Student News

What is Federal Work-Study? 

Work-Study is a federal program allowing students to earn a paycheck for college expenses and incidentals. Students who are eligible will see Federal Work-Study on their financial aid notice in Wolverine Access.

Unlike other types of financial aid, it is not applied against a student’s account, but is earned by working. U-M uses all of its available Federal Work-Study funds each year to help students.

The university prefers that Federal Work-Study students use direct deposit which will automatically route both paychecks and financial aid refunds into your bank account.

For more, visit the Direct Deposit Authorization Form page. You may need to complete an I-9 after you are hired which will require you to have original forms of identifying documents. A list of documents can be found here.

After you apply, check your Student Aid Report (SAR) 

After you submit your FAFSA, the federal processor will calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and send it to our office. In addition, you will receive a Student Aid Report, or SAR. Review your SAR carefully and make corrections as soon as possible at the Federal Student Aid website. Confirm that the record will be sent to UM–Ann Arbor (federal school code 002325).

A parent signature is required if you are a dependent student or if you are a Pharmacy or Dental student applying for a Health Professions Loan. When completing or correcting your FAFSA, include your signature and the signature of one of your parents. 

Four Common Reasons FAFSA is Rejected

  • Parent/student signatures are missing
  • Social Security Number is incorrect
  • Date of birth is incorrect
  • Student’s name misspelled 

Explore U-M scholarship opportunities for 2020-2021

Students are automatically considered for most U-M scholarships. To ensure that you are considered for any available scholarships, complete or update your “My Scholarship Profile” in Wolverine Access by March 15. Visit the My Scholarship Profile page for more details.

Private scholarships may also be available to you. Visit the Scholarships at U-M page for a list of free scholarship search engines.

Borrow only what you need for your U-M education 

Students should borrow only what is necessary to achieve the goal of a U-M college degree. Consider options that could reduce the need to borrow: 

  • Use personal or family assets before considering a loan
  • Look at the U-M Payment Plan for fall/winter which helps families spread costs over five months for each semester
  • Consider part-time employment to stretch your dollars without borrowing 
  • Review your lifestyle choices and expenses for ways to trim costs 

U-M tuition insurance available fall 2020 

Starting fall 2020, tuition insurance will be available to U-M students on the Ann Arbor campus. U-M will offer this voluntary insurance because the cost of tuition can be substantial, and any student may need to withdraw from a term due to an injury, illness, or a flare-up of a chronic condition.

The insurance extends the university’s withdrawal policy. Students who need to completely withdraw from a semester due to injury or illness (physical or psychological) will receive a refund up to 75% of tuition. The insurance can help to pay back loans, grants, and scholarships, and can help students continue their education at a later time.

Tuition insurance will be available to all Ann Arbor students, including in-state and out-of-state undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The cost for the insurance will be less than 1% of a student’s tuition cost.

The insurance coverage is provided by A.W.G. Dewar, Inc., a private firm that has been offering tuition insurance for 89 years.

Additional details will be available on the University Health Service website in early summer.

The intersection of financial aid and enrollment

A Tale of Student Crisis

We understand that navigating the complexities of course enrollment can be daunting, and that the process becomes even more challenging when there are financial aid implications. 

Did you know that designating a course as “Not for Credit” or “Audit”, or any variation of a course that will not count toward the student’s program requirements, can have severe consequences for a student’s financial aid? Read on to learn about a student who must return a substantial amount of aid because a course was recorded as “Audit” rather than “Repeat”, reducing their eligibility for aid. 

Student: I am a first-generation student who doesn’t have anyone in my family who can assist me with school decisions. 

I signed up for French 101 as a refresher before taking a higher level French course next semester, but I didn’t know that taking a class for audit could impact my aid. I was also concerned that taking more than 12 credits my first term at U-M was going to be too much for me, so I made sure my courses totaled just 12 credit hours so my financial aid would remain at full time enrollment levels. 

After the deadline passed to get credit for adding any additional courses, the financial aid office told me that I was only part time because my French class is an Audit and that my aid would be reduced. I don’t understand why no one told me about this and I don’t know how I’m going to return $8,000 in financial aid money now. This money paid my housing costs and I used the rest to buy my books. Why wasn’t I told about this earlier?

OFA: This situation highlights an enrollment conundrum that we see from a few students every semester. We understand that students don’t know what they don’t know and sometimes rely heavily on their friends for financial aid advice. Our academic advising partners assist us with making sure students understand enrollment requirements and how they intersect with financial aid requirements. Unfortunately, many courses are not noted as non-credit bearing until after the drop-add period is over, preventing offices from more proactively reaching out to potentially impacted students.

OFA distributes a publication titled Required Reading. This resource outlines enrollment terms and conditions, as well as information on many other topics related to financial aid. This publication is featured on every financial aid notice, and can also be found on the OFA website throughout the year.

Finally, warnings attached to course enrollment for those courses that could impact credits and/or aid are also in place. We encourage students to read these carefully when they appear during backpacking and registration, and work with us or their academic units to gain as complete an understanding as possible.

OFA is not aware of these course designations until one to two weeks after the three week drop/add point of the semester. The drop/add date is critical since this is where enrollment is frozen for financial aid purposes and courses added after this date do not count toward a student’s financial aid enrollment level for that semester. 

We encourage all students to contact us if they have questions, and to seek out the Required Reading publication.