The most common sources of financial aid are Federal Aid, State Aid, State Loans and Scholarships.

Examples and information on each are listed below:

Federal Aid:

  • Federal Pell grants
    Available almost exclusively to undergraduates; student may receive up to two consecutive maximum awards in a year if attending school year-round.
  • Federal Work-Study
    For undergraduate and graduate students; jobs can be on campus or off campus; students are paid at least federal minimum wage.
  • Federal Perkins loans
    For undergraduate and graduate students; must be repaid to school that made the loan.
  • Federal unsubsidized direct loans
    Unsubsidized: The borrower is responsible for all interest; must be at least half-time; financial need not required.
  • Federal subsidized direct loans
    Subsidized: The U.S. Department of Education pays interest while the borrower is in school and during grace and deferment periods; student must be attending at least half-time and have financial need.

State Aid:

  • Michigan Competitive Scholarship
    The Michigan Competitive Scholarship program is available to undergraduate students pursuing their first degrees at an approved Michigan postsecondary institution. Students must demonstrate both financial need and merit and eligible applicants must achieve a qualifying ACT score prior to entering college.
  • Tuition Incentive Program
    The Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) is an incentive program that encourages eligible students to complete high school by providing tuition assistance for the first two years of college and beyond. To meet the financial eligibility requirement, a student must have (or have had) Medicaid coverage for 24 months within a 36-consecutive-month period as identified by the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS).
  • Michigan Tuition Grant
    The Michigan Tuition Grant program is available to undergraduate Michigan residents with financial
    need who plan to attend or are attending independent, degree-granting Michigan postsecondary institutions.
  • Children of Veterans Tuition Grant
    The Children of Veterans Tuition Grant Act is designed to provide undergraduate tuition assistance to certain children older that 16 and less than 26 years of age who have been Michigan residents for the 12 months prior to application. To be eligible a student must be a natural or adopted child of a Michigan veteran.
  • Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver
    Applicants must be 1/4 or more Native American and a member of a federally recognized tribe to be eligible.

State Loans:

  • The MI-Loan Program
    The Michigan Alternative Student Load (MI-LOAN®) Program is an alternative student loan program for the exclusive use of students who are attending Michigan degree-granting colleges and universities. This program helps students bridge the gap between college costs and traditional
    federal financial aid resources.


  • Merit-based
    These awards are based on a student's academic, artistic, athletic or other abilities, and often factor in an applicant's extracurricular activities and community service record.
  • Need-based
    These awards are based on the student and family's financial record and will require applicants to fill out a FAFSA to qualify if the scholarship is a federal award.
  • Student-specific
    These are scholarships where applicants must initially qualify by gender, race, religion, family and medical history, or many other student-specific factors.
  • Career-specific
    These are scholarships awarded by a college or university to students planning to pursue a specific field of study.
Click here for the Finanical Aid Process Diagram