FAFSA and General Frequently Asked Questions


How do I apply for aid at Michigan Tech?

To apply for need-based federal and state financial aid, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. This can be done at fafsa.gov. To receive priority financial aid consideration at Michigan Tech, the FAFSA must be received at the federal processor by March 1.


I probably don't qualify for financial aid. Should I apply for aid anyway?

Yes. Direct Unsubsidized and Direct PLUS loans are available regardless of need, but a FAFSA is required.


Can I submit my financial aid application before January 1?

No. If a financial aid application is submitted before October 1, it will be rejected by the federal processor.


Is financial aid available for international students?

Financial aid regulations for international students differ from those for US citizens. For more information, please visit the website for International Programs and Services.


Do I need to be admitted before I can apply for financial aid?

No. You may apply for next years financial aid any time after October 1. To actually receive aid, you must be admitted and enrolled in a degree-seeking program at the University.


When will I receive my financial aid award notification?

In general, new students can expect to receive scholarship notifications within two to three weeks after acceptance.  FAFSA based award notifications begin to be mailed/emailed late February.  Financial aid award notifications for returning students are prepared in July.


What if I did not complete the FAFSA by the March 1 priority filing date?

You can still apply for financial aid after the priority filing date but funds may be limited.  Do not delay.  We are unable to guarantee immediate processing of FAFSAs filed during a billing cycle or at the start of a semester.


What is an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and how is it used?

The Department of Education calculates the EFC based on the information you provide on the FAFSA.  The EFC determines your eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant as well as eligibility for other need-based programs such as the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Perkins Loan and the Michigan Tech University Student Award.


Why is my EFC higher than my brother’s?

The EFC is comprised of a student (SC) and parent contribution (PC).  Assuming that you and your brother provided the same financial data for your parent(s), then the difference is based on your income and assets.  Compare the student response sections of your FAFSAs.


Is the EFC the amount that I am expected to pay at Michigan Tech?

No, your student bill will be based upon your credit load, major, housing plans, etc.


My EFC is greater than the Cost of Attendance (COA); will I have to pay more?

No, a student’s EFC does not impact their student bill which is based upon credit load, major, housing plans, etc. A high EFC just means that a student would theoretically be able to afford a higher cost of attendance (COA) based upon the FAFSA data they have provided.


Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?

Yes. Financial aid is not automatically renewed or guaranteed from one year to the next. You must reapply for financial aid every year by completing the FAFSA or the Renewal FAFSA. Also, program funding is dependent upon annual appropriations.


If I receive a scholarship, aid, or benefit that is not already included in my financial aid package, do I have to report it?

Yes, Federal and state regulations require applicants to report sources of assistance not shown on the Michigan Tech financial aid award notification.  Your financial aid package may require adjustment.

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What is verification?

In this process, the Financial Aid Office will compare information from your FAFSA with tax return transcripts, W-2's, or other financial documents. Differences in data will be corrected and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) recalculated.  A change in EFC may result in a change to your financial aid package.


My parent(s)’ no longer claim me as a federal tax exemption, and I work to support myself. Can I file my FAFSA as an independent student?

Federal statute defines the conditions for independent status. Self-sufficiency is not a criterion. Also parent(s)’ unwillingness to provide financial data or to pay for educational expenses cannot be recognized as the basis for independence. Currently, an applicant is independent if the individual meets one or more of the following:

  • 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year;
  • veteran of the US Armed Forces or has been a member of the National Guard or Reserves called to active duty for purposes other than training, or was a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, or attended a US military academy preparatory school. Must be released under a condition other than dishonorable.
  • working on a master’s or doctorate program during the award year;
  • married
  • ward/dependent of the court, or was a ward/dependent of the court until age 18;
  • has legal dependents other than a spouse
  • a student for whom a financial aid administrator makes a documented determination of independence by reason of other unusual circumstances.
  • legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state.
  • determined to be homeless or an unaccompanied youth by your high school or homeless shelter.


If I live with a relative, should their income be reported on the FAFSA?

Only if the relative is your adoptive parent can their data be provided in lieu of parental data on the FAFSA.


If I have a legal guardian, should their income be reported on the FAFSA?

No, a legal guardian is not considered a “parent” for FAFSA purposes and you may be considered an independent student.  Please refer to the dependency questions on the FAFSA.


If I have a foster parent, should their income be reported on the FAFSA?

No, foster parents are not considered a “parent” for FAFSA purposes and you may be considered an independent student.


I’m going to get married prior to the fall semester. How do I answer the question that asks if I am married?

You cannot project your marital status. You must report your marital status as of the date that the FAFSA is filed. If you file the FAFSA as single, then marry, you cannot update the FAFSA by changing the response to “married”. A number of factors must be considered when making the determination of whether to postpone filing until you are married. For guidance, contact the Student Financial Services Center.


