Financial aid FAQs

Is there financial aid available from SNRE? We offer some funding opportunities to both incoming students and continuing students. Incoming students may be eligible for SNRE tuition awards; your application to the school is your application to these awards. Funding decisions are made by faculty and admitted applicants are notified about the award in their SNRE recommendation for admission letter or shortly thereafter. As a continuing student, you have access to other opportunities, such as SNRE conference travel funds, internship funds, and PhD research funds. Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) and Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRA) are also hired to assist with SNRE courses and research.

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Does SNRE review my FAFSA? No - all FAFSA materials are submitted and reviewed at the U-M Office of Financial Aid (OFA). OFA creates your U-M financial aid package, and posts your aid on your student account as seen throughWolverineAccess.

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Will my financial aid package be affected if I'm registered less than full-time status when the tuition bill is due? The Office of Financial Aid packages all incoming graduate student financial aid assuming one will be a full-time student. The Registrar's Office/Student Financial Operations office sets the part or full-time student status and tuition due dates. http://www.sfo.umich.edu/payinfo2.html#tuitrmbd If one is registered for less than 9 credits when the bill is created and posted on one's WolverineAccess student account, one 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, one may be receiving 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 finaid money early, as you may need to pay it back! Tuition bills are due at the end of the month. If after the 3rd week of the semester you are still registered as a part-time student, then your financial aid package will be adjusted to reflect part-time status. If you have further questions about your financial aid package, please contact our liaison in the central Office of Financial Aid, Sharon Blumenfeld (blumensm@umich.edu).

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Is there financial aid available from the Rackham Graduate School? The Rackham Graduate School offers several fellowships for incoming students. Students are nominated by their individual schools, and similar to the SNRE tuition awards, your application to our school will help us determine your eligibility. Students are notified of these awards shortly after they are admitted. Rackham also offers some funding opportunities for continuing students in the form of fellowships and funds for presenting at conferences.

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How can I fund my international research? The International Institute is an important resource for people interested in international work, as are the various area studies offices on campus. Most area studies offer a variety of funding opportunities, including the Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship, a good way to fund your graduate studies as well as language and area studies.

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I am an international student. How can I fund my education? The International Institute is a good resource for you. There are several fellowships available specifically for foreign students. There are also sources of funding outside of UM.

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What about teaching assistantships and other campus jobs? SNRE hires around 40 GSIs each year. GSRAs are also hired. SNRE students enter our program with a variety of academic and professional backgrounds; hence, our students are eligible to teach in several departments within the UM system. Program in the Environment (PitE), communications, various foreign language departments, biology, sociology, and many other departments hire SNRE students as instructors and research assistants. Contact the department you are interested in working with for more specifics. You may also want to search the UM Student Employment website for other campus jobs.

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If I am offered a fellowship through SNRE but wish to defer my admission, is my fellowship deferred as well? No, your fellowship can not be deferred if you defer your admission. Your application will be in the following year's applicant pool to be considered for funding. There is no guarantee you will receive the fellowship offer again. However, if you accept admission and receive a GSA position or other support, and wish to defer your fellowship a term, that is possible. Please let us know (snre.admissions@umich.edu) your plans so we can adjust payments accordingly.

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When and where should I begin my funding search? The sooner you begin searching and applying for funding opportunities the better. There are many application deadlines in the summer and early fall, which makes it very important that you begin to identify what opportunities you would like to apply for as soon as possible. We at SNRE are excited about helping you identify funding sources, and we hope you take advantage of the services we offer. Check out the searchable SNRE Student Funding Database. Doctoral students - you may want to check the SNRE Doctoral Forms, Policies, Petitions page - there's a sample list of doctoral funding sources pulled from the funding database.

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Below are some helpful funding-related government websites:

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How do I write a research funding proposal? Writing a funding proposal can be difficult. Usually a research proposal and a budget are needed for non-University applications. The UM Research website offers step-by-step instructions on-line as well as many workshops that will help you write a winning proposal.

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How can my master's opus research be funded? 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, or other types of funding. SNRE compiled a searchable database (kerberos login/password required) of these opportunities (however it is no longer maintained). There are also many opportunities for internship experiences. SNRE tries to keep students abreast of new announcements that we receive about these opportunities. Make an appointment by emailing snre-student-funding@umich.edu or stop by OAP.

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Where can project students get funding? SNRE has limited funding available, with deadlines in November and April. In addition, a variety of institutions are interested in funding project work. You will work with your project group and project advisor to identify funding opportunities. You can also search the database mentioned above. Many community organizations are interested in funding interdisciplinary teams.

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Is there funding for SNRE student groups?  Yes, if you are a registered UM SNRE student group, there are funds available (thank you alumni donors!).  More information and application guidelines can be found on this page: http://snre.umich.edu/current_students/financial_aid/other

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Am I eligible for Federal Financial Aid? If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you should complete the FAFSA. You likely completed this same application as an undergraduate. This process determines your eligibility for federal loans and work-study; most SNRE graduate students are not eligible for federal grants.

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Do I have to pay taxes on financial aid? 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.

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Other useful links

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Other useful funding database links

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Who do I contact if I have questions about SNRE funding opportunities? If you are a prospective student, please contact Diana Woodworth dianaw@umich.edu, our Financial Aid Coordinator. If you are a current student, please contact Diana - either in person or via email.

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