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Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

North Foundation Hall, Room 120
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester , MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-2550
[email protected]

Office Hours:
M-F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Have your Grizzly ID ready

Summer Office Hours:
May 15 - June 30: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
July 1 - July 14: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
July 15 - August 18: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

OU school code: 002307

Student employment contact: [email protected]

We are committed to ensuring you're able to access our website. For assistance with technical resources, contact OU's Student Technology Center.

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

North Foundation Hall, Room 120
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester , MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-2550
[email protected]

Office Hours:
M-F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Have your Grizzly ID ready

Summer Office Hours:
May 15 - June 30: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
July 1 - July 14: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
July 15 - August 18: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

OU school code: 002307

Student employment contact: [email protected]

We are committed to ensuring you're able to access our website. For assistance with technical resources, contact OU's Student Technology Center.

Financial Aid Policies, Terms and Conditions

The Policies and Conditions are published to help Oakland University students understand the policies related to financial assistance and to communicate the operational regulations to which Oakland University Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships must adhere. Students are responsible for the information contained in the Policies and Conditions for Financial Aid and Scholarships and are therefore expected to read this information in its entirety. Students are required to access their Oakland University email and eBill through MySAIL regularly for important financial information and messages. Students are able to assign Proxy access on MySAIL and Authorized User access on eBill by logging in to their respective accounts so parents, spouses, and others can access to select information. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will not share information about a student's account without Proxy (for MySail) and/or Authorized User (for eBill) access being granted.

1. Applying for Financial Assistance

Financial aid awards may be based on admission to Oakland University, annual completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and the discretion of academic and/or student service departments providing a departmental award. Students are encouraged to complete a FAFSA as soon as it is available for the next academic year. Applying early and accurately ensures fullest consideration for financial aid, some of which is awarded on a first come, first served basis. Learn more about available financial aid for students at Oakland University and how to apply. Guest, professional development, and non-matriculating students are eligible to apply for private education loans.

Undergraduate stand-alone certificates are not financial aid eligible.

2. Estimating Educational Expenses

Students incur direct charges and have indirect expenses related to educational costs. Direct charges include tuition and on-campus living expenses (food and housing). Indirect expenses include books, course materials, supplies and equipment, off campus living expenses, transportation, personal expenses, loan fees, and professional licensure, certification, and/or credential. OU provides the Cost Estimator to help students and families estimate the direct charges made by Oakland University. View the Cost of Attendance chart to estimate the indirect expenses associated with investing in a post-secondary education.

3. Awarding and Revising Financial Aid

Students must be admitted and enrolled at OU in an eligible degree, certificate, or preparatory coursework program to receive financial aid. Endorsements, second majors, professional development, non-degree, and continuing education programs do not qualify for federal aid, but may qualify for some private educational loans. View a list of graduate certificate and post-master’s graduate certificate programs eligible for financial aid. Financial aid awards are contingent upon federal, state, institutional, and other appropriations and/or funding. Most financial aid awards are for the fall and winter semesters. Financial aid for the summer is limited; in some cases, Pell Grants, loans, state aid, and OU scholarships and/or grants are available in the summer. View Section 3.5 for information regarding aid eligibility for repeated classes. The Cost of Attendance is the maximum amount of financial assistance offered to a student, financial assistance offered cannot exceed the cost of attendance unless there is a documented and federally allowable situation that warrants an exception.

Financial aid awards for undergraduate students are based on full time enrollment for the fall and winter semesters, unless otherwise indicated on the MySAIL Award Offer page. A combination of Oakland University institutional awards and benefits cannot exceed the cost of tuition (the Geographic Region Award, the OU Housing Grant and OU departmental and endowed awards are not included in this limitation of OU awards and benefits). Financial awards from all sources cannot exceed financial need and/or the cost of attendance. Advanced Placement (AP) exams, International Baccalaureate (Ib) exams, the College-Level Exam Program (CLEP), transfer credit and/or course competency examinations do not count toward the full time credits. Awards for graduate students are based on half-time enrollment for the fall and winter semesters, unless otherwise indicated on the MySAIL Award Offer page. If a student's enrollment differs from the enrollment listed on MySAIL Award Offer page, the student should complete a Revision Form (found on our Forms page) prior to the payment due date.

3.1 Awarding OU Scholarships and Grants
OU scholarships and grants are awarded to incoming freshmen and new transfer students. A combination of Oakland University institutional awards and benefits cannot exceed the cost of tuition (the Geographic Region Award, the OU Housing Grant and OU departmental and endowed awards are not included in this limitation of OU awards and benefits).

3.1.1 Merit Scholarships
OU merit scholarships awarded by Undergraduate Admissions do not require an additional scholarship application. Through the application for admission to Oakland University, OU merit scholarships are awarded automatically to students who are eligible. A combination of Oakland University institutional awards and benefits cannot exceed the cost of tuition (the Geographic Region Award, the OU Housing Grant and OU departmental and endowed awards are not included in this limitation of OU awards and benefits).

3.1.2 OU Annual Scholarships
OU Annual Scholarships are offered through some academic and student service departments at Oakland University choose to offer scholarships to students. Information about these scholarships, including eligibility criteria, application details, and deadlines, are published in the OU Annual Scholarships search tool. The application period begins each year on December 1 and ends March 1. 

