File the PROFILE to be considered for gift assistance

By Pamela W. Fowler July 17, 2017

All students hope to receive grant money in their college financial aid package: Grants are gifts, so money that is not repaid. They are generally awarded to students with financial need as determined by the University of Michigan or another institution.

Financial need is defined as the cost of attendance less the expected family contribution as determined by a student’s aid application. Grants reduce the cost of education and can come from the federal government or the institution.

The University of Michigan awards more than $90 million in need-based grants each year; the average grant is more than $10,000 per student. Our financial aid officers use the College Board PROFILE application to help us determine who will receive our grant funds. Combined with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the PROFILE gives us a complete picture of a student’s family’s financial situation when they apply for financial aid.

Entering students wishing to be considered for U-M grants must complete the PROFILE application. We realize this application adds to the complexity of applying for financial aid, but it is important to direct our limited grant funds to those whose need is greater.

We only require you to complete the PROFILE once at the beginning of your freshman year. The PROFILE requires a fee of $25 per application; however, students whose family income is less than 200 percent of the U.S. poverty level will have the fee automatically waived by the College Board. If you are charged the fee and feel you and your family cannot afford it, please save the application and contact the U-M financial aid office to request a fee waiver before completing it.

If, at any time, you have a question or are unsure of how to proceed, contact our office immediately. Our financial aid officers can assist you when completing the FAFSA or PROFILE so your application is processed without delay.

The PROFILE is available on Oct. 1 each year for students applying for financial aid for Fall Term of the following year. A student does not need to be admitted to U-M to apply for financial aid but a financial aid offer will not be made until the student is admitted to the university. Visit to complete the PROFILE.

We also encourage prospective students and families to use the U-M Net Price Calculator (, which gives an estimate of U-M financial aid by taking individual family financial situations into account. You may create an account and log in to save your information or enter the website as a guest.

Pamela W. Fowler

is the Executive Director of the Office of Financial Aid