Financial Aid Office
How to Apply for Financial Aid

Timelines

January

  • Apply for scholarships. Remember: St. Cloud State University Foundation-sponsored scholarship deadline for first-year students is January 25th.
  • File your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. Be aware of state FAFSA filing deadlines.

February/March

  • If you file your FAFSA electronically and listed an email address, you will receive an email from the federal processor with a link to your Student Aid Report (SAR) within a few business days (approximately 4-6 weeks if you filed a paper FAFSA). The SAR is a summary of the information you entered on your FAFSA. It also lists your estimated Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The SAR does not tell you how much financial aid you will receive. The Financial Aid Office uses the EFC to determine your eligibility for need-based aid (grants, work study, subsidized loans) and aid not based on need (unsubsidized loans and parent loans).
  • Review your SAR carefully for accuracy. If necessary, make any corrections on-line at www.fafsa.gov or by completing the appropriate section on your SAR and mailing it to the address listed on the SAR. You will then receive an updated SAR once the corrections have been processed. If you do not receive your SAR, contact the federal processor at 1-319-337-5665 or 1-800-433-3243.
  • The federal government selects approximately 30% of FAFSAs for verification.  If you are selected for verification, the Financial Aid Office will ask you to complete and submit a verification form along with copies of your and your parent’s (dependent students) federal Tax Return Transcript and W-2 statements.

April/May

  • Preliminary award letters will be sent to first-year students with complete financial aid applications. This is an estimate of your financial aid; your official award letter will be sent in approximately June. The award letter describes the amounts and types of financial aid for which you qualify, enrollment and disbursement requirements, and the comprehensive cost of attendance.
  • If your family's financial circumstances change due to special or extenuating conditions, please contact the Financial Aid Office to determine if the circumstances would warrant a review of your situation. You will be asked to provide written documentation with your request.
  • If you are applying to schools in addition to St. Cloud State University, compare the financial aid packages from each school. Remember to analyze your total out-of-pocket expenses (actual costs minus financial aid) for each school and not just the total amount of aid.

June/July/August

  • If you need to borrow, determine what you need to cover your educational expenses, which may be less than what is listed on your award letter. After you've determine how much you need to borrow, apply for your student loans by following the steps listed on your award letter.
  • Your bill for tuition, fees, room, and board (if living on-campus) will be available online approximately early July.  If you will be using a payment plan to pay for your educational costs, contact the Business Services Office for information on payment plans.
  • Complete required Federal Direct and Minnesota SELF loan entrance counseling if you are a first-time borrower. You must complete the loan entrance counseling before your loan funds may be disbursed to your account.
  • If you applied for a student or parent loan, you will receive information from the lender regarding disbursement of the loan.
  • If you were awarded student employment (work study/University employment) on your award letter, the Financial Aid Office will email information to your St. Cloud State HuskyNet account in July about how to apply for positions. All positions are listed online at www.scsucareers.com where you will create a login and upload a resume in order to apply for open positions.

Reminders:

  • You need to apply for financial aid each year.
  • If you submitted a FAFSA during the previous year, you may be able to complete the Renewal FAFSA. The Renewal FAFSA on the Web pre-populates most of your answers from the previous year's FAFSA.
  • Apply for scholarships using the St. Cloud State University scholarship search.
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