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Financial Aid Process Overview


The financial aid process begins with the completion of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA is the application that Ferris State University uses to determine eligibility for federal, state and institutional awards such as loans, grants and work-study. All U. S. citizens and permanent residents with proper documentation are eligible to complete a FAFSA. You may click here to complete a FAFSA online.

There are several questions on the FAFSA related to homelessness, foster care and other special populations. If you would like more information regarding these special groups, please click here.

If a student indicates on his/her FAFSA that he/she would like the FAFSA information to be sent to Ferris State University, the University will receive that FAFSA data electronically, typically 3 - 10 days after submission. The FAFSA data must be in a valid status for the University to proceed with an offer of aid. There are many reasons that may cause a FAFSA to "reject" including missing student or parental signatures, Selective Service registration issues, social security number issues, citizenship issues, and many others. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that his/her FAFSA is in a valid status and to correct any reject issues. Once a student's FAFSA has been processed, the Department of Education will respond with an emailed "Student Aid Report" (SAR). Carefully read the comments section of the SAR for any possible reject issues or to determine if the student has been selected for the verification process.

In addition to completing a FAFSA, a student must be admitted to Ferris State University to be offered federal financial aid. You may click here to submit a free application for admission. For most forms of financial aid, students must be enrolled at least half time in a degree-granting curriculum. Students must also have graduated from high school or earned a GED to be eligible for federal aid. The Financial Aid office will require documentation of high school graduation or GED completion before financial aid disburses. 

Priority Funding

Some forms of financial aid, such as SEOG, TIP (Tuition Incentive Program) and Work Study are extremely limited, need-based funds that are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. To be considered for these funds, students must successfully complete a FAFSA and be admitted into a degree-granting program before the funds are expended. That's why we recommend that all students complete the FAFSA process as soon after October 1 (or January 1 for 2024-25) as possible.

There is no published deadline date. The priority consideration date will be the date we run out of these limited funds. As more needy students file their FAFSA early each year, the funds are expended earlier each year as well.

What Happens Next


  1. Are admitted into a degree-granting program; AND
  2. Have a valid FAFSA on file before priority funding is expended, and

New students that meet these requirements will be sent an award notice in the mail from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. This will occur as early as the first week of December and continue on a weekly basis thereafter as students complete the requirements listed above.

The award notice will contain the estimated cost of attendance for each student along with the amount and type(s) of aid offered. Grants and scholarships will appear on the award in an accepted status. Loans, work study and other forms of aid will appear in an "offered" status that requires a decision from the student. 

Completing Requirements

Some students who complete a FAFSA will be selected by the Department of Education for a routine audit process called "verification".  Students will be required to complete the verification process, if selected, before they are awarded financial aid.

Students are encouraged to review and accept their financial aid award offer as soon as possible. After a student has accepted his or her aid offer, there are additional requirements for some loans, such as promissory notes and entrance counseling. Students should log into Ferris360 periodically to check for incomplete requirements.


The primary method of communication from the Financial Aid Office will be via Ferris student email. Students are encouraged to make a habit of checking their Ferris email accounts on a regular basis to avoid missing important information and deadlines.

Because of FERPA privacy restrictions, we seldom initiate contact with parents of dependent students. Parents with Facebook accounts are encouraged to "like" the Ferris State University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid Facebook Page. While we do not send out student-specific information on Facebook, parents would be informed of financial aid deadlines, policy changes and events.

Student Account Payments

Approximately two weeks after each semester begins, provided a student has completed all of his/ her financial aid requirements, financial aid award will credit to his/her billing account at Student Financial Services. FSU bills one semester at a time, and aid disburses each semester accordingly. Half of a student's financial aid award applies to their bill in the Fall semester and the remaining half applies to their bill in the Spring semester.

Student Financial Services will bill each student for tuition, fees, room and board expenses if they are living on campus or have purchased a meal plan; books that have been charged to the student's account; and any other charges that are payable to FSU such as parking tickets, lab fees, software purchases, etc.

Bills & Refunds

Financial aid will credit toward any charges on the billing account. If your financial aid is not sufficient to cover all of the semester charges, then you will be billed for the difference. The e-bill notification will be sent to the Ferris student mail account. Any excess aid will be refunded to the student.

Summer Semester

Financial aid for the summer semester is often extremely limited and students are encouraged to plan ahead if they anticipate taking summer courses. Many students use all of their federal and state aid eligibility during fall and spring semesters and must rely on alternative loan options to finance all or part of their summer expenses.