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Need is calculated as the difference between your MSU budget and your EFC (Expected Family Contribution). The table below shows an example of this formula:

Example Budget  $21,642  A student's estimated cost of attendance for Fall and Spring semester
Example EFC -$5,620 Determined by the results of a completed FAFSA
Example Need $16,022 The maximum amount of need-based aid this student may receive

How your EFC is determined

Your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is a number that describes how much you (and your parents if you are a dependent student) are expected to contribute towards your educational costs. This number is calculated using a formula established by Congress, which takes into account all of the data that you and your parents supply on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

If you suspect that your EFC is incorrect, please review your Student Aid Report (SAR) and correct any errors at

Awarding of need-based aid
The Office of Financial Aid offers need-based grants (such as the Federal Pell Grant), loans, and work-study to students who are eligible based on the results of their FAFSA. Your award notification from MSU will list your eligibility for these programs. After need-based awards have been offered, the remainder of a student's budget may be met with a Direct Unsubsidized Loan or Parent PLUS Loan. Graduate students may also be eligible for a Grad PLUS Loan.

In general, the amount of all your financial aid cannot exceed your budget, and the amount of your need-based aid cannot exceed your need.

Eligibility for any financial aid program depends upon which degree you are pursuing and the type of aid in question. First-time undergraduate students with one major working on their first degree are eligible for all federal and MSU aid programs. Once you have met undergraduate degree requirements or pursue additional credentials, some types of aid become unavailable. Refer to this chart to see programs for which you qualify based on your degree category.

Once a student has completed all coursework required to graduate with a satisfactory GPA, the student is no longer eligible for aid for that degree.  This is true whether or not the student has applied for graduation.  Financial aid does not pay for coursework for a second major, a minor, or a specialization that is in addition to the requirements for the basic degree.

Students who have completed the coursework for their first degree will be notified via their MSU email accounts that they are no longer eligible for financial aid after the term in which they complete their degree requirements.

If the academic advisor finds that the student has not completed all requirements for the primary degree, the academic advisor should request this information be updated by the Office of Financial Aid by sending an email to, explaining the course(s) the student must complete to fulfill the requirements.

If a student has been admitted to a second degree program, he or she will be eligible for financial aid consideration as a second undergraduate degree student. See this chart for information on what aid is available based on your degree category.

Some MSU programs allow students to take graduate courses before the undergraduate degree has been conferred. A student may fall into one of three different categories, and the student's financial aid eligibility will be affected depending upon the category they are in.

  1. The student is an undergraduate who is taking graduate courses as part of the undergraduate degree program. The courses are being used to complete the undergraduate degree. This student is treated for financial aid purposes as a normal undergraduate student and no special financial aid processing is required.
  2.  The student is admitted to a graduate degree program near the end of their undergraduate program. MSU allows up to 12 credits of graduate coursework to be applied towards a graduate degree, even though the courses are taken while the student is still an undergraduate. This student must be monitored and eligibility for certain financial aid programs may be restricted.
  3. The student may be concurrently admitted to both graduate and undergraduate degree programs, taking both undergraduate and graduate courses, with the two degrees being conferred only when the requirements for both are completed. This student must be monitored and eligibility for certain financial aid programs may be restricted.

Monitoring and eligibility adjustments
Students in programs 2 and 3 above will be eligible for undergraduate aid only until they have earned their 120th credit. (Most undergraduate degree programs require 120 credits for the degree. If you are pursuing an undergraduate degree requiring a higher number of credits, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid to be reviewed as an exception).

The Office of Financial Aid will monitor aid in the “transition semester” (the semester in which the student earns the 120th credit) and manually pro-rate financial aid using only the credits that bring you to 120 total credits. If the 120th credit will be completed within a term, you may receive undergraduate aid for the credits needed to reach 120, with excess credits within the semester not being counted for financial aid purposes.

It's possible that you will be less than half time when counting undergraduate credits in the term and thus be ineligible for federal aid that term. It's also possible that you may receive no undergraduate aid for a semester even though still classified as undergraduate if you completed 120 credits in the prior semester but have not had your status changed to graduate.