3.1.3 OU Grants
Grants are automatically awarded by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for eligible students who complete the FAFSA. A combination of Oakland University institutional awards and benefits cannot exceed the cost of tuition (the Geographic Region Award, the OU Housing Grant and OU departmental and endowed awards are not included in this limitation of OU awards and benefits).

3.1.4 Awards Based on Housing Plan
Financial aid awards are based on the housing plan indicated on the Admissions Application for new students. If the housing plan is left blank, it is assumed the student is living with a parent. Returning student housing plans are based on the prior year's budget choice. If the student did not attend in the prior year, we assume living with parent for dependent students and off campus for independent students. To update the housing plans prior to the payment due date, complete a Revision Form, found on our Forms page. Financial Aid awards may be cancelled or revised due to a change in housing plans.

3.2 Awarding Federal and State of Michigan Financial Aid
Financial Aid and Scholarships uses the FAFSA to award federal financial aid, including federal grants, federal student loans, federal work-study, and optional Parent PLUS loan offers. Most awards are offered based on financial need established by completion of the FAFSA, the availability of funds, and Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Federal Direct Loan programs offer lower interest rates and more flexible repayment plans than private education loans. The student’s eligibility for Federal Direct Loans is included in the financial aid offer. To receive a Federal Direct subsidized and/or unsubsidized loan, if not already completed for loans received at OU in a prior year, students must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).

To apply for a PLUS loan, the parent or graduate student needs to complete a Request for a PLUS Loan and a Master Promissory Note, if not already completed. Maximum eligibility for a PLUS loan is the student's cost of attendance minus available aid. The deadline to initiate a PLUS Loan is December 1 for a Fall only loan; April 1 for a winter only loan; April 1 for a combination fall/winter loan; and two weeks before the last day of the summer session for which the loan is intended for a summer loan.

If a student or parent borrows a federal student loan, the loan information will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.

View details of the available financial aid offered to undergraduate and graduate students.

The FAFSA is used to award aid from the State of Michigan. Students are strongly encouraged to create an account with the State of Michigan called the MiSSG Student Portal. The MiSSG Student Portal is used to manage a student's School of Choice (the school listed first on the FAFSA where the State will direct the student's funds) and view the aid for which they are eligible from the State of Michigan. 

3.3 Awarding Private Scholarships and Loans
If the student receives a scholarship or award from a business, agency or other organization and it is not listed on the financial aid offer, the student should notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by completing Part 4 of a Revision Form, found on our Forms page. If the business, agency or organization provides the student with the check, it needs to be sent to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The student should include their Grizzly ID number with the check. If the check is co-payable to the student and OU, the student should first endorse the check by writing on the back, “Payable to Oakland University,” provide the student signature, and submit to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

At the the time a private scholarship is received, it will be equally divided between semesters in the financial aid package unless the donor provides specific awarding instructions. The student may request funds be applied to a single semester as long as it does not interfere with donor instructions. If the enrollment period is a single semester or changes to a single semester, a private scholarship will be fully applied to a single semester as long as it does not interfere with donor instructions. If scholarship funds are received but the student does not enroll, the funds will be returned to the donor unless the funds can be applied to another period of enrollment. Federal regulations and University policies consider private scholarships, grants, loans, and additional resources as forms of financial assistance. They count as financial aid resources when determining eligibility for need-based financial aid and generally improve the overall quality of the financial aid offer. Review the Policies and Conditions section, Awarding and Revising Financial Aid, for more information.

Private education loans may be of interest to students who have remaining educational costs after financial aid eligibility has been exhausted. The maximum on a private loan is the student’s cost of attendance (listed on the Award Offer page in MySail) minus available aid. Learn more about private education loans available to undergraduate and graduate students. Oakland University does not have or use any preferred lenders nor does Oakland University have a preferred lender list for Private Education Loans.

The University is required to provide the Self-Certification form and information needed to complete the form to any enrolled or admitted student (or to the parent applicant of an enrolled or admitted student) upon the student’s request for a Private Education Loan Self-Certification form.

3.4 Awarding Summer Financial Assistance
Financial aid for the summer is limited; in some cases, Pell Grants, TEACH grants, loans, and OU scholarships are available in the summer. A combination of Oakland University institutional awards and benefits cannot exceed the cost of tuition (the Geographic Region Award, the OU Housing Grant and OU departmental and endowed awards are not included in this limitation of OU awards and benefits). Learn more about eligibility for summer financial aid.

3.5 Receiving Aid for Repeated Courses
3.5.1. Repeating Passed Courses
A student can receive financial aid for repeating a previously passed course only once, unless the course can be repeated an unlimited number of times and the course credit and GPA are included in the cumulative credits and GPA each time. A passed course repeated more than once will not be included in the enrollment status considered for financial aid eligibility, regardless of the semester or year in which the course was initially taken, passed, and repeated. Repeating a course might not affect aid from the State of Michigan, private educational loans, or other private resources. The policy is applicable to undergraduate and graduate students and courses required for their degree program.

