Financial Aid

Are there citizenship or residency requirements to be considered for financial aid from the United States Department of Education?

To be considered for U.S. Department of Education financial aid, a student must be an U.S. citizen or national or an eligible non-citizen.

Eligible non-citizens include students who have one of the following U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service/Department of Homeland Security designation:

Permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551 or I-551C (Alien Registration Receipt Card)

An Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) showing on of the designations in order to be eligible:

  • “Refugee”
  • “Asylum Granted”
  • “Indefinite Parole” and/or “Humanitarian Parole”
  • “Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending”
  • “Conditional Entrant” (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)

If you only have a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464), you are not eligible for U.S. Department of Education financial aid.

If you will be in the United States under any category of the visa status listed, you will not be eligible for any U.S. Department of Education financial aid:

  • F1 or F2 student visa
  • J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa
  • G series visa (pertaining to international organizations)


Do these same restrictions apply to funds for the University of Michigan-Dearborn?

All need-based grants and nearly all scholarships at the University of Michigan-Dearborn require that students meet either a citizenship or eligible non-citizen requirement in addition to other criteria.

Are there special University scholarship programs for international students?

Eligible Canadian citizens or landed immigrant or Mexican citizens may be eligible for the Non-Residential Tuition Differential Incentive Scholarship as either an incoming freshman or transfer student.

Currently, there are no special programs funded by the University of Michigan-Dearborn to help international students meet their educational costs.

International students on a F1 visa are required to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support their education at UM-Dearborn. This support can be demonstrated by an original bank statement with a certified letter from your supporter that confirms that the funds indicated on the bank statement will be used to support your educational expenses at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Without this documentation, no Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant F-1, J-1 Student Status Form I-20 can be issued for you.

What about fellowships for graduate students or teaching assistance programs?

Individual graduate programs of study may have limited fellowships or teaching assistance programs. You must direct your inquiry to your academic program.

What about private scholarships?

There are a number of websites that students may wish to visit to check on specific scholarship programs available to international students. There are also several websites that have scholarship search engines for international students.

The Office of Financial Aid suggests that one of the first websites that any international student should visit is eduPASS! The SmartStudent Guide to Studying in the USA. This website provides helpful information on passports and visas, traveling, cultural differences as well as a free scholarship search.

For special scholarship programs or scholarship searches as well as other helpful information, please visit:

These Web sites are excellent resources and all of these organizations are dedicated to promoting international study.

What about loans?

There are a number of lenders who will help finance the educational expenses of an international student. Most will require a co-signer or co-borrower. Usually, the co-signer or co-borrower must be an U.S. citizen or permanent resident—but not always.

Please visit these websites for information on loans to international students:

Explore all of your options before you make a decision on your lender.

Is there an office at the University that can help me with questions that I might have?

You can visit the International Office at 2174 University Center (UC). The International Office serves both international students at UM-Dearborn and UM-Dearborn students who plan to study abroad.

You can also contact them by telephone at (313) 583-6600 and visit their Web site at

Are there any local organizations that might be helpful to me?

The International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit is located at 111 E. Kirby in the Cultural Center in Detroit. Their mission is to serve area immigrants (international students with student visas are considered non-immigrants). There are many social, cultural and educational programs available.