Parent Guide

Many U-M parents are actively involved in their children's lives, especially when it involves college finances. To help you be informed about financial aid, we offer this page of information and links that parents of U-M students often find useful.


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We send most of our correspondence regarding students' financial aid directly to students via email. If you want to stay informed and help your student manage his or her financial aid, there are a few things to know:

Requesting Information About Your Student

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and University of Michigan policy, we cannot release financial aid information to anyone other than registered U-M students. We can discuss financial information with dependent students' parents or custodial parents, if parents provide the student's UMID and if the student's dependency status is confirmed.

We may not release academic information to a parent including (but not limited to): level of enrollment, academic progress and grades.  If academic issues are affecting financial aid, we can contact your student directly to explain but cannot share that academic information directly with you.

Accessing Your Student's Financial Information on Wolverine Access

Students manage most of their business transactions, including financial aid, on the web via the secure student portal called Wolverine Access. The Parent/Family Authorization feature of Wolverine Access allows students to authorize a "Friend (guest) Account" for their parents or other family members. With a Friend Account, parents may access student's financial aid award notices, financial aid forms/documents and bills. Students may also authorize you to receive e-newsletters and emails about student accounts, housing, university alerts and bulletins.

After your student authorizes a Friend Account:  Within 24 hours, you will receive an email with Friend Account setup instructions. For more information, visit the U-M Information Technology website. Once a Friend Account is established, visit Wolverine Access and select "My Student's Information" (under "Parents & Family"). Note: It can take up to 30 minutes for parents to access a student's award notice documents.

Internet Explorer is the preferred browser for using Wolverine Access. If you are using another browser and need technical assistance, contact U-M Information and Technology Services at 734-764-4357.

Tips for completing the FAFSA

Do you have questions about your role in applying for financial aid? The Office of Federal Student Aid offers a variety of videos and information explaining to parents how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. View "FAFSA and FSA ID Tips for Parents."


The University of Michigan Student Financial Services office maintains students’ university accounts and issues student bills. If you have questions about your student's account or bill, you may contact Student Financial Services directly.

For basic information about student bills and how financial aid appears on the student bill, see the Student Account and eBill page.

Information about students loans can be found by navigating to the Aid Types > Loan Types section. Each type of federal loan is explained and guidance on finding private loans is provided.

See the Direct PLUS Loans page to find out how to apply for a Direct PLUS Loan to assist with your student's expenses. The Direct PLUS Loan is a non-need-based federal loan with favorable terms that is available to parents with an acceptable credit history. Because federal loans offer several advantages, we encourage families to explore all available federal loan programs before taking out a private loan.

Current and archived versions of these and other publications can be found on our Publications page. 


An all-inclusive guide to financial aid at the University of Michigan.

Required Reading

Information about the entering student's estimated award notice with instructions for what the student needs to do

Information for Prospective Students

Timely information for entering and continuing U-M students; covers application instructions and deadlines, updates and policies and procedures, and how-to information related to financial aid. Published in July, November and February each academic year.

This brochure covers information that the university is required to make available as an institution that administers federal financial aid. Distributed once per term to all enrolled students.


U-M Net Price Calculator

U-M partners with the College Board for its net price calculator tool, offering families an estimate of college costs and the financial aid you might expect based on income, assets and family information. It's confidential and you can enter information either as a guest or create a College Board account and save your information for future use or comparison to other colleges. Find the calculator at:

Calculators on Wolverine Access

If your student has authorized you to access his or her financial aid and/or student account information on Wolverine Access, you will be able to use these calculators.

  • To estimate your loan eligibility:  Visit Wolverine Access > Campus Finances > Financial Planning Calculator > Calculate Private/PLUS Loan Eligibility. Use this calculator to see how much you would be able to borrow through a private loan program or through the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for the fall and winter terms. (The calculator is not available for spring/summer term eligibility.)
  • To estimate your University of Michigan Bill: Visit Wolverine Access > Campus Finances > Financial Planning Calculator > Calculate Estimated Bill.  Answer a few questions and select "Calculate Estimated Bill" to see a fall term estimate. Beginning in mid to late September, you will be able to view a  Winter Term bill estimate. (The estimator is not available for spring/summer bills.)