If my parents are divorced, whose information do I need?

Report the information of the parent with whom you lived the most during the twelve months preceding the date you completed the FAFSA. It does not make a difference which parent claims you as a dependent for tax purposes. If you did not live with either parent or lived equally with each parent, the parental information must be provided for the parent from whom you received the most financial support during the preceding twelve months or the parent from whom you received the most support the last time support was given.


I live with my mother and stepparent. My mother was not married to my stepparent last year. Am I still required to provide his tax form information?

If on the date of filing the FAFSA your mother is remarried, you must provide the financial data of her spouse or you will not be considered for federal student financial aid.


My parents separated last year. I live with my mother. My parents filed a joint tax return. Do I report both of their incomes or just my mother’s?

Report only your mother’s income and asset information because you lived with her the most during the past twelve months.


My parents’ have not filed their tax return. Can I still complete the FAFSA?

Though it is recommended that you complete the FAFSA with completed tax form information, to meet awarding deadlines you can estimate. Once the tax form is available, you must correct the FAFSA data that is in error. Note that financial aid packages based on estimated FAFSA data may not provide an accurate depiction of your overall eligibility for financial assistance.


When completing the FAFSA, I reported $2,000 for the value of my cash, savings, and checking. Since then, I bought a car. Can I change my response to "zero"?

Assets must be reported as of the date that the FAFSA was filed.  An increase or decrease in value since completing the FAFSA is considered an "update" and cannot be changed.  If you reported the value in error a "correction" is required.


I received a Federal Pell Grant last year, but the Financial Aid Office did not award a Pell this year. Why?

Unlike some sources of financial aid, Federal Pell Grants are not awarded by the Financial Aid Office. To qualify for a Pell Grant, the FAFSA Expected Family Contribution (EFC) must range between 0 and 5328 and the applicant must meet all other federal general eligibility criteria. First review the FAFSA results on your Student Aid Report (SAR) with tax documentation and worksheets to determine if the data was provided correctly. If correct, then compare the income, assets, family size, number in college, marital status, and filing status (dependent or independent) on this year's SAR to last year's SAR.  This may help you to determine what data has changed.


How do I find out about student employment?

Both non-work-study and work-study positions are available on campus. Work-study positions are based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA results and are awarded as part of the financial aid package based upon availability of funds.

The majority of students working on campus are employed through non-work-study. The Career Center also lists job opportunities.


How many credits do I need to carry for financial aid purposes?

Generally, full time status (minimum 12 credits) is required to receive full consideration for financial aid.  See Undergraduate Enrollment Status to determine the requirements for specific assistance types.


How do I apply for veteran’s education benefits?

Contact the Veterans Affairs Coordinator located in the Registrar's Office for complete information regarding this application process.


How will my veterans benefits affect my financial aid?

First it is necessary to distinguish between veterans' education and non-education benefits.

Veterans' non-education benefits such as Disability, Death Pension, or Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC), and/or Veterans Affairs Educational Work-Study allowances must be reported on the FAFSA as a source of untaxed income. The value of these benefits is considered when calculating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Veterans’ education benefits such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Active Duty-Chapter 33; Montgomery GI Bill, Active Duty-Chapter 30; Montgomery GI Bill, Selected Reserve-Chapter 1606; Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program-Chapter 35; and Vocational Rehabilitation-Chapter 31; and Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)-Chapter 1607 are not reported on the FAFSA.  Veterans Affairs education benefits do not affect your financial aid eligibility at all.


How will my military tuition assistance affect my financial aid?

The value of military tuition assistance is not considered in the calculation of the EFC. Military tuition assistance received from the federal government or your state is considered a “resource” and “estimated financial assistance” when considering your overall eligibility for federal and institutional aid. The value of expected tuition assistance must be reported to the Financial Aid Office regardless of the timing of the payment.


Does Michigan Tech accept undocumented students and provide them financial aid?

Undocumented students are welcome to apply for admission to Michigan Technological University. The application for admission serves as the merit-based scholarship application for university-sponsored scholarships. At this time, undocumented students are unable to be awarded federal financial aid.


What is the difference between "authorized aid" and "memoed aid"?

Authorized Aid is financial aid in which all of the requirements of the aid have been met.  Memoed Aid is financial aid in which some of the requirements of the aid may be incomplete or the funds are being sent from an outside source.


I'm a first-year engineering or engineering managment major and I'm required to have a laptop. Will my financial aid cover the cost of a laptop?

Students may contact Financial Aid to inquire about possible financing options. A one-time cost of attendance adjustment may be made to allow students to have increased loan eligibility to assist with covering the laptop expense. Please note that you will be required to provide documentation, such as a price quote and/or receipt of purchase, to have the cost of attendance adjusted. Contact the Financial Aid staff at 888-688-1885 or email finaid@mtu.edu.