Financial Aid FAQs

SEAS offers some funding opportunities for both incoming students and continuing students. Incoming students may be eligible for recruitment tuition awards. Your application to SEAS is your application for these awards. Funding decisions are made by faculty and admitted applicants are notified about the award in their SEAS Recommendation for Admission letter or shortly thereafter. As a continuing student, you have access to other opportunities such as SEAS conference presentation travel funds, internship funds and thesis research funds. SEAS also hires Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) and Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRA) to assist with SEAS courses and research.


Rackham Graduate School offers several fellowships for incoming students. Students are nominated by their individual schools, and similar to our tuition awards, your application to SEAS will help us determine your eligibility. Students are notified of these awards shortly after they are admitted. Rackham also offers several funding opportunities for continuing students in the form of fellowships and funds for presenting at conferences. NOTE: To properly process your Rackham online funding application, please use the SEAS associate dean for academic affairs as your "Graduate Student Chair" and the SEAS financial aid coordinator as your "Graduate Student Coordinator".

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You likely completed this same application as an undergraduate. This process determines your eligibility for federal loans and work-study. Most SEAS graduate students are not eligible for federal grants.

No. SEAS does not review your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All FAFSA materials are submitted to and reviewed by the U-M Office of Financial Aid (OFA). OFA creates your U-M financial aid package and posts your aid on your student account in Wolverine Access.

We encourage you to begin exploring funding options and mapping out an application plan as early as possible. There are many summer and early fall application deadlines, which makes it very important that you plan ahead. SEAS is excited about helping you identify funding sources and we hope you take advantage of our financial aid services. Doctoral students - you may want to check the Doctoral Materials section of the Forms/Handbooks/Policies webpage and doctoral funding sources.

Below are some helpful funding-related government websites:

A research proposal and budget are typically required for non-university applications, but writing a proposal can be difficult. The U-M Office of Research and Sponsored Projects offers step-by-step online instructions, as well as workshops to help you write a winning proposal. The LSA Sweetland Center for Writing also offers a variety of courses and workshops tailored for graduate students.

SEAS hires approximately 30-50 GSIs and 15-30 GSRAs each academic year. SEAS students enter our program with diverse academic and professional backgrounds, so they are eligible to teach in a variety of departments within the U-M system. Program in the Environment (PitE), communications, biology and many other departments hire SEAS students as instructors and research assistants. Contact the department you are interested in working with for more specifics or search U-M Careers. For other campus jobs, search U-M Student Employment.

The International Institute and Rackham offer a small number of fellowships for international students.

On the Forms, Policies and Petitions page, find the section relating to funding. Please read the instructions and forms provided for each opus opportunity. In addition, there are many non-UM institutions that fund natural resources-oriented research. These range from very competitive government programs (like the National Science Foundation) to small local clubs (like the Trout Unlimited chapter in Kalamazoo). Government, non-profits, local clubs and private industry all offer a variety of scholarships, fellowships, internships and other types of funding.

SEAS has limited master's project/practicum funding available with deadlines in November and April. There are a variety of institutions and community organizations interested in funding project/practicum work and interdisciplinary teams. You should work with your group and faculty advisor to identify funding opportunities.

In addition to areas studies offices on campus, the International Institute, Rackham, and Department of African Studies (DAAS) are important resources for students interested in international work.

Limited SEAS funds are available for registered U-M SEAS student groups (thank you alumni donors!).

No. Your fellowship cannot be deferred if you defer admission. To be considered for funding, your application will be added to the following year's applicant pool. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive the fellowship offer again. It will only be possible to defer if you accept admission into a dual degree program and start in the other department OR if you receive a GSA position or other support and wish to defer your fellowship. We encourage you to contact the Office of Academic Programs as soon as you know your plans, so we can adjust payments accordingly.

The U-M Office of Financial Aid (OFA) packages all incoming graduate student financial aid assuming everyone will be a full-time student. The U-M Registrar's Office and Student Financial Services sets part- or full-time student status and tuition due dates. If you are registered for less than 9 credits when the bill is created and posted on your Wolverine Access student account, you will be assessed the hourly tuition rate for a part-time student, but the financial aid package will remain at the full-time student status. Thus, you may receive a larger than expected refund check. BEWARE - once you register for more credits and reach full-time status, you will receive another tuition bill - so do not spend your extra financial aid money early, as you may need to pay it back! Tuition bills are due towards the end of the first month of the term. If after the 3rd week of the term you are still registered as a part-time student, your financial aid package will be adjusted to reflect part-time status. If you have further questions about your financial aid package, please contact OFA.

Many kinds of financial aid are subject to state and federal income tax. GSI and GSRA stipends are taxed, as are many fellowships. Tuition awards and loans are not taxed. To determine if your financial aid is subject to being taxed, visit the Rackham or IRS websites.


Office of Academic Programs / 1520 Dana / (734) 764-6453 /