You will be notified of aid changes as soon as possible. You should keep in mind that your academic status may change mid-semester. If the academic change is made retroactive to the beginning of the term, it may then trigger a bill for aid you received earlier in the semester.

Courses students are required to take in order to be officially admitted into a regular degree program are known as "preparatory coursework." These courses do not count toward the requirements of that degree program, but they may be covered by financial aid.

A student taking preparatory coursework must contact financial aid and work individually with a financial aid officer unless the academic department has identified a group of students in this category. These students may be classified as Lifelong Graduate (LG) or Graduate (GR) students.

Enrollment requirements

  • Student must be enrolled in preparatory coursework REQUIRED for admission to a regular graduate or graduate/professional degree program.
  • Student must be enrolled at least half-time (5 credits).
  • Only those courses REQUIRED for admission may be considered when determining enrollment level and student aid eligibility.

Documentation must be received from the student's academic advisor and must include the following:

  • A statement that the coursework is required for admission to a specified graduate or graduate/professional degree program.
  • A list of the specific courses required for admission.
  • A statement that the student will be admitted to the degree program if the courses are completed with the required grade.

Aid eligibility

  • Aid eligibility is limited to Federal Stafford Loans
  • Loan amounts are the same as independent undergraduate seniors.
  • Loan eligibility is limited to a single consecutive 12-month period.
  • Students will be monitored throughout the enrollment period to ensure they remain eligible.

Students who are not fully admissible to a graduate program may be offered provisional admission to the program. The academic department sets certain conditions that the student must meet, such as completing three courses with a GPA of 3.0 or above, before the student will be admitted to the degree program.

Students who are provisionally admitted to a degree program are not eligible for federal, state, or MSU financial aid, although they may be eligible for private student loans. This policy is based upon federal regulations requiring a student to be fully admitted to a degree program as a condition of receiving financial aid.

If you are required to do preparatory coursework before being admitted to a graduate degree program, you may be eligible for federal loans. You must file a FAFSA and submit documentation from your academic advisor to the Office of Financial Aid to be considered for this exception. You must be enrolled at least half time and your eligibility is limited to a single, consecutive 12-month period.

Federal regulations limit the number of times a student may repeat a course and receive financial aid for that course.

  • A student may receive aid when repeating a course that was previously failed (received a 0.0 or No Pass) multiple times.
  • Once a student passes a class, they can only receive aid for retaking that course one additional time, regardless of the grade earned for that additional attempt. Any subsequent attempts will not be eligible for aid.
  • If a student retakes a course that is not aid eligible, a recalculation of aid is done to exclude the credits for the repeated course.
  • This rule applies whether or not the student received aid for earlier enrollments in the course.
  • Not all aid will require adjustment. Students can see the effect on their aid offers by comparing their enrollment level with and without the course(s) using the Enrollment Chart for Fall/Spring Semesters or for the Summer Session.
  • A course that is dropped is not considered an attempt for purposes of this policy.
  • Students must also adhere to MSU's repeat policy.

Per federal law, Michigan State University must monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for all federal financial aid recipients. Students can fail to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress due to a low GPA, taking too long to complete a degree, or failing to complete 67% of their courses.

Students who are federal financial aid recipients are evaluated for SAP at the end of each semester of enrollment. For an in-depth look at SAP requirements, visit the main Satisfactory Academic Progress page.

While the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is intended to determine the amount a family can reasonably be expected to pay toward a student's college costs, circumstances occasionally arise that make the FAFSA data an inaccurate picture of family resources. A Professional Judgment (PJ) allows us to evaluate your current financial circumstances with the possibility of increasing your aid.

Some special conditions that may be reviewed:

  • Retirement of dependent student's parent
  • Death of dependent student's parent
  • Parent's loss of employment
  • Reduction of untaxed income (child support or Social Security income)
  • High unreimbursed medical expenses in the base year (the tax year reported on your FAFSA)
  • Circumstances that may complicate your dependency status
  • Additional education expenses not already included in the standard budget, such as child care for a child or dependent, computer costs, travel for educational conferences, or additional coursework.

