Paying for College
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to apply for financial aid?
The quickest and most accurate way to apply for financial aid is to apply online.
The online application runs an edit check and allows the applicant to review the information before submitting to the government.
What criteria does the government use to determine if I have to report my parental information?
For the 2009-2010 financial aid award year you may apply for financial aid as an independent student if you can answer, “Yes” to one or more of the following questions. If you answer “No” to all questions, you must also provide parental information on the FAFSA. If you feel that you have unusual or extenuating circumstances, please contact the Financial Aid Office.Telephone: (734) 462-4433
Fax: (734) 462-4527
- Were you born before January 1, 1986?
- At the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program?
- As of today, are you married? (Answer “Yes” if you are separated but not divorced.)
- Do you have children that receive more than half of their support from you?
- Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2010?
- Are both of your parents deceased, or are you or were you (until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
- Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
- Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2008, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2008, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2008, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
What can I do if my family’s circumstances have changed?
Initially you must report 2008 income on the FAFSA.
If financial circumstances change in 2009
- Contact each college to request a re-evaluation
Each college is responsible for approving changes in circumstances.
Results may differ between colleges.
Common special circumstances include:
- Loss of income through layoff, retirement or disability
- Death or divorce of a parent after filing FAFSA
- High medical expenses paid and not covered by insurance
How do I apply for Student Loans?
Students that meet the college’s satisfactory academic progress policy may apply for the Federal Student Loan.
STEP 1: Apply to Admissions at the school you wish to enroll.
STEP 2: Apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
STEP 3: Contact the Financial Aid Office — The loan process may vary from school to school.
How do I sign the FAFSA when applying online?
When applying for financial aid online, you should sign your application electronically using the Personal Identification Number (PIN) issued to you by the government. Request a PIN by going to the Department of Education’s PIN Site. Each student that makes a request will be given his/her own individual PIN. This PIN acts as your electronic signature.
If you are the parent of a dependent student, you should also request a PIN. You will then use this PIN as your electronic signature.
When signing the FAFSA using your PIN, it takes approximately 3 days to process the electronically submitted FAFSA. If applying without a PIN, the government will allow 14 days to receive the signature paper before processing. If the signature page is not received within 14 days, the FAFSA will be processed as invalid. (The paper FAFSA takes about 6 weeks to process.)