Financial Aid Office
How to Apply for Financial Aid

Timelines

January

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 if you filed electronically. 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. Save your changes and resubmit it for processing. You will then receive an updated SAR once the corrections have been processed.
  • 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.  Payment plans are available to pay your educational costs.
  • 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. You will create a login and upload a resume in order to apply for open positions.

Reminders:

  • Applying for financial aid is not a "one and done" - you need to apply each year.
  • If you submitted a FAFSA during the previous year, you may be able to complete the Renewal FAFSA, which 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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