How to request a Professional Judgment

Contact an advisor at the Office of Financial Aid to discuss whether you might benefit from completing a Professional Judgment form, which requires substantial documentation on your part.

There is also a PJ request form in your student portal, but contacting our office directly is the preferred method.

Financial Aid for Summer Semester

If you have unused financial aid for the current aid year (after aid has been applied to fall and spring terms), it is applied to any tuition and fees for summer semester. For many students, all available aid has been expended prior to summer term. If you require additional aid for summer, Federal Direct Parent PLUS or Grad PLUS summer loans are available. This PDF has information on applying for summer PLUS loans.

Beyond using remaining aid and PLUS loans, you can search for summer aid scholarships from your department or other agencies.

Financial aid has special rules and consequences when offered for summer sessions. Please read all of the information below and contact us if you have any questions.

  • All Federal Direct Subsidized / Unsubsidized loans require you to be enrolled at least half-time.
  • Aid begins the process of applying to your account 10 days prior to the starting date of your earliest starting summer class. This means, for instance, that if you are attending only during the second subterm, your aid will not begin to apply until 10 days prior to the start of that subterm.
  • The amount of aid OFFERED to you is based on half-time enrollment. If your enrollment is less than half-time, you will not receive any funding from most of the awards. You do not receive a greater amount if you are enrolled three-quarter or full time.

Summer Enrollment Status

Use this chart to determine your enrollment status for the summer session based on your credit load.

 Academic Level Full-Time 3/4-Time Half-time

Less Than

 Undergrad (including Ag Tech) 12 credits 9-11 credits 6-8 credits 1-5 credits
Masters 9 credits 7-8 credits 5-6 credits 1-4 credits
Doctoral 6 credits 4-5 credits 3 credits 1-2 credits
Teacher Certification 9 credits 7-8 credits 5-6 credits 1-4 credits
Medical 12 credits 9-11 credits 6-8 credits 1-5 credits

Summer Disbursement

If a summer Pell Grant is awarded, the actual disbursement will be based on the total number of credits a student is enrolled for the summer term. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if there are questions about summer Pell Grant eligibility, or the amount disbursed.

Note: If you are an education abroad student, most of your aid will disburse at the actual amount indicated in your package but you must still be enrolled at least half-time. However, you must notify the Office of Financial Aid if:

  • the number of credits for your study abroad program changes, or
  • you add or drop any courses, either study abroad or on-campus credits

What happens to my summer aid if I drop courses?

Students should finalize their schedules before their first day of class. Dropping courses after starting a course may result in a financial aid bill.

You may consider yourself independent because you don't receive support from your parents or you don't live in their home. You may even qualify as independent for income tax purposes, but the U.S. Department of Education has stricter standards for financial aid purposes.

In order to file your financial aid application as an independent student, you must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Age 24 by January 1 of the aid year
  • Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training
  • Graduate or graduate/professional student
  • Married prior to filing and signing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Financially supporting legal dependents other than a spouse
  • Orphan, foster youth, or ward of the court
  • Emancipated minor or unaccompanied homeless youth

The online FAFSA will guide you through questions designed to determine whether you are dependent or independent. If you are independent it will allow you to skip the parent section. If you do not meet the criteria to be considered independent, you must file as a dependent student and provide information about your legal parent(s).

If your parents are divorced and your custodial parent (the parent you reside with most throughout the year) has remarried, your stepparent's information must be included as well, even if your parent and stepparent file separate tax forms, and even if they have an agreement not to assist each other's children with college expenses.

The only exception to the dependency rules at Michigan State is in very rare instances where it can be proven that there is a total breakdown in the relationship between student and parent(s). If you believe that this describes your situation, contact a financial aid advisor for advice on how to document your circumstances.

Filing incorrectly as independent when you're actually a dependent student can seriously delay the processing of your financial aid. If you have questions about your status, contact a financial aid advisor before filing your FAFSA.

Notification and Disbursement of Awards

You will receive notification in your student portal when your aid package has been established or changed. Visit your financial aid portal regularly to make sure you do not have any outstanding alerts.