3.5.2. Repeating Failed Courses
Financial aid will pay for a student to repeat a failed course until it is passed, provided the student meets all other aid eligibility criteria. Once a student passes a repeated course previously failed, the course becomes a passed course and is subject to the policy in section 3.5.1.

3.5.3. Repeating Courses and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Eligibility
Repeated credits are only counted once in the cumulative completed credits. All repeated credits count in the number of attempted credits.

3.5.4. Repeating Courses and OU Scholarships and Grants
Students renewing their OU scholarships and grants should be aware of the total number of earned course credits required each semester to meet renewal criteria. Renewal credit criteria excludes earned course credit for fall classes repeated in the winter within the same academic year. Therefore, students should consider repeating earned course credits in the summer or a different academic year.

3.6 Revising Financial Aid
3.6.1 Revisions made by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
Federal regulations and Oakland University consider private scholarships, awards, grants, loans, and outside resources as financial assistance. Payments made from a business or corporate credit card payments (even if they are owned by the student or the student's parents or spouse), employee tuition benefits, housing waivers, reimbursement vouchers, trusts, and private scholarships students expect to receive may be reflected as an outside Student Resource and counted as a financial aid when determining eligibility. Outside resources will be included in the federal 1098T issued at the end of the calendar year. Every effort is made to maintain accuracy, however, in the event an error is made, the error will be corrected and the student will be billed for the excess amount received. Students are responsible for all amounts due to the University as a result of financial aid adjustments. Repayment of the billed amount can be made through standard repayment methods. Although these resources might affect other awards in the financial aid offer, they usually improve the overall quality of the financial aid offer. Aid could be reduced, canceled, or prorated for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • Payments made with corporate, executive, business, or other similarly labeled credit cards.
  • Other awards or resources identified by Financial Services received before or after a financial aid award offer has been completed.
  • Awards made directly to the student.
  • Total financial aid awards exceed the cost of attendance or financial need as established by FAFSA.
  • The total amount of Oakland University institutional awards and benefits exceeds the cost of tuition (the Geographic Region Award and OU Housing Grant are not included in this limitation of OU awards and benefits).
  • Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards are not met.
  • Unsatisfied financial aid requirements.
  • Student is not enrolled on the last day for 100% tuition refund for full semester courses, when Financial Aid Credit Lock occurs.
  • Student is not enrolled for all semesters for which they are awarded.
  • If the remaining period of study is shorter than a full academic year, for example, in the case of mid-year graduation.
  • Funding for the award is reduced.
  • Student eligibility for financial aid changes.
  • Course enrollment or housing status changes.
  • Student drops or withdraws from all courses for which they are enrolled. See Return of Federal Title IV Financial Aid section for additional information.
  • Incorrect or fraudulent information is provided.
  • Financial aid is received at another institution during the same enrollment period.
  • Student is in default on a Federal loan or owes a refund of Federal funds received at a post-secondary institution.

3.6.2 Revisions Initiated by Students
3.6.2.1. Students are able to make changes to their financial aid awards by completing a Revision Form, found on our Forms page. Students wishing to make changes to their current financial aid offer, their intended enrollment or housing plans, or notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships of an additional scholarship or resource the student plans to receive, a Revision Form should be completed as soon as possible, preferably before the payment due date of the semester for which the change will take effect.

3.6.2.2. Revisions indicating enrollment for less than full time credits are due before the payment due date of the semester for which the change in enrollment will take effect. Students who fail to notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships of the change in enrollment by the first day of classes will experience a delay in the disbursement of their financial aid awards. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will automatically review and make adjustments for changes in enrollment affecting aid during Financial Aid Course Credit Lock. See the Financial Aid Payment and Refunds section of the Policies and Conditions for more details.

4. Return of Federal Title IV Funds

Federal law requires Oakland University to determine the amount of Title IV program assistance a student earns if the student withdraws from or stops attending school. The Title IV programs covered by law are Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, TEACH Grants, Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, Direct Parent and Graduate PLUS Loans, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG). Though a student’s aid is typically posted to a student’s account at the start of each period, students earn the funds as they complete the period. If a student withdraws or stops attending during the payment period or period of enrollment, the amount of Title IV program assistance that the student earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If the student received (or OU or parent received on behalf of the student) less assistance than the amount the student earned, the student may be able to receive those additional funds. If the student received more assistance than the amount earned, the excess funds must be returned by OU and/or the student. The amount of assistance a student has earned is determined on a pro-rated basis. For example, if a student completed 30% of the payment period or period of enrollment, the student earns 30% of the assistance the student was originally scheduled to receive. Once the student has completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, the student earns all the assistance scheduled to be received for that period.

A student’s official withdrawal date is the date the withdrawal was submitted. The Office of the Registrar is the designated officiation to process a student notification to withdraw.

If a student did not receive any earned grades, they are considered to have unofficially withdrawn for purposes of determining eligibility for aid. If a student receives a F, U, or NP grade, the instructor is asked to provide last date of academic engagement, which will be used to calculate earned aid. The dates provided by the instructor(s) determine the withdrawal date. If the instructor does not provide a last date of academic engagement, the midpoint of the payment period or period of enrollment and/or academic engagement in Moodle will be used to calculate earned aid. If an instructor indicates you did not attend a course(s), an enrollment adjustment to determine federal Pell grant eligibility will be calculated.

