Guide to University of Michigan’s Financial Aid and Student Loan Options

Written by: Kristyn Pilgrim
Updated: 3/09/20

With the estimated cost of attendance at the University of Michigan topping out at $66,698 for non-resident students this year, getting all the help you can to lower costs is prudent. Fortunately, there are many avenues you can take to make attending the University of Michigan more affordable.

We are going to give you the rundown on what scholarships, grants, and student loans are available to bring tuition costs down. After reading this, you should have all the information you need to make an informed decision on what financial aid and student loan options you are going to pursue.

Scholarships Available to University of Michigan Students

By far, the most appealing option available to make tuition more affordable at the University of Michigan is scholarships. Scholarships are a form of gift aid that you do not have to pay back, and getting them is highly competitive. You’ll find scholarships available from the University of Michigan itself, as well as from many outside organizations.

University of Michigan Scholarships

The University of Michigan sponsors many different scholarships that you can apply for. There are even a few you don’t have to apply for, as you are automatically considered during the admission process. Additionally, the University of Michigan has some exclusive scholarships that are invite-only.


Scholarships in this category do not need to be applied to, as you are automatically considered for them based on which school, college, or department you are planning on studying in. Different schools and colleges within the University of Michigan have various criteria that they use when deciding who is awarded scholarships, some of which include:

  • Academic achievement
  • Special talents
  • Interests
  • Personal qualities
  • Financial need

For details on individual scholarships, broken down by department, follow the links below:

University of Michigan Enrollment Scholarships

In addition to the scholarships offered by the individual departments and schools at the University of Michigan, the University itself offers several scholarships that you don’t have to apply to, as consideration is automatic upon being admitted. If you are a Michigan resident, you’ll automatically be considered for the Fairfax scholarship, while non-resident students are automatically considered for the Fairfax, Tappan, and Presidential scholarships.

University of Michigan Invitational Scholarships

The University of Michigan has a few scholarships that are invite-only: The HAIL (High-Achieving Involved Leader) Scholarship, which is available to gifted low-income students, and the Michigan Alumni Scholarship, which is available to high school seniors in select northern Michigan counties that are geographically underrepresented. Both are available to students at the Ann Arbor campus.

University of Michigan Partner Scholarships

The University of Michigan offers several scholarships in partnership with other organizations, including the following:

  • Detroit Promise Scholarship: The University of Michigan selects wardees for this scholarship in partnership with the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation and the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation. Recipients of this scholarship receive awards covering four years of tuition and fees at the Ann Arbor campus.
  • Posse STEM Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded by the Posse Foundation to 10 University of Michigan students each year, to encourage more students to study in STEM fields. Recipients of this scholarship receive awards covering four years of tuition and fees at the Ann Arbor campus.
  • The Wolverine Pathways Scholarship: This scholarship is available to students who complete the Wolverine Pathways Program. This scholarship is available only to undergraduate students from Detroit, Southfield, and Ypsilanti public school districts and offers awards covering four years of tuition and fees.

The Stamps Scholars Program

The Stamps Scholars Program Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship offered to around 22 first-year undergraduates per year. It covers the full cost of attendance at the Ann Arbor campus for four years. Awardees are required to attend the Stamps Scholars Weekend in the spring to accept their scholarship awards.

Private Scholarships

Aside from what’s offered by the University of Michigan to its students, hundreds of private scholarships are available for you to apply to. It’s important to begin your search early if you are interested in applying for any of these, as they are highly competitive and are often awarded the year prior to disbursement. 

The University of Michigan recommends the following scholarship search engines to make your private scholarship search easier:

Federal & State Grants for University of Michigan Students

If you aren’t one of the lucky few to be awarded a scholarship that covers the full cost of tuition at the University of Michigan, there are still grants available to apply to. The University of Michigan provides detailed information about all of the different grants available, which can be found here.

Both the federal government and the University of Michigan offer need- and non-need-based grants that don’t have to be paid back upon graduation:

Federal Grants for University of Michigan Students

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is awarded to undergraduate students with a demonstrated financial need who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree. To be considered for this grant, you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students must maintain at least half-time enrollment to remain eligible for the Pell Grant.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The FSEOG Grant is available to Pell-eligible dependent undergraduate students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of zero dollars. 

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is available to students who aren’t eligible for a Pell Grant due to EFC but meet the other Pell Grant requirements and have a parent or guardian who was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died during military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan following 9/11. Students must also have been under 24 years old or enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of said parent or guardian’s death to be eligible.

TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) Grant

The TEACH Grant is available to all undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students who are enrolled in a degree program with the intent of teaching in a high-need field. Students must be enrolled at least half-time, maintain a GPA of at least 3.25, and must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve


The University of Michigan offers plenty of its own need-based grants. Most notable among them is the Go Blue Guarantee, which offers students with a family income of $65,000 or less an opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s degree for free. 

Other need-based grants offered by the University of Michigan include:

Federal Work-Study at the University of Michigan

The Federal Work-Study Program is a great way to make a little extra money to put towards college costs at the University of Michigan. While working part-time on campus at a work-study job, you’ll also earn valuable real-world experience that you can put on your resume later on during your job search. 

Students interested in the work-study program at the University of Michigan must document their interest on the FAFSA. If awarded work-study aid, eligible students are encouraged to check out the Student Employment Office’s website to search through available positions.

University of Michigan Student Loans

More often than not, students end up having to take out student loans to help pay for tuition while attending college.

Federal Student Loans for University of Michigan Students

The federal government provides a few loan options that you may be eligible for. They’re also your best student loan option.

Subsidized Loans

Subsidized student loans are available to all U.S residents who have an EFC that denotes a financial need, as long as they are enrolled at least half-time in college. You are not responsible for any of the interest that accrues while you are still actively enrolled in school, during the grace period, and any periods of deferment. You are automatically considered when you file a FAFSA.

Unsubsidized Loans

Unsubsidized loans have the same requirements as subsidized loans. The only difference is that you have to pay back all the interest that accrues, which begins on the date of disbursal.

PLUS Loans

PLUS loans are available to graduate students or parents of undergraduate students but must be applied for in addition to filing a FAFSA. Credit rating is a factor when applying for these, so make sure either you or your cosigner have high enough credit to be approved.

Private Student Loans

Private student loans are often the last resort when looking for ways to cover the cost of attendance at the University of Michigan. Interest rates are higher than what’s available from the federal government, so make sure you’ve exhausted all other options before seeking out private loans.

For help finding a University of Michigan approved lender, head over to their FastChoice tool to find the best private student loans available to you.