Testing & Applying

List NMU's school code on your ACT/SAT test.

You can list multiple schools of interest on these tests. To have your ACT/SAT scores sent to NMU, list NMU's college code when you register to take the test.

  • NMU's college code for the ACT is 2038
  • NMU's college code for the SAT is 1560

Apply to NMU

To be considered for financial aid at Northern Michigan University you need to apply and be admitted to NMU into a degree-seeking program. Northern cannot give you consideration for financial aid until you have formally been accepted. 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid | FAFSA

Learn about the FAFSA

This is the form you will need to complete online or on paper to qualify for any federal and some state and institutional financial aid. Go to https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. It will familiarize you with the FAFSA process and the required documentation needed.

Completing the FAFSA is free; you do not need to pay to have this form completed.

Know what types of aid require a FAFSA.

Gift Aid

  • Pell Grant
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • NMU's Board of Trustees Grant
  • Scholarships (including some merit-based awards)

Self-Help Aid

  • Work Study
  • Federal loans (Direct Stafford for students and parents)

Learn More about different types of aid.

Get your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID)

An electronic user name and password, the FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID), is required for students, parents of dependent students and borrowers.  Go to https://studentaid.gov/ to apply for your FSA ID.  For security reasons, you and your parent cannot use the same e-mail address when creating FSA ID’s. You will need this FSA ID to electronically: 

  • Sign your Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year
  • Make corrections to your FAFSA
  • Complete loan requirements
  • Review your federal aid history in the National Student Loan Data System(NSLDS)

Get ready to complete the FAFSA.

You will need records of income earned in the year prior to when you will start school. You may also need records of your parents' income information if you are a dependent student or spouse if you are married. 

  • W-2 forms and other records of money earned
  • Federal Income Tax Return (IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ or Foreign Tax Return or Tax Return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federal States of Micronesia or Palau)
  • Untaxed income records
  • Current bank statements, business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond and other investment records
  • Amount of child support paid or received

Fill out the FAFSA.

Go to https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa to complete your FAFSA. You will need to include NMU's Federal school code, which is 002301.

  • NMU does not have a financial aid application deadline.  However, we recommend you complete your FAFSA by March 1 to receive maximum consideration for all types of aid.
  • You must fill out a new FAFSA each year for financial aid. The FAFSA is available after October 1 of the year before you plan to attend.
  • If you are able to use the data retrieval tool in the FAFSA to link your IRS information, it will simplify the process.
  • If you prefer to complete a paper FAFSA, call FAFSA 1-800-4-FED-AID to request a paper FAFSA to be sent to you.

Receive and Review your Student Aid Report

Receive your Student Aid Report - it will be sent via e-mail or mailed to you.

This document will come to you from the FAFSA processor.  The Student Aid Report will explain your "expected family contribution" (EFC). This is a very important document to read and understand.

  • The EFC is an index of the family's financial strength based on income, assets, family size, etc., submitted on the FAFSA.
  • The EFC does not represent your actual amount due to the school.

Review your Student Aid Report.

If there are issues with any of the information reported on your FAFSA, they will be listed in the comment section of the Student Aid Report.

Review the Student Aid Report to ensure all information is correct.

Corrections can be made online at FAFSA or on the paper Student Aid Report.  Make sure to sign the updated paper Student Aid Report and mail it to the FAFSA processor.

Your FAFSA is received by NMU.

It may take Northern Michigan University up to two weeks to receive your FAFSA information from the date you complete the FAFSA.

  • You will be considered for financial aid if you have been admitted to a degree-seeking program.
  • NMU financial aid staff checks for problems and/or inconsistencies in your FAFSA application information and may request additional information.

Be prepared for the verification process.

Each year the U.S. Department of Education selects a portion of all FAFSA applicants for verification. If selected, you will be asked to provide documentation to the university confirming the information entered on your FAFSA.

  • If you are selected for verification, you will be notified in the comment section of your Student Aid Report.
  • NMU's financial aid office will contact you to identify documents needed to complete the verification process.
  • You can also view outstanding requirements on your MyNMU account under the financial aid link.

Release Form

Complete a Release of Information Form.

In accordance with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) (20.U.S.C. 1232g), also known as the Buckley Amendment, the Financial Aid Office and the Student Service Center are prohibited from releasing information concerning a student's financial aid, student account status and all financial records without written consent of the student.