A student who is enrolled in a part of term (modules) for fall, winter or summer semesters is not subject to return of Title IV program assistance if one of the following exemptions is met.

  • Completion of all the requirements for graduation, OR
  • Successful completion of a class or multiple classes that comprise at least 49% of the days in the term, OR
  • Successful completion of a class or multiple classes that comprise at least half-time enrollment

If the student did not receive all of the funds that were earned, the student may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the student’s post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, Oakland University must obtain the student’s permission before it can disburse them. The student may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that the student doesn’t incur additional debt. OU may automatically use all or a portion of the student’s post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and on-campus living expenses. OU needs the student’s permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If the student does not give their permission, the student will be offered the funds. However, it may be in the student’s best interest to allow OU to keep the funds to reduce the student’s debt at OU.

Students selected for verification who require a Return to Title IV(R2T4) calculation due to official or unofficial withdrawal will be given 120 days from the date of last attendance or until the deadline established each year by the Department (typically mid-September),  whichever is earlier,  to submit all unsatisfied requirements for successful completion of the verification process. The verification process and R2T4 calculation may change the amounts on the initial financial aid offer.

There are some Title IV funds a student was scheduled to receive that cannot be disbursed once the student withdraws or stops attending because of other eligibility requirements.

If the student received (or OU or parent received on the student’s behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, OU must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  1. the student’s institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of the student’s funds, or
  2. the entire amount of excess funds.

OU must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of the student’s Title IV program funds.

If OU is not required to return all of the excess funds, the student must return the remaining amount.

For any loan funds that the student must return, the student (or the student’s parent for a Direct PLUS Loan) repays in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, the student makes scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.

Any amount of unearned grant funds the student must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that the student must repay is half of the grant funds the student received or was scheduled to receive. The student does not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. The student must make arrangements with OU or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when the student withdraw or stops attending are separate from OU’s refund policy. Therefore, the student may still owe funds to OU to cover unpaid institutional charges. OU will also charge the student for any Title IV program funds that OU was required to return. OU’s official withdrawal procedures are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

Withdrawing from or stop attending classes may impact the receipt of future financial aid. Students should familiarize themselves with the Financial Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy section of the Policies, Terms, and Conditions.

Students are strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships prior to withdrawing from or stop attending classes to obtain information on the effects on financial aid.

5. Return of Department of Defense Funds

Regulations require Oakland University to identify students who received Department of Defense Tuition Assistance funds and determine the amount of those funds a student can retain if the student withdraws or stops attending school.

Though a student’s aid is typically posted to a student’s account at the start of each payment period or period of enrollment, students earn the funds as they complete the period. If a student withdraws or stops attending before completing over 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, the amount of Department of Defense Tuition Assistance funds the student is considered to have earned must be prorated.

For example, if a student completed 30% of the payment period or period of enrollment, the student earns 30% of the funds that the student was originally scheduled to receive. Once the student has completed over 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, the student is considered to have earned 100% of the funds the student was scheduled to receive for that period.

If the student received excess Department of Defense Tuition Assistance funds, OU must return the funds to the Department of Defense program.

The requirements for returning Department of Defense Tuition Assistance funds when a student withdraws are separate from OU’s refund policy. Therefore, the student may still owe funds to OU to cover unpaid institutional charges. OU will also charge the student for any Department of Defense Tuition Assistance funds that OU was required to return. OU’s official withdrawal procedures are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

Students are strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships prior to withdrawing from classes or ceasing attendance to obtain information about the financial impact.

6. Financial Aid Requirements

6.1 Unsatisfied Requirements
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships may request additional documentation before financial aid can be processed. Common requirement categories include Verification, Diploma, and resolving conflicting information such as Social Security, and Citizenship information. All requirements will be posted on MySAIL. View instructions for checking requirements status on MySAIL.

6.2 Verification

Some students may be selected for Verification, a process through which the Federal Department of Education requires Oakland University to verify the information on the FAFSA is accurate. This process requires you to submit worksheets and/or tax information to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for processing within 14 days of notification. Failure to provide the requirements within 14 days could result in a delay in finalization of your financial aid and could result in a balance due to the university. If you fail to submit verification within 14 days of being notified, Oakland University will continue to process verification for you until 120 days from your last date of attendance or until the deadline established each year by the Department of Education (typically mid-September), whichever is earlier. A full list of your required worksheets and/or tax information can be accessed via MySAIL.

Verification could result in a change to the information reported on your FAFSA, including a change to your Student Aid Index and/or financial aid eligibility. You may be asked, via requirements messaging, to submit a FAFSA correction and/or Student Financial Services may correct information on your behalf if the worksheets and/or tax information submitted result in a necessary change. After corrections are made, if your eligibility changes, you will receive notification via your Oakland University email about a revised financial aid offer.

6.3 High School Graduation
A copy of a high school diploma, a final high school transcript with the date of high school graduation posted, or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or transcript is required to receive financial aid for incoming freshmen or transfer students with less than 60 transfer credits. Most often, this documentation is provided automatically by the student’s high school, however, a requirement may be placed on the student’s account if Oakland University is not in receipt of the appropriate documentation.