To view and take action on your financial aid awards:

  1. Activate your MSU NetID and password. Instructions are provided by IT Services.
  2. Login to Click the 'Financial Aid' tile, the ‘Financial Aid Portal’, and then ‘Open Financial Aid Portal.'
  3. Consent to conduct financial aid business electronically. Since our electronic processes are faster and more accurate than other means of communication, we encourage you to consent.
  4. Share your information (optional). If you want your parent(s) or spouse to have access to certain features of, see our page on online guest authorization.
  5. View your awards. From the Financial Aid Portal main menu, select "Messages", then choose the most recent Award Letter. Your awards will be listed on the "Financial" tab.

Financial aid awards may be revised for any of the following reasons:

  • Your residency has changed.
  • Your enrollment status has changed.
  • You have declined one or more awards.
  • We have been notified that you received other aid or had other resources (Veteran's Benefits, MET, etc.) of which we were unaware when the previous awards were made.
  • Your data and/or your parent data on the FAFSA was incorrect and the error has been corrected.
  • Your summer financial aid has been processed.

If you have questions about why an award was changed, please contact our office.

Loans are accepted in the Financial Aid Portal. The Financial Aid Portal is accessed by logging into Student Information System and clicking the Financial Aid tile.

View this PDF for instructions on accepting loans in your portal, or follow the instructions below:

  1. Navigate to the Financials page and view financial award offer
  2. To take action on the displayed financial aid select one of the following:
  • Adjust my funding
  • Update Acceptance
  1. On Step 1 – Awards Summary, select the button stating “Start Loan Acceptance”
  2. On Step 2 – Accept your Awards, select one of the available options
  • Accepting the full amount of loans available
  • Accepting a reduced amount of the loans available ***Note: If you select this option you will be prompted to enter the total loan value for the year
  • Declining the full amount of the loans available
  1. On Step 3 – Confirm your awards selection. The page will differ based on what is selected in step 2. At the end of each option, the student should select continue.
  • If you accepted the full amount, you can continue with the award allocation as shown or edit the amounts for each term to the full amount of the award selected in Step 2.
  • If you accepted a reduced amount, you’ll determine the split of the award for each term to equal the amount selected in Step 2.

***Note: If the student has both subsidized and unsubsidized loans, they will be required to use the maximum amount of their subsidized loan available prior to funds being allocated to their unsubsidized loan.

  • If you declined the loan, the possible options are:
    • If there is enough aid to cover cost of attendance you can continue to the next step.
    • If there is not enough aid to cover cost of attendance you will be prompted to return to previous steps to accept aid.
  1. On Step 4 - E-Sign, students must accept the econsent acknowledgement and sign the page using their student ID and last name
  2. On Step 5 – Done, students will receive confirmation of their loan actions

Assuming you have completed each item of your "to-do" list in the Financial Aid Portal of the Student Information System (e.g., signed all of your master promissory notes, accepted your loans, etc.), your financial aid will be "disbursed" to you as follows:

  • Financial aid begins being applied to your MSU student account 10 days before your first day of class.
  • Your tuition, fees and other charges listed on your MSU bill are paid.
  • If excess financial aid remains after your bill is paid, you will receive a refund from the Controller's Office the week prior to your first day of class.
  • If excess financial aid is available after the start of the semester, refunds and the disbursement of financial aid are applied to your account on a daily basis for the first two weeks of the semester. After that time, refunds and financial aid disbursement occurs once per week. You may contact us and request an immediate disbursement when there is need to pay an award earlier than a scheduled disbursement as long as it is no earlier than 10 days prior to the start of classes.
No federal aid can be paid earlier than 10 days before your first day of class, so those programs are paid as anticipated financial aid as long as the student or parent, in the case of a Parent PLUS loan, has taken all necessary actions. Scholarships checks that have not been sent to the University generally will neither be paid nor produce anticipated financial aid credits to the student’s account until the funds have arrived at MSU.
All of your financial aid must fit within your budget. If we become aware of additional aid that you have received, we may be required to reduce or cancel a portion of your original aid package. If those original awards have already been paid to you, we may be required to bill you back for a portion of that paid amount.
You have the right to cancel all or a portion of your Direct or PLUS loans, even after the loan funds have been disbursed to you. If you wish to cancel an already disbursed loan, you must notify OFA within 14 calendar days of the billing statement notifying you that the funds have been applied to your account.

