A college education has become a significant expense for most families and requires careful planning. Whatever your financial situation is, we encourage you to use this information to help you understand college funding so you can navigate the financial aid process with greater ease.

State Financial Aid

States provide many financial aid opportunities to help ease the cost of a college education. Please select the state you reside in to learn about state sponsored internships, scholarships and financial aid programs for undergraduate students and assistantships, fellowships, and residency programs for graduate and professional students.


For more detailed information on state financial aid programs contact:

Minnesota Higher Education Services Office

1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350

Saint Paul, MN 55108-5227



You must go to the website for ALL the information on each program.

The following are financial aid programs available to students who are residents of the state of Minnesota.

SELF Loans

The SELF Loan is a long-term, low-interest educational loan primarily for Minnesota students who need assistance paying for education beyond high school.The SELF program has provided over $1.7 billion in loans to students since 1984 and is administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, a state agency.

Who is eligible?

Eligible students are Minnesota residents attending eligible postsecondary institutions in-state or out-of-state, and nonresidents attending eligible postsecondary institutions within Minnesota. Students must be attending a SELF eligible school at least half-time and making satisfactory progress. A SELF eligible school is one that has a participation contract with the Office of Higher Education.

View a list of schools participating in the SELF Program.

Because the SELF program is not subsidized by the federal or state government, a credit-worthy co-signer is needed to insure continuous repayment on the loan. By requiring co-signers and interest to be paid while the borrower is in school, costs are kept to a minimum allowing for lower interest rates for students.

There is no minimum income threshold or requirement to demonstrate financial need. There are no application, origination, guarantee or other processing fees deducted from the loan.

Minnesota State Grant

State Grants help students from low- and moderate-income families pay for educational expenses at eligible Minnesota colleges or universities. In 2014, approximately:

  • 31 percent of State Grant funds goes to students with family incomes below $20,000,
  • 44 percent goes to those with incomes between $20,000 and $50,000, and
  • 25 percent goes to those with incomes over $50,000.

Who is Eligible?

Minnesota residents who:

  • Are graduates of a secondary school or its equivalent or are 17 years of age.
  • Will be enrolled as undergraduates for at least three credits at one of more than 130 eligible schools in Minnesota.

Child Care Grant

The Postsecondary Child Care Grant Program helps low income students who have young children pay for child care while the student attends classes.

Who is Eligible?

Minnesota residents who have a child 12 years old or younger (or 14 or younger if the child is handicapped) and whose family size and income qualify for the program. To qualify, student also must:

  • Be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be Minnesota residents.
  • Be enrolled for at least six credits per term.
  • Not have completed four years of postsecondary education. Students who have withdrawn for active military service after December 31, 2010 are given an extra term of eligibility.
  • Not have defaulted on a student loan.

Public Safety Officer’s Survivor Grant

The Public Safety Officer’s Survivor Grant provides educational benefits to dependent children and the surviving spouse of a public safety officer killed in the line of duty on or after January 1, 1973.

Who is Eligible?

To qualify, the spouse or dependent (less than 23 years old) must be enrolled in an undergraduate or certificate program at one of the more than 130 public or private postsecondary schools in Minnesota that participate in the State Grant Program.

Alliss Opportunity Grant Program for Adults Returning to College

Adults may be eligible to take a college credit course for free at one of Minnesota’s community colleges through the Alliss Opportunity Grant Program. The grant covers one course (up to five credits). The cost of books is included in the award, but other restrictions and fees many apply.

Application Process : Contact the community college admissions office for more information and an application. You cannot apply for a grant after you have registered.

Eligibility Requirements : To be eligible for this grant, you must have been out of high school for seven or more years, and not have a bachelor’s degree.

Grants for Dislocated Workers

Dislocated Worker Programs serve individuals dislocated from long-held jobs. The goal is to help workers obtain new employment quickly. These programs focus on upgrading current job skills, retraining workers whose skills are not marketable, and providing support services.

For More Information

Individuals may inquire about Dislocated Worker Programs at local Workforce Centers or call (888) GET-JOBS (888-438-5627).

Military Service Education Benefits

Each branch of the U.S. military has education programs to help members pay for college. To participate in these programs you must meet certain eligibility criteria. Generally, benefits are based on the type and/or length of service.