If the student would like the Financial Aid Office and the Student Service Center to discuss their financial aid, student account status and all financial records with persons or agencies that are not covered under this law, please complete and sign a Release of Information form.

The Financial Aid Office will be responsible for addressing financial aid information, while the Student Service Center will be responsible for all billing related information.

Receiving Aid

New students: Watch for your award letter.

Beginning in January, NMU begins mailing financial aid award letters to new students who submitted the FAFSA.  This correspondence explains your financial aid eligibility based on the information you have provided.  Undergraduate students are awarded based upon full-time enrollment (12 credits per semester) and graduate students based upon half-time enrollment (4-6 credits per semester).  Some awards may be canceled or reduced if you enroll in fewer credits.  Award letters contain the following information:

  • Financial Aid Award Details – Your financial aid awards and the figures used to determine them. Plus, some of our most frequently asked questions and links to additional helpful tools.
  • Financial Aid Terms and Conditions – Important information regarding financial aid eligibility in general, and requirements for your specific awards. Please read this information carefully!
  • Required Information Notice – If additional items are needed to finalize your financial aid, you will find this notice enclosed. Please complete these requirements as soon as possible.
  • Financial Aid Shopping Sheet – This sheet was developed by the Department of Education to help students compare financial aid offers. You will also find data on graduation rates and loan borrowing information.

Once you attend Orientation, we will send all future correspondence to your NMU e-mail account.

Returning Students: Notifications are sent via e-mail.

In January, NMU begins e-mailing (NMU e-mail account) outstanding requirements or additional documentation requests to returning students.

In mid-June, NMU begins e-mailing award notifications to returning students via their NMU e-mail account. Log onto your MyNMU account to view your financial aid eligibility and to accept or decline your Federal student loans.

Turn in required documents as soon as possible.

This is such a critical point that it bears a second notation. If we e-mail or send postal mail to you, it means we have a question! Please respond as quickly as possible. Additional information regarding outstanding verification documents can be viewed on your MyNMU account. Be sure to check both the "Student Requirements" link and the "Active Messages" link.  Instructions on how to view your financial aid

Here is a list of things that can slow the financial aid process down:

  • Not sending in the required paperwork.
  • Forgetting to sign documents.
  • Leaving sections of the documents blank - fill in everything, including those questions where the answer is zero.
  • Not putting your name (the student) and NMU identification number on everything. This is especially important for families where student and parent last names are different.

If you still have questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 906-227-2327.

Accept or decline your student loans.

As part of your financial aid award package you may be offered student loans through the Federal Direct Student Loan Program. Each academic year ALL new and continuing students awarded Federal Direct Loans are required to accept or decline the loan online. This is the case whether or not you have used student loans in the past. In order to accomplish this, directions can be found here.

If you are accepting a loan for the first time, you are required to electronically sign a promissory note and complete an online entrance counseling session at studentloans.gov. The NMU Financial Aid Office will notify you with details on how to complete this process.

Attend orientation


Orientation Student Assistant


All students planning on enrolling in courses at Northern Michigan University are required to attend an orientation session. At orientation, you will be shown how to access your financial aid status online in order to keep track of your financial aid process at NMU. Orientation is also a great time for you and your parents to talk to representatives from the Financial Aid Office and get your questions answered while you are on campus.

Paying for College

Receiving your NMU tuition bill.

Northern Michigan University does not mail paper bills. Billing statements are available for viewing online at payment.nmu.edu/ebill and all students are notified via their NMU e-mail accounts when their bill is available. The statements outline the charges, provide a due date and explain how to pay the bill.

  • You can give your parents access to view your billing statements online and make payments on your behalf. To do so, log on to e-bill, click on the "authorized users" tab and enter your parents' e-mail address. You are giving written consent that the person you authorized may review your billing account information only. Please note that authorized users do not have access to academic records or other personal information through the Financial Aid Office.  A separate "Release of Information" for Financial Aid can be found here.
  • Although NMU has worked hard to make the bill as easy to understand as possible, there is one thing that sometimes confuses students, a negative balance shown on a bill. This is a credit balance, which means that you have more financial aid than is required to meet all the charges.  The credit balance can be refunded to you by check or direct deposit.  Keep in mind, if your refund consists of loans, it may be wise to consider reducing or cancelling your loans.