Parent borrowers have the right to cancel all or a portion of their Parent PLUS loan, even after the loan funds have been disbursed to your MSU student account. If the parent wishes to cancel an already-disbursed PLUS loan, the borrower must notify OFA within 14 calendar days of the billing statement notifying you that the funds have been applied to your student account.
You may be billed for a portion or all of your financial aid if you drop credit hours or are not at the minimum credit level required for aid eligibility. If you'll be attending as a part-time student or if you're considering dropping a class, it is important to discuss it with an OFA staff member first.
You may be billed for a portion or all of your financial aid if you withdraw from the university. The bill calculated as a result of withdrawal will depend on the effective date of withdrawal, the percentage and amount of institutional refund, and/or the last date of class attendance. See Financial Aid (Title IV) Refund Policy for more information about the effects of withdrawing from MSU.
Federal aid typically begins to be applied to your account beginning ten days prior to the start of a semester, and refunds of excess financial aid are typically generated prior to the first day of classes. Once a refund has been processed, students who have signed up for direct deposit will see their funds in their bank account in 1-3 business days. Students who have not signed up for direct deposit will be issued a paper check, mailed to the local address on file with the university. Paper checks typically take 7-10 business days to arrive.

To check the status of a refund, visit the financial aid tab of your student portal.
If you are mailing a local scholarship check where you are listed as recipient, be sure to endorse (sign) the back of the check before mailing to our office. Checks can also be delivered in person by placing signed checks in the dropbox outside the entrance to our office at 252 Student Services Building.

Special Populations

In most circumstances, Executive MBA and Supply Chain Management students are eligible for financial assistance in the form of loans. Common loan programs are the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the Federal Grad PLUS Loan.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
This loan is not based on financial need, and interest begins accumulating at disbursement, but no payment is required until six months after the student ceases enrolling on a half-time basis. The two semester loan maximum is $20,500.
Grad PLUS Loan
This loan is not based on financial need, and interest begins accumulating at disbursement, but no payment is required until 30 to 60 days after the student ceases enrolling on a half-time basis. The annual loan maximum is the student's estimated cost of attendance minus all other aid.

The Loan Process
Step 1
Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the academic period for which you are seeking funding.

  • Executive MBA Students: If you are seeking funding for the entire program, you may need to complete the FAFSA for two aid years covering 5 semesters. Your first term will be during the fall semester.
  • Supply Chain Management: If you are seeking funding for the entire program, you may need to complete the FAFSA for three aid years.

Step 2
When your loan eligibility is determined, an award notice will be sent to your MSU student portal. Follow the instructions included in order to accept, reduce, or decline loans offered.

The Office of Financial Aid does not offer aid to international students. There are, however, alternative sources of funding which we have listed below. You may also contact the Office for International Students and Scholars for more information about fellowships and assistantships.

MSU scholarships, grants and work

Scholarships for MSU International Students
MSU Library Grant Listing for International Students
MSU Student Employment

External information

The International Student Guide to Studying in the US
International Education Financial Aid
International Scholarships Online
Student Loans for Indian Citizens in the US

For Canadian students

Ontario Student Assistance Program
CanLearn Student Aid

Nonresident Students

The cost of attending MSU for out-of-state students can seem daunting. The Office of Admissions offers this page outlining resources that help lower the cost for nonresident students. In many cases, no additional forms are required for scholarship consideration. Students are encouraged to submit their application for admission by November 1 for maximum scholarship consideration for the following fall semester.

Our Scholarship search page also offers tips and resources for funding your MSU journey. 

For more information on MSU's residency policy, read the Regulations for Qualifying for In-State Tuition

We are happy to discuss funding options with you and your family. You can reach an advisor at or 517-353-5940.

