Student-Athletes

Athletic scholarships

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics provides scholarships in 26 sports. The head coach of each sport may request a full scholarship that covers tuition and fees, room and board, and books. Partial scholarships cover a portion of one or more of these expenses. All scholarships are awarded for a period of one year. Scholarships are reviewed and renewed annually based upon Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, MSU, Big Ten, and NCAA policies.

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics may choose to award a student-athlete a scholarship for summer school, but the department is not obligated to do so. Summer Session Policies & Procedures for Student-Athletes can be found in the Student-Athlete Support Services' Student Handbook.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Athletics Financial Aid Office with any questions regarding your athletics grant-in-aid at (517) 432-5510.

Renewal of athletic scholarships

Notification of renewals and nonrenewals will be sent to athletic scholarship recipients no later than July 1 prior to the award year in which it is to be effective. Information concerning the signing of renewal scholarships will be provided at the spring check-out meeting for each team.

Applying for financial aid other than athletic scholarships

The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) offers a variety of grant, work, and loan programs to give financial options to all families, no matter what their need or resources. You should file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to apply for both need-and non-need-based aid at MSU. This free form is used nationwide to determine aid eligibility by collecting income, asset, and demographic data about the student and family. MSU's federal code for the FAFSA is 002290.To find out more about financial aid, visit our office's Types of Aid page.

If you are unable to file the online FAFSA you may obtain a paper application from your high school or college, and mail it to the federal processor or provide data on the federal government’s World Wide Web site. However, the online FAFSA is faster and more accurate.

Four to six weeks after you submit your FAFSA, you should receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR lists all the data you reported on your FAFSA. Possible errors are in bold print. Review the entire SAR carefully to ensure that all information is accurate. If corrections are needed, follow the instructions on the SAR.

About the time you get the SAR, the same data is released to MSU electronically. This information is used to determine your eligibility for a variety of financial aid programs.

Outside assistance

Scholarship possibilities beyond those offered at MSU can be found by using a (free) national computerized scholarship search service. We recommend the following websites:

After entering information about your background, educational goals, and interests, you will be given a list of organizations that offer scholarships for which you may be eligible. Remember that search services provide only a preliminary match. You must complete any applications and other requirements, and meet specific deadlines in order to be considered.

It is your responsibility to notify OFA of any outside aid you receive. Notification should be on the donor's letterhead and include the type of award, the amount, the criteria for selecting recipients, and the terms under which the award was given. If you are other than a first time freshman, the funds must be sent to MSU for disbursement to your student account. Checks should be sent to the Office of Financial Aid and must include the student-athlete's name and personal identification number or social security number.

Please be aware that NCAA rules may prohibit the receipt of financial aid or athletic aid in combination with outside aid in excess of the cost of attendance or, in some instances, the cost of a full grant-in-aid. The Pell Grant is currently exempt from these limits. Head coaches may place certain restrictions on the receipt of countable (delete outside) aid as part of the athletic award. The Pell Grant is currently exempt from these limits. Head coaches may place certain restrictions on the receipt of countable outside aid as part of the athletic award.

Notification of aid eligibility

MSU will notify you about your aid status as soon as possible after the FAFSA record is received at MSU. If you receive any outside awards, your financial aid package will be revised accordingly when OFA is notified of the award. If you have been offered an Athletic Grant-in-Aid, the first notification you receive may not include your Grant-in-Aid. When you have been determined to be eligible for your Athletic Grant-in-Aid according to applicable NCAA, conference and institutional regulations, your financial aid package will be revised accordingly to include your Athletic Grant-in-Aid.

Review your financial aid award notification carefully. You and your parents might be required to send tax returns, W-2’s and/or other documents before your financial aid can be finalized. You may also need to take action to have the aid that is offered applied to your registration bill. If you do not provide the information that is requested or take the necessary action to accept awards, your aid may be delayed or cancelled.

NCAA Special Assistance Fund

A special fund has been established by the NCAA to meet the student-athletes' needs of an emergency and essential nature for which financial assistance is not available.

Pell-eligible student-athletes (except non-qualifiers in their initial year of residence), student-athletes who have demonstrated financial need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid, or a foreign student-athlete who has been certified by the Office of International Students and Scholars as having financial need are eligible to apply for these funds.

Permissible uses of the fund are as follows:

  • Cost of clothing and other essential expenses up to $500 per year
  • Cost of expendable academic course supplies (e.g. notebooks and pens)
  • Medical and dental costs not covered by another insurance program
  • Costs associated with student-athlete or family emergencies

To apply for the NCAA Special Assistance Fund or for additional information, please contact the Office of Compliance Services located at 223 Jenison Field House.