Become familiar with the payment plans available at NMU.

Northern Michigan University offers three options for the payment of tuition and fees and housing charges. Before each semester payment due date, you must choose one of the following payment options to avoid late fee charges.

Pay in full - we accept cash, check or credit card (Master Card, Visa and Discover). 

Easy Pay Plan - which spreads each semester's tuition, fees and housing payments, less applicable financial aid awards, over four monthly installments.

Deferral Payment Plan - for students expecting financial aid, but who have not yet finalized aid awards and other tuition payment methods by the tuition due date.

  • Make payments on time to avoid late fees. 
  • If you cannot make your payments by the due date, contact the NMU Student Service Center (ssc@nmu.edu, 906-227-1221) to see what options may be available to you.


Know where to go next for more assistance.

If the financial aid you receive does not fully cover your costs, you may want to look for alternative funding options. These might include:

High school guidance offices and local libraries are good sources of scholarship information. You may also wish to check with local organizations, businesses, churches and your parents' employers to see if scholarships are available. It is best to avoid any scholarship service that requires a fee since they cannot guarantee receipt of a scholarship.

Stay on top of your financial aid status.

Throughout the school year your eligibility for financial aid is under review based on any new information provided. For instance, we may receive information on a private scholarship you have earned or other aid not in your original aid calculation. If your full-time student status changes, it could impact financial aid.

Information about any non-NMU scholarships received from private sources should be mailed to the Financial Aid Office.

Mailing address:

Northern Michigan University
Attn: Financial Aid Office
1401 Presque Isle Avenue
Marquette, MI 49855

If you have a 529 plan, you should contact your plan representative to initiate the process.  Your 529 funds should be sent to the Student Service Center.

Mailing address:

Northern Michigan University
Attn:  Student Service Center
1401 Presque Isle Avenue
Marquette, MI  49855

Your financial aid pays to your student account.

Provided you have fully completed the financial aid process, your financial aid will be paid to your student account. This process will happen before the start of each semester as long as your requirements have been met, including maintaining satisfactory academic progress (SAP).  Financial aid will be applied towards all authorized outstanding NMU charges before any student overage may be issued.

Overage Checks

Be wise about overage checks.

An overage results when your financial aid is more than your charges for the semester. All financial aid documentation must be provided and your financial aid award must be completely processed before any overage will be issued. You will be notified via e-mail when your overage is available. NMU begins issuing overages the Friday before the first day of the semester. There are two options to receive your overage: direct deposit or by picking up a check at the NMU Student Service Center, located in the C.B. Hedgcock building.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR STUDENT LOANS! If any part of your overage is related to student loan funds, please remember student loans are a debt that you must repay.  It is easy to return the excess loan funds to manage your long term student loan debt.  If you have questions about returning student loan funds or your student loan debt, please contact the Financial Aid Office at fao@nmu.edu or 906-227-2327

Keeping Your Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress is REQUIRED!

You must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid. Please read NMU's Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. The key points are:

  • Students must earn at least 67 percent of the credit hours which they attempt at NMU for each program level.
  • Undergraduate students must maintain a 2.00 cumulative NMU grade point average.  Graduate students must maintain a 3.00 cumulative NMU grade point average.
  • Bachelor and associate degree students are limited to receiving aid for up to 150% of the credit hours required for their program of study. Students changing majors will be limited to financial aid for up to 150% of the number of credits required for their new program (including all previous credit hours attempted, regardless of the major declared at the time).

Students not meeting these requirements will have the right to appeal their loss of eligibility.

Report changes in family circumstances.

If your family's financial situation changes, we recommend that you contact the Financial Aid Office and speak to a counselor to discuss your circumstances. Based on your situation, you may request that your financial aid award be re-evaluated. You do this by filling out the re-evaluation of financial assistance form. Please be aware that re-evaluation requests may take 4-6 weeks to complete.

Start the process all over for the next year!

Keep in mind that applying for financial aid is not a one-time process. You must submit a FAFSA for each year you wish to be considered for financial aid. But now that you know the steps of the process, it should be less complicated each year. However, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the NMU Financial Aid office at fao@nmu.edu or 906-227-2327.