Get the inside scoop about life at U-M and applying to Michigan from Office of Undergraduate Admissions staff and guest student and faculty writers.


February 23, 2016
Pamela W. Fowler

“Scholarship” is a broad term, and at U-M this gift aid can come from many sources. You may receive it directly from U-M, from a school or college within the University, through the U-M Office of Financial Aid or from one of any variety of community or civic groups.

Scholarships can be based on financial need, on merit, on a combination of the two or can even be linked to your hometown of residence, where a parent works or other criteria that a donor group deems applicable.

So, how do you get a scholarship?

January 19, 2016
Melissa Purdy

One of the most feared parts of any college application is the essays. And that is understandable. They are an incredibly important part of what you send to us for consideration. As you are putting the final touches on your essays and preparing to submit them in the coming weeks, consider their purpose in your application. These pieces of writing are an opportunity for us to get to know you as a person, and we want to see the real you, not the perfect applicant you think you are expected to be.

January 8, 2016
Pamela W. Fowler

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the go-to form for any student wishing to apply for financial aid at U-M or any other college that uses the federal aid system.

Why is it so important? It gives colleges and universities the information needed to determine whether you are eligible for a Pell Grant, federal Work-Study or a federal student loan for the coming Fall Term. While some colleges use other methods to award their grant, or gift aid, the FAFSA has basic information that we need.

December 14, 2015
Erica Sanders

You’ve heard the word, of course. It’s very common. “Holistic.” But you’ve likely identified it more with health care or medicine, rather than admissions.

So when your admissions counselor at the University of Michigan tells you that we have a holistic review process, it’s natural to be a little confused. But in reality, it’s simple. Holistic means the viewing of a person as a whole, not a just a part.

November 17, 2015
Hannah Gordon

As an incoming freshman, you’ll no doubt have a million questions about college life. Questions like: why are my books so expensive? Will I ever decide on a major? Why is the library always crowded? How long can I survive on ramen noodles?

All of these uncertainties are perfectly normal. One question you shouldn’t have to ask, though, is how will I turn my ideas into action? There, Michigan’s campus-wide minor in entrepreneurship, administered through Innovate Blue, has you covered.

November 4, 2015
Melissa Purdy

Working in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions I get a lot of questions from potential Wolverines, but one is far more common than all the others: What are you looking for on my college application?

Is there a certain secret for success, eager applicants wonder? They – and sometimes, their parents – really, really want to know.

March 6, 2015
Kelly Cox

I was never really a big art fan. But years ago, when I was a freshman at the University of Michigan, a couple of guys in my residence hall decided to check out the U-M Museum of Art, and they invited me to tag along. It was great – I saw amazing things. Truthfully, I didn’t really know a lot about what I was looking at, but I knew that I liked it.

It broadened my horizons. And it was the just the beginning of my college life. That’s one of the advantages of attending a large university like Michigan – experiencing things on campus that are new and exciting to you.

January 15, 2015
Joseph Gore

Senioritis might not be considered a bona fide disease, but it can be hazardous to your academic health.

You’re familiar with the term, right? It’s so prevalent, it’s even in the Urban Dictionary:

Senioritis: noun. A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as “graduation.”

November 6, 2014
Melissa Purdy

I take calls – lots of calls – from prospective students (and their parents) interested in knowing how we evaluate the admissions applications we receive at the University of Michigan. And we receive a lot – nearly 50,000.

I don’t offer long-winded answers or flowery prose. I don’t need to. Because facts are facts: Michigan gets applications from many more academically qualified students than we have space to admit, so we look for students who also have the drive and motivation to challenge themselves and take advantage of the many opportunities we have to offer here.

October 30, 2014
Pamela W. Fowler

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.