If state law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent), a transcript or the equivalent, signed by the student's parent or guardian, that lists the secondary school courses the student completed and documents the successful completion of a secondary school education in a homeschool setting. If state law requires a homeschooled student to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent), a copy of that credential is sufficient. Students with a foreign high school transcript must obtain a course-by-course transcript evaluation by World Education Service (wes.org) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ece.org) for high schools attended outside of the U.S.

Upon request students must provide the appropriate documentation to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships no later than 30 days prior to the start of the first semester the student will attend.

If the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships has reason to question the validity of the high school, the diploma, the transcript, or the GED, a student may be asked to provide additional documentation directly from Parchment, their high school, or the institution granting the credential.

6.4 Conflicting information
Documents necessary to resolve conflicting information are due to Financial Services within 14 days of notification.

7. Enrollment Status

Undergraduate students are encouraged to enroll in sufficient credits to complete degree requirements within four years. The following minimum enrollment requirements determine eligibility for financial aid each semester. View Section 3.5 for information on repeated coursework. Audit courses, credit by examination (competency credit), continuing education courses, professional development, and courses not required for the current degree program do not count in enrollment status and do not qualify for financial aid.

Graduate courses taken by Undergraduate students will not be counted in the total enrollment and will not be eligible for financial aid, unless the student is in a combined undergraduate/graduate program and the graduate courses fulfill requirements in the undergraduate degree. Undergraduate courses taken by Graduate students will not be counted in the total enrollment and will not be eligible for financial aid.

The enrollment chart is effective for Fall, Winter, and Summer semesters.

Enrollment StatusUndergraduate*Graduate
Full time12 or more credits8 or more credits
Three-quarter time9-11 credits6-7 credits
Half-time6-8 credits4-5 credits
Less than half-time**1-5 credits1-3 credits

*Includes first and second undergraduate degrees, teacher certification, undergraduate and graduate non-degree preparatory course work
** Limited financial aid available to students enrolled less than half-time as most financial aid requires full time or half-time enrollment

8. Financial Aid Payment and Refunds

8.1 Financial Aid Disbursement Policy
Financial aid awards are paid each semester by crediting the student account (excluding non-disbursable financial aid such as work study) up to 10 days before the first date of the semester, provided all financial aid requirements are met and the enrolled number of credits is the same number of credits for which the student is awarded.* If financial aid requirements are met after the date financial aid is scheduled to pay, financial aid will disburse within 24-72 hours after the requirement status reflects as satisfied on MySAIL. Because Oakland University's default rate is less than 15% for each of the three most recent fiscal years, single semester loans are able to be disbursed in a single installment and new borrowers are not subject to a 30 day delay for their first loan disbursement.

*For students enrolled in a combination of part-of-term sessions (i.e. 2 week, 4 week, 7 week, etc.), financial aid awards will not pay until the student is attending all courses for which he or she is enrolled and the requirement status reflects as satisfied on MySAIL.

Financial aid may be based on the number of registered credits and/or on-campus housing status at the time of disbursement.

Disbursement criteria includes, but may not be limited to:

  • Requirement status reflects satisfied on MySAIL
  • Student is attending the appropriate number of credits to receive awards on the disbursement date (usually full-time)
  • Satisfy financial aid requirements and fulfill on campus housing status requirements (if applicable)
  • Complete/sign all applicable entrance counseling and promissory notes (if applicable)
  • Enrollment in a qualifying degree program

If the student receives a disbursement from a Federal Direct Loan or Federal PLUS Loan the student may cancel or reduce their loan(s) by submitting a Revision Form, found on our Forms page to Financial Services within 30 days of receiving an email notification of disbursement. Loans will be canceled or reduced and the student will be billed for the amount owed to OU. Notifications received after 30 days will not be processed.

8.2 Financial Aid Refunds
If financial aid exceeds allowable charges (i.e., tuition, on-campus housing), the student (or parent, if the parent received a PLUS loan) will receive a refund to pay other education related expenses. Refunds for students are direct deposited within 14 days after the date financial aid was disbursed to the student account. A parent expecting a refund from excess Parent PLUS loan funds will be issued via check sent through the postal mail. If a refund is issued while there are unpaid charges on the account, a hold will be placed on the account to prevent registration, transcripts, diplomas, or other statements of record. If any charges are incurred on the account after financial aid has been refunded, it is the student’s responsibility to pay the additional charges.

If financial aid is disbursed and the student (or parent, in the case of a PLUS loan refund) receives a refund, then drops a class, withdraws from the university, or drops below eligibility for financial aid before the credit lock date, financial aid may be canceled or adjusted and the student will be required to return any refunds provided to the student or parent, as well as pay any balance due to the University. If financial aid is disbursed and the student receives a refund of excess aid beyond the balance due, then registers for additional credits, is billed for new housing and/or meal plan charges, the student must use the refund to pay the additional billed amount immediately.

8.2.1 Direct Deposit for Financial Aid Refunds
Students are encouraged to enroll in direct deposit for the fastest, most secure way to receive a refund. View instructions to enroll in direct deposit through MySAIL. Direct deposit is not available for a parent receiving a refund from a parent PLUS loan.

