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Passport Scholarship Program


It's no secret that LSA students value diverse learning opportunities, especially those acquired through experiential learning like studying abroad or interning in a new country. The LSA Passport Scholarship Program helps make these experiences possible for students who might not otherwise be able to afford the initial costs associated with acquiring a passport.

For eligible students, the LSA Passport Scholarship covers the entire cost of an expedited U.S. Passport. In addition, our dedicated passport team provides guidance to students through the process of collecting necessary documentation, taking a passport photo, and completing their application. They also bring U.S. passport officials directly to campus, eliminating the need to travel to a passport office. 

The passport team is a partnership comprised of individuals from the LSA Scholarship Office, the Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS), and the Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP)/Summer Bridge Scholars Program.

Each year, the College of LSA identifies students who are eligible to receive an LSA Passport Scholarship and invites them to participate in the Passport Program. To qualify for an LSA Passport Scholarship, a student:

  • Must be a first-year undergraduate registered full-time and pursuing a degree program (or MDDP) in the College of LSA. Students first transferring into LSA from an outside institution (not a U-M college) are also eligible.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Must apply for and receive need-based support through the Office of Financial Aid.
  • Must be eligible to receive a Pell Grant.
  • Must not currently have a passport. Exception: Students with a passport expiring on or before April 25, 2019 may still be eligible to receive this scholarship.

There is no application for the LSA Passport Scholarship. The College of LSA identifies eligible candidates and invites them to participate at the start of their first year at U-M. Email invitations usually go out to selected students in August. 

Congratulations! Keep an eye on your inbox for emails from our passport team providing important updates on next steps and sign-up times. You can mark the following dates on your calendar for the 2019 Passport Program:

Photo Days

These are the dates when you will have your passport photo taken free of charge:

  • September 24, 2019
  • September 25, 2019
  • September 26, 2019

Passport Days

These are the dates when U.S. passport officials will be on campus to process your passport application materials:

  • October 22, 2019
  • October 23, 2019

Still have questions about the program? Our FAQ has answers to common questions students have about the process. 

What should I bring with me to my Passport Day appointment?

Be sure to bring the following documentation with you when you arrive for your appointment with U.S. passport officials:

  • Passport application (unsigned)
  • Birth Certificate (Original or copy with a raised seal)
  • Government issued photo identification (typically a State ID or Driver's License)
  • Personal check or money order for $205 written out to the U.S. Department of State

Your passport photos will be taken during Passport Photo Days and kept on file by our passport team, so you will not need to bring those with you. During your photo session, we will also provide you with a passport application and you'll be able to sign up for an appointment slot with passport officials. 

 

When and how will the LSA Passport Scholarship be applied to my account?

The LSA Scholarships Office will place the LSA Passport Scholarship on student accounts about a week before Passport Day. Students with direct deposit set up through the university will receive their refund the Monday before Passport Day so they can procure a money order or certified check with those funds.

If a student does not have direct deposit set up, their refund will issue as a check and could take several weeks to arrive. This is why we require that students set up their direct deposit well before Passport Day.

Read below if you have questions about setting up direct deposit and getting a money order or certified check. 

How long will the passport last?

U.S. passports are valid for 10 years, though it is recommended that they are renewed at least 6 months before their expiration date. This is especially important if you plan to travel around the time it would expire. 

I was selected for the Scholarship Passport Program. If I do not participate this year, can I get a passport next year instead?

Unfortunately, no. The Passport Scholarship Program is only available to eligible students during their first year at UM. It cannot be deferred. 

I was selected, but I'm not planning to study abroad or intern in another country. Am I still eligible?

Yes! If you received an invitation from us, we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity, regardless of whether you have made explicit plans to travel. Because obtaining a passport takes time and money, it's best handled well before you plan any upcoming travel. A passport lasts ten years and will give you access to travel and employment opportunities that may come up even after you graduate from UM. 

How do I set up direct deposit on my student account?

To set up direct deposit, sign into Wolverine Access and click on the tile that says Payroll & Compensation. Then, click the link for Direct Deposit and follow the system prompts.

If you have specific questions about setting up your direct deposit, contact the university Payroll Office.

It is recommended that students selected to participate in the Passport Program set up their direct deposit as soon as possible (if they have not done so already). At the very latest, direct deposit should be set up at least one week before Passport Day to ensure that scholarship funds are available for the check or money order.

How do I get a money order or certified check?

Students participating in Passport Day are required to bring a personal check or money order in the exact amount of their expedited passport fee (currently $205) made out to the U.S Department of State. No cash will be accepted by U.S. passport officials. 

If you choose to use a personal check, it must be in your name (not your parents') and it cannot be a starter check. Personal checks can be ordered through your bank or credit union.

Money orders can be obtained locally from 7-Eleven, CVS, or the U.S. Post Office for a nominal fee (ranges anywhere from $0.75 or $1.20). They can be purchased in the required amount using cash or credit cards. 

How do I obtain a copy of my birth certificate?

In order to participate in Passport Day, all invited students must bring an original birth certificate or a copy with a raised seal. Parents will often have an original wherever they keep family records, but if you or your parents do not have one, or have misplaced it, you can still request a copy.

In many cases, a copy can be requested from the local vital records office in the county where you were born. If you are not sure which county you were born in, or if your county does not have a local vital records office, the U.S. government has compiled contact information for each state's main vital records office. Additionally, their page provides information about how to request a birth certificate if you were born abroad.

What should I do if I don't have a state ID or driver's license?

For more information about which kinds of government-issued photo identification are accepted by the U.S. Passport office, please check this list from the U.S. Department of State. If you are still unsure of which ID to bring with you to your passport appointment, please reach out to us ahead of your appointment date at lsapassportscholarships@umich.edu

Do I really have to give my birth certificate to the passport office? When will I get it back?

Yes. We know it may sound a little scary, but the U.S. passport process does require submitting your birth certificate along with the rest of your application materials. You will receive your birth certificate back, alongside your official passport, usually anywhere from 2-3 weeks of submitting your materials at Passport Day. 

Can I share my Passport Program invitation with a friend?

No. If you receive an invitation from us, please do not share it with your friends. This is not a public event and only students who are directly invited to the Passport Scholarship Program are able to participate. Our team keeps a full list of the students selected and only those students are provided with scholarship funds and scheduled for Photo Days and Passport Days.