UM-Flint Highlights Financial Aid Updates and Opportunities

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UM-Flint students in computer lab.
UM-Flint students in computer lab.

Looking for help paying for your education? Now is the time to do something about it.

Grants, scholarships, and other types of financial aid are now available for high school seniors and current UM-Flint students—and it pays to NOT procrastinate, said Lori Vedder, director of Financial Aid at the University of Michigan-Flint.

Deadlines for financial assistance are quickly approaching and it also is the perfect time to take advantage of other golden opportunities for funding your education, including donor-based scholarships. Vedder noted that the office of Financial Aid has experts on staff able to help current and future students maximize the funding they receive.

Here is a closer look at some of the financial aid opportunities and deadlines.


Step 1 to get help paying for college: Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) form.

"It is also very important for families to know their financial aid awards so they can make the most informed decisions about affordability for the family. For freshmen, it may help them make their college selection. For others, it gives them time to save and think about how they will cover their portion of the bill if aid is not sufficient or available to them," Vedder said.

It takes about 20 minutes to fill out the FAFSA form, Vedder said, but it opens the door to federal aid, including grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study money, Vedder said. Filing the FAFSA also helps students meet the requirements for possible state and university support.

UM-Flint encourages students to file by February 14.

"Some financial aid has limited funds and we like to make sure every student receives the best aid package we can offer them," Vedder said.

Students also must meet a March 1 deadline to be eligible for the Michigan Competitive Scholarship from the state of Michigan.

Vedder said the FAFSA form is increasingly "user friendly" but UM-Flint financial experts are here to help both current students and high school seniors, and their parents.  Students can call, e-mail, or visit the office to talk about any financial aid questions.

The office is hosting numerous "Financial Aid Nights" at area high schools this month to help students and families learn about the types of aid available, when to apply, and how to avoid "trouble spots" others have encountered on the FAFSA form. The events are free and open to everyone—including current students and those looking to pursue their education elsewhere.

UM-Flint Scholarships

There is a major new opportunity for many high school students looking to enroll at UM-Flint. The university has made a large-scale investment in its Freshmen Merit Scholarship program. UM-Flint estimates it will offer more than $9 million in its first year.

Top high school students are automatically eligible for scholarships ranging from $3,000 to $7,000 a year (all are renewable for four years) as part of the expansion of the Freshmen Merit Scholarship program. Because the scholarships are being automatically given to eligible students, it also helps families compare costs.

"By having set criteria that new freshmen can easily understand and readily identify the dollar amount they may qualify for helps take some of the guesswork out of their cost to attend UM-Flint," Vedder said.

There are also a limited number of full-ride scholarships available to highly competitive applicants each year.

There are also numerous UM-Flint scholarships available for various colleges and departments within the university, including scores of scholarships that are donor-based. Each one has different requirements but there are key deadlines to know, Vedder said. Undergraduate students need to apply by February 14 and graduate students need to apply by June 1 for the donor-based scholarships. There are a range of scholarships for different students including those that are first in their family to attend college, including those that are graduates of the Genesee Early College program and those enrolled in specific programs like pre-law. An extensive list of scholarship summaries is available here.

Spring/Summer Financial Aid Changes

Looking to take classes before the fall? Make sure your 2015-16 FAFSA is on file by January 31 and that you register for spring or summer classes by this date.

The university eliminated a separate UM-Flint form students filled out in the past to get financial aid for the spring and summer semesters, Vedder said. Now, as long as a valid FAFSA form is on file with the Office of Financial Aid, students are eligible for aid for these semesters. This eliminates extra paperwork.

Students who registered for spring or summer classes by January 31st are given priority consideration for funding in addition to any remaining Pell Grant or Federal Loan eligibility, according to the Office of Financial Aid.

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