Students and parents (when applicable) should cash refund checks in a timely manner to avoid having to contact the State of Michigan or Oakland University to retrieve funds escheated and/or to avoid losing financial aid funds for which the student was eligible at the time of disbursement. Per State of Michigan regulations, all un-cashed refund checks (except for federal financial aid funds) are to be escheated (sent) to the State of Michigan. Oakland University escheats these checks when they become one year old. Federal regulations stipulate a refund check resulting from the application of federal financial aid funds is due to escheat to the State of Michigan, the university must instead return the federal funds to the appropriate aid program. Oakland University returns un-cashed federal financial aid refunds on a monthly basis.

8.2.2 Purchasing Books with a Refund
If the student is planning to purchase books with a financial aid refund, it is important for the student, or parent if the parent received a PLUS loan, to expect the refund only after all financial aid requirements have been met and institutional tuition and on-campus housing charges have been paid. Student submitting documents late need to anticipate adequate time for processing. Oakland University does not use vouchers for purchasing books. Students who do not receive a financial aid refund must be prepared to pay for books out of pocket.

8.3 Financial Aid Course Credit Lock
Financial aid is finalized based on the registered course credits as of 11:59 PM on the published credit lock date. Courses and credits added after that time are not considered in financial aid budgets or for disbursement of financial aid scholarships, grants, and loans. If a financial aid disbursement occurred and a class is dropped between the disbursement date and the last day to drop a class with a 100% tuition refund, the financial aid might be reduced. Students who are considering dropping a class or withdrawing are encouraged to discuss their circumstances with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

8.4 Non-Attendance
Non-attendance does not relieve students of financial responsibility for the courses in which they have enrolled or their housing contract.

9. Billing and Payments

9.1 eBill
Students must log in to eBill to view their billing statements or pay their bills online.

Oakland University utilizes eBill, an online billing system which offers students the ability to:

  • View current and historic billing statements
  • Save most common payment methods
  • Sign up parents, spouses, and others as authorized users
  • Schedule payment for a date in the future
  • Make payments from a checking or savings account, debit card or credit card
  • Enroll in a payment plan

9.2 Billing Notifications
Billing notifications are emailed to students using their University email account. Students are responsible for checking their email account for billing notifications.

Charges for the fall semester are assessed in July and due August 15. Charges for the winter semester are assessed in November and due December 15. Charges for the summer semester are assessed in March and due April 15. eBill statements are sent via OU email when charges are assessed. View important payments and cancellation information.

Grants, scholarships and loans are reflected on the eBill and deducted from any university allowable charges, provided all financial aid requirements are met, and the student's expected enrollment on the MySail Award Offer page matches their actual enrollment. Billing notifications are emailed to students using their Oakland University e-mail account.

Students are responsible for checking their email account for billing notifications. Students must log into eBill to view their billing statements or pay their bills online. If an eBill is received with an amount due, it is important to pay the bill by the due date. If there is an amount due and financial aid is expected to pay the bill and financial aid is not reflected on the bill, the bill must paid by the due date. Common reasons why financial aid is not on the bill notification are the student: did not yet apply for financial aid, recently applied for financial aid, did not complete financial aid requirements, recently submitted financial aid documents and/or the student's Expected Enrollment Status does not match actual enrolled credit hours. It is important to provide the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships with adequate processing time.

9.3 Payments
For information on how to make payments, visit https://www.oakland.edu/financialservices/student-account-information/how-to-pay-ebill/.

Payments made from a business or corporate credit card payments (even if they are owned by the student or the student's parents or spouse), employee tuition benefits, housing waivers, reimbursement vouchers, trusts, and private scholarships may be reflected as an outside Student Resource and counted as a financial aid when determining eligibility. Outside resources will be included in the federal 1098T issued at the end of the calendar year.

Students who do not drop or withdraw from their courses by the deadlines, as published in the Important Dates Calendar, are responsible for payment of all tuition and other charges, along with any installment plan charges, late payment charges, etc.

9.4 Third Party Payers
Oakland University accepts vouchers from most employers and other sponsors. Mail or hand-deliver any vouchers by the semester due date. Credit for the voucher will be applied to the student’s account before the next bill due date.  Learn more about third party billing.

9.5 Payment Plans
Sign up for the OU Payment Plan each semester and spread tuition, on-campus housing and other charges into smaller payments. Enroll or learn more about OU Payment Plans.

9.6 Late Payment Penalties
Balances left unpaid by the payment due date are subject to the payment and cancellation procedures. In limited circumstances some remaining charges will result in a 1.5% monthly late payment penalty charge. Financial aid is unable to pay for a late payment penalty. Any late payment penalties assessed are the responsibility of the student and will not be paid by financial aid.

10. Holds and Cancellation

In the event of a past due balance, missing address, missing social security number, or other instances, a hold may be placed on a student’s account. View a list of holds and contact information for each type.

If a student's classes and/or housing are canceled, students have the ability to re-register for classes based on availability, and submit another housing contract. Payment will be due before the next cancellation date as published on the payments and cancellation website.

