees for students with family incomes of $65,000 or less and assets below $50,000.  For students who qualify, financial aid may contain a variety of awards (Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant, State of Michigan Competitive Scholarship, institutional scholarships and grants and non-UM tuition scholarships and grants). These, together, make up the Go Blue Guarantee. Eligibility details here. Tuition is the cost of classes and mandatory fees are those the university charges to all students. See our Cost of Attendance page for information about other educational costs.

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 from 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.