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 Frequently Asked Questions
 
Also see FAQs specific to these topics:

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 (https://wolverineaccess.umich.edu) where there is a link to instructions for requesting this transcript. You may also visit www.irs.gov/Order-a-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.

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

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

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 these loans will be 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 program, the full amount of the 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 your parent loses his or her job resulting in 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 college costs. Our ability to provide additional assistance will be determined by when you inform us of the change and provide documentation, and whether funds are available at the time you contact us. See the Financial Aid Appeals page for more information about requesting a reevaluation of your aid eligibility based on your change in circumstances.

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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 purchase either with financial gifts from relatives and friends or with earnings from summer jobs.  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 are allowed to borrow for a computer only once during their educational career 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, click on this link.

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 the following remain true:

  • None of your scholarships and awards is limited to only one year.
  • Your family's financial situation remains similar. (Dramatic changes in income and marital status and changes in the number of family members in college will affect your Expected Family Contribution and, therefore, your eligibility for financial aid eligibility.)
  • The federal, state, and institutional funding of financial aid programs remains similar.
  • You submit the appropriate application materials by the required deadlines.
  • You continue to meet the enrollment level and Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. The Office of Financial Aid monitors enrollment levels (the number of credit hours you take) during each term. If you drop courses and 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 OFA for more information. 

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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 who is enrolled in a college or university. Can this parent 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 include a parent among your family members in college, the Office of Financial Aid 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 (they must be received, not just postmarked, by this date). If our office does not receive the documents, we will not be able to process your financial aid application and you will not receive any aid (grants, Work-Study, or loans).
 

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 the IDOC program.  Do not upload your required documents there or the U-M Office of Financial Aid will not receive them. Send them directly to our office via fax (734-647-3081), email attachment (financial.aid@umich.edu), uploaded through our website (www.finaid.umich.edu/TopNav/ContactUS.aspx), in person or through the mail.

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 Stafford Loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized) and Pell Grants. Reinstatement of aid from other programs depends on the reason for your request and on whether funds are available in the various aid programs.

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Do I need to pick up a check for my financial aid?

No. Depending on 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 Award Notice the same as my student bill?

No. The Office of Financial Aid sends you a financial aid award notification email letting you know when you have a financial aid award notice available on Wolverine Access.  Your award notice lists any scholarships, grants, loans, or Work-Study that you are eligible to receive. 

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 the 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, click here.
 

Why is there no Work-Study award listed on my student bill?

Work-Study awards are earned by working for eligible employers and collecting paychecks up to the amount of the award.  To look for a Work-Study job, go to Student Employment Office website. Contact employers directly for interviews. Once you have a Work-Study job, it may take up to a month to receive your Work-Study funds (in the form of a paycheck).  For more information, see our Work-Study & Other Jobs page and visit the Student Employment Office 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. The U-M Office of Financial Aid cautions that not all university programs are eligible for financial aid, including some degree and certificate offerings. OFA staff members are available to counsel students with their financial aid needs and to help determine whether individual programs are eligible. Contact us at 734-763-6600.

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