11. Satisfactory Academic Progress

Oakland University is committed to providing fair and equal access to resources to meet educational costs for students. To receive federal, state, and institutional financial aid at OU, students must meet the financial aid standards of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy.

Federal regulations require Financial Aid and Scholarships to monitor the academic progress of students at end of each semester. The complete Oakland University academic record including transfer credits is considered regardless of whether or not financial aid was received each semester. Students who fail to achieve the minimum standards may lose financial aid eligibility.

The SAP standards for financial aid are applicable to but not limited to the following programs: Federal College Work Study, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Pell Grants, Federal PLUS Loans, Federal Teach Grant, Michigan Competitive Scholarships, Michigan Future Educator awards, Michigan Achievement Scholarship, and all Oakland University awards. Some scholarships have standards stricter than the financial aid satisfactory academic progress standards.

Withdrawn credits count toward credit hours attempted. All repeated credits count in the number of attempted credits. Repeated credits are only counted once in the cumulative completed credits. View Section 3.5 for more information regarding repeating courses.

Ungraded credits, including incompletes and in progress grades, count in the number of attempted credits, but they are not included in the credits completed or in the GPA calculation. Students with ungraded credits will be placed on a financial aid warning status for the following semester, upon evaluation at the end of the current semester. Students can receive financial aid while on a warning status. Students will not be eligible to receive financial aid beyond the warning semester if credits remain ungraded upon evaluation at the end of the warning status semester. If a student is already on a financial aid warning status during the semester when ungraded credits occur, the student will be placed on a financial aid ineligible status until the credits are graded and eligibility for financial aid is evaluated.

Eligibility for financial aid will be reviewed, but cannot be received retroactively for a prior semester due to completion of ungraded credits.

11.1 Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
Three criteria must be met to satisfy the standards of satisfactory academic progress:

11.1.1. Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative Oakland University grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 (3.00 for graduate students) at the end of each semester. Students who fail to meet this requirement are placed on warning status and must meet the GPA requirement by the end of the next enrolled semester at OU. Students can receive financial aid while on a warning status. However, undergraduate students who fail to achieve a 2.00 GPA (3.00 for graduate students) while on a warning status become ineligible for financial aid the following semester of attendance at OU.

11.1.2. Students must complete a minimum of 67% of cumulative credit hours attempted including transfer credits by the end of each semester. Students who fail to meet the credit hour requirement are placed on a financial aid warning status and must meet the credit hour requirement by the end of the next enrolled semester at OU. Students can receive financial aid while on warning status. However, students who fail to complete at least 67% of attempted credit hours while on a warning status become ineligible for financial aid beginning with the next semester of attendance at OU.

11.1.3. Students must complete their academic program by the end of the semester in which 150% of attempted credits including transfer credits is reached. Second Undergraduate and Teacher Certification students are considered to have attempted 92 credits plus any credits attempted for the second degree or teaching certification when determining the 150% calculation.

11.2 Additional Circumstances
11.2.1. Withdrawn credits count toward credit hours attempted.

11.2.2. All repeated credits count in the number of attempted credits. A passed course may be repeated once. A passed course repeated more than once will not be included in enrollment status. A failed course may be repeated until it is passed. Repeated credits are only counted once in the cumulative completed credits.

11.2.3. Ungraded credits including incompletes and in progress grades count in the number of attempted credits, but they are not included in the credits completed or the GPA. Students with ungraded credits will be placed on a financial aid warning status for the following semester upon evaluation at the end of the current semester. Students can receive financial aid while on a warning status. Students will not be eligible to receive financial aid beyond the warning semester if credits remain ungraded upon evaluation at the end of the warning status semester. If a student is already on a financial aid warning status during the semester when ungraded credits occur, the student will be placed on a financial aid ineligible status until the credits are graded and eligibility for financial aid is evaluated. Financial aid cannot be received retroactively due to completion of ungraded credits.

11.2.4. Audit credits do not influence grade point average. They do not receive credit and are not counted in credits attempted or completed. Audit credits are not eligible for financial aid.

11.2.5 Credits by examination (competency credits) are counted in credits attempted and completed. They do not influence the GPA. Credits by examination do not qualify for financial aid.

11.3 Regaining Eligibility
Undergraduate students may automatically regain financial aid eligibility by achieving a 2.00 minimum Oakland University GPA (3.00 for graduate students) and/or successfully completing a minimum of 67% of attempted credit hours including transfer credits at their own expense. Financial aid may be received in the next semester of enrollment when the standards are satisfied. Financial aid cannot be received retroactively for any semester in which satisfactory academic progress was reestablished.

11.4 Appeal Process
Students may appeal the loss of financial aid eligibility due to a deficient GPA or credit hours if extenuating circumstances exist such as the death of a close relative of the student or an injury or illness of the student. Students must complete a SAP Appeal Form, found on our forms page, and explain why they failed to meet the Financial Aid SAP standards and what has changed that will allow the student to meet the SAP standards at the next evaluation. Documentation must be included with the appeal to support the circumstances. Appeals must be received by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships before the last day to drop a class with a 100% refund for the semester in which it applies. Appeals received after the deadline date will be processed for the next semester. An email notification of the decision of the appeal will be sent within 7 days of receipt of the appeal or by the deadline date whichever is earlier. Approved appeals are not retroactive to prior semesters. Appeals can be sent to:

Financial Aid and Scholarships
North Foundation Hall, Room 120
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309

A Financial Aid Appeals Committee reviews satisfactory academic progress appeals. Students are responsible for providing adequate information and documentation for the committee to consider. Decisions will be made based on the information provided without any subsequent meeting on the part of the committee. Decisions of the committee are final.

