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Financial aid basics

  • To apply for financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) available online at
  • FAFSA is used to apply for a Minnesota State Grant, a Federal Pell Grant, the Minnesota Indian Scholarship, a Direct Loan, and many other financial aid options available at individual colleges.
  • FAFSA requires you to submit information about family and student income and assets.
  • Undocumented students can apply for state financial aid by accessing the online MN Dream Act –State Financial Aid application. For more information visit
  • Minnesota offers a loan program called SELF Loan Program
  • By applying for financial aid, you do not commit yourself to attend any college.


Five Basic Steps to Applying for Financial Aid

  1. Apply for admission to one or more colleges.
  2. Apply for financial aid at using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after October 1st. Undocumented students should use the state financial aid application, available at instead of the FAFSA.
  3. Apply for scholarships offered by the colleges or other sources. Ask for applications from the school counselor or find them online. Check out the free online scholarships sites such as to search for private scholarships.
  4. Receive college admittance letters (timing varies).
  5. Receive letters from colleges outlining your financial aid eligibility (usually March 1st or later, depending on when you submitted your FAFSA), and respond accordingly.