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Financial Aid

The cost to attend college for a full year is more than tuition alone. There are additional room and board, books and supplies, personal and transportation expenses. How do you pay for college? Financial aid helps millions of students pay their education beyond high school.

Net Price Calculator- available on a college’s or university’s website to allow prospective students to enter information about themselves to find out what students like them paid to attend the institution in the previous year, after taking grants and scholarship aid into account.

Net Price is the amount that a student pays to attend an institution in a single academic year AFTER subtracting scholarships and grants the student receives.


Steps to Apply for Financial Aid
  1. Apply for admission to all of your colleges
  2. Apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at after October 1st. Undocumented students should apply for state financial aid using the MN Dream Act Application at after October 1st.
  3. Apply for as many scholarships as you can. Institutions and private sources offer scholarships. Utilize the CCC as a resource to find scholarships for colleges.
  4. Receive college admittance letters (timing varies).
  5. Receive letters from colleges outlining your financial aid eligibility (timing varies, depending on when you submitted your FAFSA/MN Dream Act Application), and respond accordingly.
Financial Aid Applications

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - used to apply for the MN State Grant, federal Pell Grants, Direct Loans and other financial aid available at specific schools. The form requires you to submit information about your family’s income and assets, and your status as a resident.

  • FAFSA4caster- is a free financial aid calculator that gives you an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid. This information helps families plan ahead for college. You must use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for aid once you have decided to apply for admission and attend college.
  • FAFSA on the Web Worksheet- the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet provides a preview of the questions that you may be asked while completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you can fill this worksheet out, you are ready to start your online FAFSA application. 

CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE- some colleges may require the CollegeBoard CSS/Finanical Aid PROFILE as part of their financial aid application process. The PROFILE is an online application that collects information used by certain colleges and scholarship programs to award institutional aid funds. Some colleges may require additional information, such as tax returns or an institutional application.

* Participating Colleges, Universities and Scholarship Programs

Minnesota Dream Act Application- for undocumented students to apply for state financial aid. Students who meet the criteria in the MN Dream Act will be eligible to apply for the following benefits: in-state resident tuition rates at Minnesota public colleges and universities, MN state financial aid available to students who meet state residency requirements and any privately funded financial aid through Minnesota public colleges and universities.


Reduced Out-of-State Tuition Options

Reciprocity- Minnesota has agreements with WI, ND, SD, the Canadian province of Manitoba, and a limited agreement with Iowa Lakes Community College in northwestern Iowa to provide lower tuition for Minnesota residents to attend public colleges and universities in these states.

  1. First, apply for admission to the participating reciprocity college or university.
  2. Second, apply for reciprocity online. Eligible undocumented students must complete a paper reciprocity application. New applications are available each spring for the following academic year.

Midwest Student Exchange Program- Students from Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin may be eligible for tuition reductions at certain Midwest public and private schools and programs of study through the Midwest Student Exchange Program.