Take home message: There are many regulatory obligations that U-M must comply with, in order to maintain its eligibility to receive Federal financial aid for its students. The Office of Financial Aid oversees this compliance, but often requires assistance from other departments to meet U-M’s obligations. Make sure you take any requests from the Office of Financial Aid and your departmental administrators that relate to financial aid eligibility and the Higher Education Act seriously: they affect the ability of all U-M’s students to receive Federal aid.
U-M Policy and helpful links
- Financial aid is any source of funds available to assist students pay for the costs of a college education, including scholarships, grants, loans and work-study employment. The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) administers all Federal financial aid funding on behalf of U-M’s Ann Arbor campuses, except for the U-M Law School and U-M Medical School who administer their own financial aid. See also the U-M Dearborn Office of Financial Aid, and the U-M Flint Office of Financial Aid.
- The major financial aid programs available are summarized (including eligibility criteria, many of which are mandated by law or regulation) in OFA’s annual Required Reading document that compiles the rights and responsibilities of students who receive a financial aid award [see also the U-M Dearborn Required Reading and U-M Flint Required Reading documents].
- U-M Schools, Colleges and Departments frequently award scholarships or awards to their students. If a School of College is issuing scholarships or awards directly to a student, it could affect that student’s overall entitlement to Federal financial aid – so it is important that the Office of Financial Aid learns about such awards. Contact someone in the Office of Financial Aid (your School/College may have a designated liaison) to learn more.
- Institutional eligibility to receive aid for students: The eligibility of U-M as an institution to receive financial aid for its students (which is completely separate from the question of individual student eligibility) is connected to many different reporting requirements and compliance obligations – many of which are mandated through the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA, as amended) and its regulations.
- Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA): The most recent significant update to the Act was the Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008 (HEOA). The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) offers HEOA to help on its website at NACUBO.
- The Higher Education Act requires that U-M make certain consumer information available to its students. This information is collated on the Financial Aid Consumer Information site [see also the U-M Dearborn Consumer Information site and the U-M Flint consumer Information site.
- The Office of Financial Aid oversees U-M’s compliance with the requirements attached to institutional eligibility for financial aid; but this often requires input or assistance from U-M departments. If the Financial Aid office asks for your help in collating data or addressing a compliance issue, it is crucial that you work with them, or U-M could face losing its ability to offer its students any Federal financial aid.
- The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman of the Department of Education helps to resolve disputes and solve other problems with federal student loans. This Federal Office is neutral, independent, and informal and not associated with the University of Michigan.
- New academic programs and courses: academic programs and courses must meet specific criteria (due to legislative or regulatory restrictions) in order to be eligible for financial aid. If a class is outside the normal teaching schedule or semesters, students may not be able to receive financial aid or assistance towards that class. When developing new programs or courses, you should always discuss your proposal with the Financial Aid Office, who can help you determine whether or not it is eligible for financial aid.
- Student loan collection is handled by the Student Loan Collections and Records Office (within Financial Operations).
- For student athletes, financial aid and athletic scholarships are jointly managed by the Office of Financial Aid and the Athletics Department. For more information, contact Megan Utke in the Office of Financial Aid.
Things to remember
- It is important for all staff, faculty and students be aware that U-M’s eligibility to receive financial aid is connected to many requirements and reporting obligations, that require action and input from departments right across U-M. Take any requests from the Office of Financial Aid and your departmental administrators that relate to financial aid eligibility and the Higher Education Act seriously: they affect the ability of all U-M’s students to receive Federal aid.
- Staff and faculty who interact with students with financial aid should be aware of the annual Required Reading document – it summarizes many of the rules and obligations that students need to comply with as financial aid recipients.
- Any non-Federal financial aid or income sources awarded to a student can affect that student’s overall entitlement to Federal financial aid – including scholarships, grants or awards provided by a School or College, or by a private entity such as an industry body or company; and including paid employment provided to the student. It is important that the Office of Financial Aid learns about such awards or income – otherwise the student risks being provided too much aid, with negative consequences for both the student and U-M.
- Private student loans – all officers, employees and agents of U-M and its affiliates who have any responsibilities with respect to private student loans must be aware of the University Code of Conduct for Student Loans.
- Financial Aid is administered separately for U-M’s Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses; and each of these campuses has its own code for FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, used by all students to apply for Federal aid). U-M Ann Arbor’s code is 002325; U-M Dearborn’s code is 002326; and U-M Flint’s code is 002327
- The Medical School and Law School financial aid programs are administered and operated independently from the rest of the U-M Ann Arbor campus, and each has its own code for FAFSA. U-M Ann Arbor Medical School code is E00398 and U-M Ann Arbor Law School code is E00506.
People to talk to
For U-M in Ann Arbor, if you have any questions or concerns relating to financial aid, contact someone in the Office of Financial Aid (they have a designated liaison for each School or College) by calling (734) 763-6600 or emailing them. Note also that the Law School and Medical School have their own financial aid offices.
For additional assistance with federal student loans the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman of the Department of Education may be able to help resolve disputes and solve other problems with federal student loans.
For legal assistance or advice relating to financial aid or the Higher Education Act, contact Cathy Pinkerton or Debbie Kowich (if your query relates to student loan administration or collection) in the Office of the General Counsel.
Established 3/4/11, last updated 2/23/17 – Contact us if you believe any information is incorrect or outdated