Financial Aid

Overall, 56% of Minnesota State students - or 54% of our college students and 62% of our university students - receive some form or combination of financial aid to help pay for college or offset costs.

Regardless of what college or university you attend, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in determining your financial aid eligibility. Visit for more information and to apply.

Students with financial need may qualify for scholarships and grants that do not have to be paid back if requirements are met, such as the Charles and Ellora Alliss Education Foundation Scholarship.

Students who are active military or veterans may also qualify for the GI Bill or other financial resources and should check with their college or university financial aid office or veteran resource center. 

Some students may also benefit from federal tax credit programs. Consult with a tax professional or visit the IRS website at for more information. 

For specific financial aid deadlines, help with completing the FAFSA, or questions related to your financial aid awards, contact your Minnesota State college or university financial aid office.

Types of Financial Aid

Federal and state grants are based on financial need and do not have to be paid back. These are determined through your FAFSA.

Scholarships are typically based on financial need, academic or athletic merit, or other special interests and do not have to be paid back. Applying for scholarships is separate from your FAFSA, so students should inquire with their college or university about what scholarships are available and how to apply.

Student Loans
Student loans are borrowed funds through the federal government or private banks and must be paid back. They usually have lower interest rates and more manageable repayment term options. Federal loan eligibility is determined through your FAFSA. Private loans are processed directly with your bank.

Work Study
Work study programs provide students with paid jobs either on campus or off campus with approved employers. Eligibility is determined through your FAFSA, but you must also apply for the job opportunities with your college or university. The money is paid directly to students as a paycheck.