12. Scholarship and Grant Renewal

Renewal awards are finalized after grades have been posted for the winter semester. View the OU Grant and Scholarship Renewal Criteria.

13. Student Employment

Student employment permits on-campus jobs for undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students enrolled at OU at least half-time; a few off-campus jobs are also available. Federal Work Study awards are listed on the student’s financial aid offer, if eligible. Additional student employment opportunities are available for students who did not receive a Federal Work Study Award. Direct deposit is recommended as the fastest, safest method to receive student paychecks. Student employment jobs are posted on Handshake. Learn more about student employment and forms required to work at OU.

13.1 Direct Deposit for Payroll
Student employees can enroll in direct deposit for their paychecks. Payroll direct deposit is recommended as the fastest, most secure way to receive a paycheck. Enroll and learn more about Payroll Direct Deposit

14. Special & Unusual Circumstances

14.1 Special Circumstances
Oakland University recognizes students and their families may experience extenuating financial circumstances the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is unable to take into consideration when applying for financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships may review certain circumstances to determine if financial aid eligibility is impacted. Extenuating circumstances can include:

  • Separation from work due to layoff or involuntary termination
  • Marital separation, pending divorce or divorce (parties must live in separate residences) after filing the FAFSA
  • Death of a parent or spouse after filing the FAFSA
  • Loss of benefits, including child support
  • Medical expenses in excess of 21% of Adjust Gross Income (AGI) not covered by insurance
  • A family with more than one student in college with costs not covered by gift aid

Students requesting consideration for a special circumstance must:

  • Submit a FAFSA for the academic year for which they are requesting consideration
  • Have received an initial financial aid offer
  • Be able to provide supporting documentation to substantiate the special circumstance


14.2 Unusual Circumstances
Oakland University recognizes students may be unable to provide parental information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) due to extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances can include:

  • One parent is deceased and there has been no contact or financial support received from the living parent for a significant period of time
  • Physical or emotional abuse
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Parent abandonment and/or unable to locate parents

Extenuating circumstances do not include: 

  • Student considers themselves self-sufficient
  • Parent refusal to provide information
  • Student is no longer living at home
  • Student is living at home and paying rent
  • Student does not want their parents' assistance

Students requesting consideration for an unusual circumstance must:

  • Complete a FAFSA, indicating they are unable to provide parental information, for the academic year for which they are requesting consideration
  • Contact Student Financial Services to discuss additional information and documentation that may be needed for an unusual circumstance evaluation

To request consideration for a special or unusual circumstance evaluation, students must discuss extenuating circumstances with a financial aid adviser. The process and requirements of submitting the evaluation will be discussed. Students can expect to receive a final determination of the evaluation within 60 days of the receipt of all necessary documentation. Submitting a special and/or unusual circumstance request for evaluation does not guarantee an approval. Additional information related to Special and Unusual Circumstances evaluations can be found on our Forms page.

15. Fraudulent Information

If Oakland University suspects that a student, employee, or other individual has misreported information or altered documentation to fraudulently obtain federal funds, the individual will be reported to the Office of Inspector General (OIG). Information on how to report an individual can be found in the Federal Student Aid Handbook.

16. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships Code of Conduct

16.1 Code of Conduct for Financial Aid Professionals 
As a participating institution, the financial aid staff at Oakland University adheres to the ethical principles and guidelines of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) as well as the Federal Education Loan and Private Education Loan Code of Conduct.

16.2 Preamble
This code of conduct applies to all financial aid professionals at Oakland University. The intent of the code of conduct is to reiterate and reflect the University's continued commitment to conduct all financial aid practices with integrity, which are free from conflicts of interest, and are in the interest of students. At Oakland all financial aid professionals working within the Financial Aid Office shall adhere to the following policies, which have and will continue to govern our practices as it relates to all entities involved in any manner of financial aid. 

The purpose of this policy is to clearly communicate our professional code of conduct, which prohibits conflicts of interest and establishes standards for all financial aid professionals working for the University. 

16.3 Code of Conduct
Financial aid professionals shall:

  • Refrain from taking any action for personal benefit. 
  • Refrain from taking action that is believed to be contrary to law, regulation, or the best interest of the students and parents that we serve. 
  • Ensure that the information provided is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain. 
  • Be objective in making decisions and advising the institution regarding relationships with any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid. 
  • Refrain from soliciting or accepting anything of other than nominal value from any entity (other than the institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the U.S. Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loans, including anything of value (including reimbursement of expenses) for serving on an advisory body or as part of a training activity of or by any such entity. 
  • Disclose to the institution, in such a manner that the institution may prescribe, any involvement with or interest in any entity involved in any aspect of financial aid.