Financial Support for Non-US Citizen Students

Our aim is to help all our students find the financial support to ensure success at Michigan State University. The Department of Education and State of Michigan have restrictions in place that require recipients of aid to be eligible U.S. Citizens which prohibits MSU from offering most resources available to students who are ineligible to file a completed FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
While many federal and state financial aid resources are not available to non-US citizen students, many other organizations use the results of the incomplete FAFSA application to help determine eligibility for need and merit-based scholarships. Non-US citizens students can still file an incomplete FAFSA application which helps the Office of Financial Aid in maximizing financial aid opportunities for our non-US citizen students. To learn more about federal eligibility and tips for filing the FAFSA please visit Non-US citizen eligibility for federal financial aid.
To help increase financial support please visit the sites below for information about financial aid opportunities to help offset the cost of attendance at MSU.

Scholarships & Resources

Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund
Golden Door Scholars
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Immigrants Rising
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
National Immigrant Law Center
U.S. Department of Labor - Scholarship Search
MSU Scholarships

Emergency Resources at MSU

Associated Students of MSU (ASMSU)
MSU Office of International Students and Scholars
MSU Graduate School
MSU Student Affairs & Services

Alternative Loan Providers

MSU Private loan tool provided by ELM Select
Nerdwallet International Student Loans

MSU Office of Financial Aid

The MSU Office of Financial Aid is committed to providing support for our students who are ineligible for federal and state financial aid. Please contact our office for further questions and support about financial aid at:

Phone: 517-353-5940


Resident Assistants

If you have a position as a Resident Assistant, Transition and Cultural Aide, or Assistant Hall Director, you are granted the benefit of free food and housing as a part of your employment. Your financial aid won’t include aid to cover food and housing, since you’re not charged for these costs. You will see this benefit entered into your financial aid package as a resource instead.

If you received an award package as a regular student (one paying for housing and food from your own resources), your aid offer will be covering costs you do not have to pay. The Office of Financial Aid will revise your aid offer and enter your free food and housing benefit in your aid package once we have been notified of your appointment to the position.

See the table below for a comparison of a full-need undergraduate aid offer for a dependent, in-state, undergraduate student with and without an assistantship position.
  Offer w/out
Offer with
 Pell Grant  $6,895  $6,895
 Supplemental Grant  $500 $500
 Student Aid Grant  $9,200 $9,200 
 Available Work Study  $3,000 $0
 Assistantship Resource  $0 $10,990
 Direct Sub/Unsub/
PLUS Loans
Variable-fill to
Cost of Attendance
Variable-fill to
Cost of Attendance

MSU is required to follow federal rules in the awarding of aid and MUST reduce certain types of aid if you were originally assigned a regular budget and now have an assistantship position. Financial aid may only cover your actual costs. While it may seem that something is being taken away from you when we your adjust your aid package, it is actually being replaced by the benefit of free food and housing.

If you are appointed midway through a semester, your resident assistant resource will be prorated to reflect the actual value of your appointment.

We hope this information helps you understand your MSU charges and financial aid awards/revisions. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Students with Children

Students with children have unique challenges and needs. This page is designed to help those students find a way to cover some of their additional costs.

The first step is to apply for financial aid by filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This provides our office with the basic data we need to assess your ability to pay for your education and support your family.

Once MSU has received your FAFSA data, we will make an initial aid offer. It is important to note that this initial offer only takes into account your expenses as a student - it does not cover family expenses or other costs such as day care. To cover these additional expenses, you must talk to a financial aid advisor about filing a Special Condition Application.

Financial aid for student parents

MSU Child Care Grant: The MSU Child Care Grant program provides funds to students with children to assist in meeting the cost of licensed child care during the school year. Applications are available 30 days prior to each semester.

Spartan Kids Child Care Grant: The Spartan Kids Child Care Grant is available to undergraduate, graduate, and international students who demonstrate financial need. Students must be willing to use one of the contracted childcare providers for this program. Applications are made available through the Student Parent Resource Center.

Additional resources

Student Parent Resource Center: The Student Parent Resource Center at Michigan State University provides and directs students to services and community resources to assist in balancing responsibilities between school, work, and family.
Student Parents on a Mission (SPOM): A support organization for Michigan State University students with children.