For help to identify POTENTIAL veteran education benefits or incentives that you may be entitled to receive please visit the interactive benefits flow chart provided by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Higher Education Veterans Programs.

Minnesota Tuition and Textbook Reimbursement Grant Program

The Minnesota Tuition and Textbook Reimbursement Grant Program is available to active members of the Minnesota National Guard enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses.

The program reimburses students for coursework satisfactorily completed at any school approved for veterans benefits. The rate of reimbursement is 100 percent of the tuition cost at any school, not to exceed 100 percent of the per credit rate at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Money is paid directly to the soldier.

Guard members may use this program with the Federal Tuition Assistance and Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits.

Minnesota G.I. Bill

The Minnesota G.I. Bill program is a new program established to provide postsecondary educational assistance to eligible Minnesota veterans who served on or after September 11, 2001. Learn more.

For additional information:

  • Contact your unit administrator, or Senior Non-commissioned Officer
  • Contact 1-888-GI BILL 1
  • Your county veterans’ service officer
  • Minnesota National Guard at (651) 282-4589
  • Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs at (651) 296-2562
  • Ask for VA Pamphlet 22-90-3

Minnesota Academic Excellence Scholarship

Minnesota Academic Excellence Scholarship helps students who have demonstrated outstanding ability, achievement, and potential in one of several subjects: English or creative writing, fine arts, foreign language, math, science, or social science.

Who Is Eligible?

High school graduates must be admitted to enroll full-time in a nonsectarian, baccalaureate degree-granting program at:

  • The University of Minnesota.
  • A Minnesota state university.
  • A Minnesota private, baccalaureate degree-granting college or university.

Students MUST enroll during the year of their high school graduation.

Minnesota Indian Scholarship

Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program provides money to help American Indian students pay for their higher education.

Who is Eligible?

Scholarships are available to eligible American Indian students who are undergraduate or graduate students enrolled full- or three-fourths time.

In order to qualify for this scholarship , you must be:

  • One-fourth or more Indian ancestry
  • A resident of Minnesota
  • A high school graduate or have a GED certificate
  • Able to benefit from an advanced education
  • Accepted by an approved college, university, or vocational school in Minnesota
  • Eligible to receive Pell or State Grant funds

Tribal Education Programs

(Go to the Website)

Minnesota Educational Assistance for War Orphans

Qualified war orphans may receive up to $750 a year from the Department of Veterans Affairs to be used for tuition, books, supplies, board and room.

To be eligible for this program , you must have lost your veteran parent through death because of a service caused condition and have been a resident of Minnesota for two years prior to your application for educational benefits.

Children of deceased veterans also may qualify for free tuition at the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, until they earn a bachelor’s degree. This does not apply to private institutions.

Minnesota Veterans’ Dependents Assistance Program

The Minnesota Veterans’ Dependents Assistance Program provides tuition assistance at most Minnesota colleges and universities to dependents of persons considered to be prisoners of war or persons missing in action — as defined by the Department of Defense — after August 1, 1958.

Students can receive tuition and fee assistance up to a maximum of $250 per year at Minnesota private colleges.

For more information, students should apply to the financial aid office at the school they attend or plan to attend

Education Vouchers for Former Youth In Care

Education vouchers are federal funds made available to states through the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act. Education vouchers are intended to help youth ages 18 to 23 pay for postsecondary education.

Since October 2003, 42 students have received more than $169,700 to help pay for their education. More than $300,000 is still available in the program.

Who Is Eligible?

In order to receive an education voucher, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Experience a county approved out-of-home placement after the age of 14 (this includes relative and kinship placements), or be adopted after age 16
  • Have a high school diploma or a GED certificate
  • Begin a postsecondary program before age 21
  • Attend an accredited public or nonprofit school that has been in existence for at least two years

Minnesota Achieve Scholarship

The Achieve Scholarship program is designed to address two critical barriers to college attendance: lack of academic preparation and financial access. Eligible Minnesota high school graduates who complete any one of four sets of courses defined as rigorous earn a one-time scholarship to help pay for college at a public or private university or college in Minnesota.

