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The Student’s Financial Aid Package

A financial aid award is packaged for each student applicant based on the student’s demonstrated financial need, date of application, availability of funding and eligibility. If applicable, a combination of gift (scholarships and grant) and self-help (job and loan) is offered to the student.

Talent scholarships or grants-in-aid, i.e., Athletic, Music, Communication and Dramatic Arts, or Broadcast and Cinematic Arts are awarded by the respective departments for which the awards are named. Merit Scholarships are awarded at the time of admission, based on admission criteria, not financial need. If an award recipient is also receiving university need-based financial assistance or aid from the Michigan Competitive Scholarship Program, or from an external agency, it may be necessary to include the talent scholarship or grant-in-aid in the financial aid package. This could result in a reduction in the talent scholarship or grant-in-aid.

The student is responsible for following the procedures included in the award notice to secure the aid offered.

Changes in the Award

The OSFA anticipates that students will receive the aid package offered in their award statement. It may, however, be necessary for the university to increase or decrease the award if changes occur in the student’s enrollment status, family financial status, or the student’s own financial resources or expenses.

Changes in enrollment status include changing undergraduate majors, taking fewer than 12 credit hours per semester, registering for study away from the university, or withdrawal before the end of the semester. Reductions in credit hours below 12 credits in a semester may result in a cancellation of CMU assistance for that semester. Students should consult a financial aid advisor before making a change in enrollment status.

Changes in family financial strength include significant discrepancies between the resources described in the FAFSA and those reported in the federal income tax return or unanticipated family financial reverses lasting longer than three months. Students should consult a financial aid advisor if there is an unusual circumstance that impacts the family’s financial strength.

Changes in student resources include receipt of educational benefits such as employee/dependent tuition benefits, and receipt of awards in amounts that differ from the estimates on the award statement, or that were not included in the statement. Students must report receipt of additional resources not considered in the original aid package. Students who receive scholarships from private donors may receive a reduction in some awards to ensure that the total aid resources do not exceed a student’s financial need.

Award Revision

CMU reserves the right to revise a student’s award package if government regulations, university policy, or sources of funding change prior to or during the academic year. This also applies if overpayments or over commitments occur, or if acceptance of the award occurs after the deadline.

The award may be reduced or withdrawn after a student has received a direct payment of the financial aid. The reduction in aid will be charged to the student’s account and the student will be required to pay that amount to CMU.

Award Disbursement

Registration is checked weekly to verify half-time enrollment for the semester. Financial aid is typically divided in half and credited directly to the student account. When possible, awards are applied to the first bill in each semester; however, late awards or award revisions will be applied throughout each semester. Financial aid funds will be applied against the student’s tuition, university housing cost for the semester, and any other charges on the student’s account at the time of disbursement.

NOTE: First-time borrowers of the federal direct student loan must complete an entrance interview and a Loan Agreement for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN) prior to disbursement of loan funds.

If there are more credits than charges, a refund will be issued for the balance. It is the student’s responsibility to verify the accuracy of billing charges, financial aid credits, and refund.

Refunds are usually available to on-time filers by the first week of classes. Late filers should plan to have sufficient funds for meeting expenses until a refund is available.

If you register for additional classes after the disbursement of your semester aid, it is your responsibility to pay for the classes from any refund you have received.

Some Global Campus students may be eligible for a student book voucher from their Federal Financial Aid to be used at the Missouri Bookstore (MBS) prior to semester disbursement. Information on the book voucher program can be found at

Non-CMU Scholarship Disbursement Policy

  1. Estimated scholarships, i.e., outside agency, will not reduce the amount of tuition payable by posted deadlines.
  2. Donors may specify the semester(s) in which the scholarship is paid.
  3. If a student wants the scholarship distributed in a way that differs from what the donor requests, the student will be asked to get an authorization letter from the donor.
  4. If the donor letter does not specify a distribution schedule, CMU will disburse scholarships of less than $500 all in the fall semester. Scholarships $500 or more will be disbursed equally to the fall and spring semester.
  5. If the scholarship has been split and the donor has not given instructions, the student may request the entire award be moved to the fall semester. However, the student is then cautioned that he or she may be short of funds for the spring semester.

Tax Status of Financial Aid

The Tax Reform Act of 1986 amended the Internal Revenue Code section pertaining to the taxability of scholarship and fellowship grants. Effective January 1, 1987, only the amount of a scholarship or fellowship grant that is used for qualified tuition and related expenses (i.e., tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment) is excluded from gross income. Any amount of a scholarship or fellowship grant that is used for non-course related expenses (such as room and board) is taxable and must be included in the student’s gross income. Students should keep accurate records of all tuition paid and related expenses, and financial aid received.

CMU Scholarship Policy

Recipients of CMU merit and talent-based scholarships of a dollar value equal to or greater than $2,500 are required to reside on campus during their freshman and sophomore years unless they qualify as commuting students or for another exception to the Campus Residency Policy.

Students may receive two renewable merit scholarships. Students who are selected for more than two renewable scholarships may choose the awards of highest value. However, a student can also receive the Leader Advancement scholarship if one of the three awards is among the following: Multicultural Advancement, Cofer, Detroit Compact and Wade McCree.

CMU will limit institutional funds (i.e., need-based grants, merit scholarships, employee tuition waivers, Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver, etc.) to the annual cost of attendance.