Students with Disabilities

The Office of Financial Aid at MSU is committed to providing quality services to all of our current and future students and visitors. This page is designed to assist individuals with disabilities in their interactions with our office and in their search to find aid for disability-related costs.

The first step is to apply for financial aid by filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This provides our office with the basic data we need to assess your ability to pay for your education.

Once MSU has received your FAFSA data, we will make an initial aid offer. It is important to note that the initial offer includes standard expenses that are common to all students, and does not include aid for special costs such as translators, equipment, tutors, etc.  To cover these additional expenses, you must work with an advisor in the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to document your needs. Then you will contact an advisor in the Office of Financial Aid to request a cost of attendance increase. This is a two-step process; you must submit a PJ application, sent to your student portal, requesting Cost of Attendance Increase. Upon approval of application, the actual PJ for cost of attendance increase will be sent to your student portal to be completed with required documentation.


The Office of Financial Aid generally sees students only on a walk-in basis.  However, students with disabilities may need to make an appointment if they will need an interpreter.  You may contact Anthony Krolak at to make an appointment.

If you need an accommodation, such as an interpreter, at your appointment, please call the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) in advance of your visit so that they are able to arrange services to best meet your needs (7 or more days in advance is advisable when possible). Requests for accommodations received with fewer days of notification will be honored when possible.

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, food and housing, 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 Undergraduate 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:

Sallie Mae Scholarship Search

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.

If you're interested in participating in education abroad, please visit the MSU Office for Education Abroad website.

In addition to information about the many programs available, they describe the additional steps you must take to receive financial aid for your study abroad program. There are also many scholarships available for students studying at home or abroad.

For more information about studying abroad, please visit MSU International Studies and Programs.

Eligible students enrolled in a study abroad program approved for credit by Michigan State University’s Office of Study Abroad may receive federal student aid through MSU. Before a student can receive federal aid to study abroad, they need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who plan to study abroad can work with the Office of Financial Aid to learn how scholarships, grants, and loans can be applied to their education abroad program.

Teaching Internships 

How do I apply for aid? 

Apply for aid by submitting the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). 

When do I apply for financial aid? 

Always apply as soon as possible by using the online FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA is available online and may be completed beginning on Oct. 1 before the award year for which you are applying.  

IMPORTANT changes for filing the FAFSA during your internship year 

The College of Education Teacher Preparation Program (TPP) is in the midst of transitioning from a five-year model to a four-year model. Answering questions on the FAFSA will depend on the model you are following. If you are following the five-year model, you will be applying as an independent student. If you are on the new four-year model, you will continue to apply as a dependent student (the same process as your previous three years). 


Anyone who is a freshman for the 2023-24 school year and beyond is on the four-year model. Students who were freshmen and sophomores in 2022-23 could choose the four-year model. Anyone on the four-year model should continue to use the same dependency information as your first three years. For most students, this means you will apply as a dependent student. No other information is necessary. You will still qualify for undergraduate financial aid awards. Skip to general information. 


Anyone who was a junior or senior in the 2022-23 school year is on the five-year model. In addition, students who were freshmen or sophomores in 2022-23 may have chosen to follow the five-year model. As a professional student in the Teacher Certification Program, these students are considered independent for the purpose of receiving financial aid. This means they do not have to report parental information on their financial aid application and will have different answers when filling out the FAFSA.  

5-year model: What questions do I have to watch for on the FAFSA? 

Question No. 28 asks if you will have a bachelor's degree before you begin the 2023-24 school year. Answer yes to this question even if you have courses to take in the summer. 

Question No. 29 asks what your grade level will be when you begin the 2023-24 school year. You should answer “first-year graduate/professional or beyond (code 6)” since the internship is considered a professional program. 

Question No. 30 asks for the type of degree/certificate you will be pursuing during 2023-24. You will use code 7 for “teaching credential program”. 

Question No. 47 asks if you will be working on a Master’s or Doctoral degree. Answer “yes” since you are pursuing a degree beyond a bachelor's degree (grad/professional program) in 2023-24. The internship makes you independent for aid purposes. 

