Financing your student’s college education is often one of the largest concerns a parent may have. The Financial Aid Office at Ferris State University is here to help you and your student through the financial aid process.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, otherwise known as FERPA, is a Federal Law and was introduced to give students certain rights regarding the confidentiality of their educational records. FERPA establishes the rights of the parents and students of any school which receives federal educational funds. The Financial Aid Office will not be able to discuss specific information with you regarding your student’s financial aid, billing account, etc, without express written consent of your student. Your student may complete and sign a Release of Information form at the Student Services Center in the Timme Building during normal business hours.
Financial aid is any resource that assists a student in paying for his or her educational expenses. The primary responsibility for paying for your educational expenses rests upon the student and parents. Financial aid programs are intended to help students whose families cannot pay all, or perhaps any, of their college expenses. Financial aid programs include grants, loans, scholarships and work study.
A financial timeline checklist is available to help you keep track of important dates and deadlines.
Most parents want to know how much it costs for a student to attend Ferris State University. The actual cost of attendance, particularly related to tuition costs and room and board charges for on-campus students is not finalized until the Board of Trustees meets in July of each year. Because the Financial Aid Office cannot wait until July to begin awarding aid for the fall semester, we anticipate expected changes to tuition, room and board fees and estimate the student budgets accordingly. Historically, Financial Aid Office estimates have been very close to the actual rates charged.
The student’s budget, as determined by the Financial Aid Office, is the maximum amount of financial aid a student may receive from any source. Student budgets are comprised of the average cost of the following expenses:
Room and board
Books and supplies
Because different categories of students have different expenses, each student is assigned a budget reflecting their particular expenses. For instance, non-resident students pay higher tuition rates than Michigan residents. Therefore, the budget for a non-resident student would reflect higher tuition costs that a Michigan resident budget.
Some programs, such as Automotive Technology and Dental Hygiene require the purchase of tools. The cost of tools is added to the books and supply expense for students enrolled in programs that incur those expenses, so that they may acquire the aid necessary to cover those expenses. The Financial Aid Office relies on enrollment records and information from the Dean’s offices and instructors of those programs to tell us how much we should include for additional tool and supply costs and at which semester we should add those additional expenses.
Books and supplies, loan fees, transportation costs and personal expenses are estimated based upon student surveys and bookstore data. The estimates are based on the average cost of attendance for all students.
The estimated cost of attendance or budget amount for your student will be on your student’s award notice. Please note that additional expenses such as private room charges or tuition costs for taking more than the average number of classes are not included in your student’s budget. If your student has higher than average expenses, then he or she may request a budget adjustment by accessing the Budget Adjustment Request Form or Budget Adjustment Form – Higher Than Average Tuition. A financial aid counselor will review the budget adjustment request, and if permissible under federal financial aid guidelines, will increase your student’s budget accordingly. Please note that an increased budget does not necessarily give your student more financial aid, it simply increases the maximum amount of financial aid that your student may receive. In many cases, it allows your student to borrow more money in the form of an alternative loan.
To review the most current tuition and room and board rates, please click here.
Financial aid funds are generally split evenly between the fall and spring semesters for students attending for the academic year. The funds are disbursed to a billing account established by Ferris State University Business Operations.
Business Operations will send an electric billing statement to each student’s FSU email account. If your son or daughter signs you up as an authorized “e-bill” user, you will also receive emailed billing statements.
To authorize other users to view billing statements and make credit card or electronic check payments to your student’s account, your student may log into MyFSU and select the Academics and Services tab, Timme Center for Student Services heading, E-bill Pay On-line/Check Student Account section. Your student will then be able to add you as an authorized user to allow you to receive emailed billing statements.
For additional information regarding payment plans and billing options, please visit the Business Operations' Parent's FAQ.
Communication: We will be communicating with your student via their MyFSU (Ferris email account) on a regular basis, very soon after s/he is admitted to FSU. It is very important that your student begin to check his or her Ferris email account on a regular basis. We sometimes hear that students didn't think they needed to begin checking their Ferris email accounts until classes begin. Other students tell us that they receive so many email communications, that they don't take the time to read them. We understand that some students have not made up their minds regarding their school choice, and that they wait until they make a final decision to begin responding to our communications. In some cases, this can result in a loss of aid for the student. We strongly encourage you to read the Financial Aid Process to learn about financial aid filing deadlines and priority consideration dates.
Mailing addresses: We will rarely mail information to the student. The first notification that we need additional information to complete the financial aid file or the first notification that we have an award for a student will be in paper form. Prior to school beginning, the paper notification will be sent to the permanent home address. Once school is in session, we begin mailing information to the student's local (residence hall or apartment). Please realize that our communication is geared to the student, even if we are missing information that only a parent can provide. Also, please understand that our primary mode of communication is by email to student's Ferris email accounts. We urge you to have a conversation with your student regarding the importance of reading every email they receive from the Financial Aid or Business Operations. If the student doesn't understand what the communication is about, we encourage them to forward it to you or to contact our office for more information. Students sometimes delete very critical emails that require immediate action.
Missing requirements: As your student progresses through the financial aid process, he or she will be required to complete processes or submit documentation. Whenever we need something from your student, we will place a "Missing requirement" on his or her account. The student can log into MyFSU and check the status of his or her missing requirements in "real time". For example, if we receive a FAFSA for an admitted student and he or she was selected for the verification process, we will add three missing requirements to the student's file: 1) Verification Form for Dependent Students 2) Parent tax data and 3) Student tax data for the appropriate aid year. When the student logs into MyFSU, these three items will be listed under missing requirements. The student may click on links for specific instructions and/or specific forms for each missing requirement. Once our office has received any required documents, we will change the status to "received, not yet reviewed". Once our staff has reviewed the documents, the requirement status will either be "satisfied" or additional requirements will be added. For instance, if we received a tax return without a signature, we would update the student file to indicate that we have received the tax return, but we would add another requirement for "tax return signature missing". Your student can check the current status of these requirements at any time.
What you can do to help: You can help us by encouraging your students to be proactive regarding his/her financial aid. Many parents feel that financial aid is too complicated for their students and want to handle everything for them. The problem with this is that the students often ignore communication from us, assuming that the parent will "take care of it".
Since we are communicating directly with the student in most cases, the parent is not always aware that any action is required. We recommend that you and your student work together to get through the financial aid process. You can help them learn personal responsibility through meeting deadlines, completing requirements, and taking an interest in their finances. Do not complete the Direct Loan Entrance Counseling or the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note process for your student - let him or her do it for him/herself. These requirements are designed to make sure your student understands the responsibilities of borrowing money for education. Students will go through the financial aid process each year they enroll, so the sooner they learn to navigate the process, the smoother it will be for everyone - the student, the parent, and the Financial Aid Office.
We're here to help: We understand that the financial aid process can sometimes be confusing. We want to help you and your student navigate this process as quickly and efficiently as possible. Reading through the Financial Aid Process can help you and your student become familiar with the terminology used and will help prepare you by letting you know what to expect during the process. If you have any questions at any time during the process, feel free to email our office or telephone us. We are honored that you have entrusted your student(s) to Ferris State University. We want you and your student's experiences with the Financial Aid Office and with Ferris State University to be positive ones. If you have suggestions that you feel may help us serve your student better, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help you and we welcome your comments and suggestions!.