To be eligible, all students must:

  • Have graduated from a high school located in Minnesota between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2015 or on or after January 1, 2016
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Meet the definition of Minnesota resident used for state financial aid programs
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
  • Attend an eligible public or private postsecondary institution in Minnesota
  • Must meet the additional academic requirements based on their graduation date

Minnesota GI Bill

The Minnesota GI Bill program was established to provide postsecondary financial assistance to eligible Minnesota veterans who served on or after September 11, 2001. Full-time undergraduate or graduate students may be eligible to receive up to $1,000 per semester or term and part-time students may be eligible to receive up to $500 per semester or term.

Eligibility Requirements

You must be a Minnesota resident enrolled at Minnesota institutions who is a:

  • Veteran who is serving or has served honorably in any branch of the United States armed forces at any time on or after September 11, 2001, or;
  • Non-veteran who has served honorably for a total of five years or more cumulatively as a member of the Minnesota National Guard or any other active or reserve component of the United States armed forces, and any part of that service occurred on or after September 11, 2001, or;
  • Spouse or child of a person who has served in the military at any time on or after September 11, 2001, and who has died or has a total and permanent disability as a direct result of that military service.

To learn more , contact your institution’s financial aid office or the Office of Higher Education at (651) 642-0567. To determine eligibility, you may be required to provide documentation to your institution.

Work Study

Work study programs are jobs offered through the college financial aid office to help you earn money to pay for your education. The financial aid office will determine how many hours you are eligible to work according to your financial need and class load.

Common work-study jobs include tutoring other students, or working in the college cafeteria, technology center, fitness center, bookstore or library. Some jobs will be based on your skills or academic program. Your wage depends on the job and your qualifications, but most students average about 15 hours a week and may earn $3,000 or more per year.

Work study is not considered income on the FAFSA. If you don’t qualify for work study, check with the school’s financial aid administrator about non-subsidized on-campus jobs. Or consider off-campus jobs.

Community Service

AmeriCorps community service jobs may be available from the federal and state governments as well as from local agencies. You may be eligible to receive a stipend and an education award to help pay for your education.

AmeriCorps is a cooperative effort between the federal government, the state, and local agencies to improve community service around the country. Jobs often are available in projects addressing preschool education, dropout prevention, literacy, low-income housing, assisted living for the elderly and people with disabilities, violence prevention, conservation, and neighborhood recycling.

Aid for Veterans Who Have Completed Active Duty

The Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-Chapter 30) provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible veterans for:

  • College, business, technical or vocational school
  • On-the-job training and apprenticeship programs
  • Remedial, deficiency, and refresher training (in some cases)
  • The cost of tests for licenses or certifications needed to get, keep, or advance in a job
  • Correspondence courses
  • Flight training (in some cases)

Each individual state approves schools and courses. To find out if your school or program is approved for educational benefits under the Montgomery GIBill, contact your school’s Veterans Affairs Certifying Official or view a list of approved schools provided by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs State Approving Agency.

Minnesota Educational Assistance for War Veterans

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs provides an educational benefit in the form of a one-time grant to veterans who have exhausted their federal benefits. You can contact your County Veteran Service Officer to assist you in applying for these education benefits.

Who Is Eligible?

To qualify for this program, veterans must:

  • Provide a statement from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs indicating they have used all benefits available under federal veterans programs.
  • Have been a resident of the State of Minnesota at the time of entry into the Armed Forces, and for six months immediately preceding entry.
  • Have some time remaining on their eligibility period for federal veterans benefits.


Education Vouchers for Former Youth In Care

Education vouchers are federal funds made available to states through the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act. Education vouchers are intended to help current and former foster care youth pay for postsecondary education.

Who Is Eligible?

Initial application : Youth applying for an ETV for the first time, or those who previously completed an application but did not receive an ETV award, must be under age 21 bythe application due date and accepted into an accredited postsecondary education or training program. Youth must also meet ONE the following criteria.:

  1. You were in foster care on or after your 16th birthday, and continue to be in foster care up to or beyond your 18th birthday.
  2. You were adopted from foster care after your 16th birthday.
  3. You were in foster care on or after your 16th birthday when a relative accepts a transfer of permanent legal and physical custody through a juvenile court order.
  4. You are/were under state guardianship.

Please go to the website for all the information.