The institutional code for Michigan State University is 002290

Note: If you are admitted to the Post B.A. Program as a second-degree student, you may have to report parental income and asset information until you complete the second degree and move into your internship year. You should also review Step 3 of the FAFSA to determine if you qualify for independent student status based on other criteria. 

5-year model: Does this mean that my parents cannot claim me on their tax return? 

Your parents should follow IRS regulations to determine if you can be claimed as an exemption for tax purposes. Your aid eligibility is based on your enrollment in a professional program, not on whether your parents claim you on their federal tax return. 

5-year model: What kinds of federal financial aid are available? 

Stafford (Direct) Unsubsidized Loan 
Grad PLUS Loan 

5-year model: What about the grants I received as an undergraduate? 

Because MSU's teaching certification program is designed as a graduate/professional program, students are not eligible for undergraduate aid, including the Pell Grant. 

When do I find out if I have been awarded a financial aid package? 

You will receive an award notice in late May if you filed the FAFSA soon after October 1. However, if you are on the five-year model but are still considered an undergraduate at the time you receive your aid package, your financial aid may be incorrect. Expect a revised award based on your new status of Teacher Certification after the Office of Financial Aid receives notice that you have graduated with a Bachelor's degree. 

What about scholarships? 

See our scholarships search page for help locating non-loan funding.  The College of Education also offers scholarships. 

What if I need more money than I am awarded? 

Sometimes special circumstances, such as supporting a child, can be considered for allowing a budget increase. 
The financial aid calculations make the assumption that your income during the internship year will be approximately the same as during the previous year.  However, a reduction in your income during the internship year does not necessarily translate to an increase in aid eligibility. 

Do I have to take the whole package I am awarded? 

No. You can choose to accept an amount that best suits your needs. 

When do I have to start repaying the loans? 

Repayment begins six months after you complete the Teacher Certification program unless you have already used your grace period. Payment of current loans is deferred during the internship year as long as you maintain half-time enrollment. 

Where can I get information about teaching service cancellation and deferment options? describes how you may cancel or defer your student loans by teaching in a low-income or subject-matter shortage area. These options may be available to you if you have a Perkins Loan, Federal Stafford Loan or the Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship. 


Four-year model students with questions about student aid, please email for assistance. Five-year model students with questions about graduate student aid, please email for assistance. 

General information for veterans

  • MSU has assembled a web page for student who are veterans, reservists, or have other military affiliation. See the MSU Student Veterans Resource Center page.
  • U.S. military veterans may be eligible for various benefits through the GI Bill®. See the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website for more information.
  • For more information about veterans' benefits at MSU and to apply for certification, contact the MSU's Veterans' Certification Office.
  • For services including educational/vocational counseling for veterans and eligible dependents, contact the Ingham County Veteran Affairs Office, 5303 S. Cedar, Lansing, 887-4331.
  • All veterans are required to submit their military transcript for review at the time of admission. Complete the Joint Services Request Form to have your transcript sent to Michigan State University.

MSU policies in place for veterans

  • MSU will readmit a service member who must suspend attendance for a short period of time.
  • MSU has a refund policy in place for students who withdraw prior to completing all courses.
  • MSU recognizes and adheres to the Principles of Excellence established by the federal government regarding student veterans.

MSU Disabled Veteran's Assistance Program

New and returning undergraduate veterans with a military-related disability who are Michigan residents and working on their first baccalaureate degree may qualify for an aid package that covers full costs without loans.  The student must document his or her status as a disabled veteran with MSU.  The student will be awarded a combination of federal, state, and MSU gift funds, combined with veteran's educational benefits and Michigan Rehabilitation Services benefits (if eligible), along with a work component.  If the student cannot work due to the disability, the work component will be omitted in favor of additional grant funding.

Expenses covered - tuition and fees, room and board, books, health insurance, and personal and miscellaneous costs of attendance.  The cost of supporting a spouse or dependents is not covered with these funds, although federal and/or private student loans may be available on a case-by-case basis.

Students must apply for federal aid by submitting the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Students are also expected to apply for Veteran's Educational Benefits if eligible. For more information, see the MSU Veterans' Certification Office website.

For more information on this program, see the document Quick Facts about Disabled Veteran's Assistance.