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A change in your situation may merit a reconsideration of aid

From CashCourse.org and the U-M Office of Financial Aid

Your family’s financial situation may change while you are attending college. Whether or not you previously received a financial aid award, you should take immediate action if:

  • A parent loses a job
  • A parent's work hours are reduced
  • An income-earning parent dies or is no longer able to work
  • Any other income you reported on the FAFSA is reduced or eliminated
  • You have left the workforce or reduced your hours to return to school
  • You or a family member has a costly medical situation
  • Your family's home has gone into foreclosure. 

If any of these affect your family's income, you may be eligible for additional financial aid, including a Pell Grant, subsidized student loan or other available funds.

If this happens, don't panic. Contact the U-M Office of Financial Aid to advise staff about the situation or visit this information page on our website for detailed instructions. You will first speak with an aid officer and may be asked to file a financial aid appeal.

Filing a financial aid appeal

A financial aid appeal is a request to the U-M Office of Financial Aid to have your aid eligibility reconsidered because your family's financial situation has changed. If you are asked to do this, you will need to:

  • Gather relevant documentation. This could be a layoff notice, a death certificate, or notification from a social services agency that benefits have been discontinued.
  • Write a letter explaining what happened.
  • Submit your letter and documentation. It might be a good idea to use registered mail or another delivery service that requires a signature so you have proof that the appeal was received. Be sure to keep copies of all documents.

Keep track of who you spoke with and when.  Try to be patient after filing an appeal. If you don't hear anything within the expected timeframe, contact the U-M Office of Financial Aid for a status report.

Download the flier "Feeling blue about your finances?" with written re-evaluation guidelines here.

Applying for scholarships

Difficult financial times are just one more reason to apply for as many scholarships as you possibly can. Don't assume you've missed all the deadlines; they vary from program to program.  For more about scholarship opportunities at U-M, visit. www.finaid.umich.edu/scholarshipsgrants.

Details about financial basics, paying for college and student work, can be found at the nonprofit cashcourse.org/umofa website. The site also has calculators to help you budget and manage your money. CashCourse is offered through a partnership with the U-M Office of Financial aid and the nonprofit National Endowment for Financial Education.


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