The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To file the FAFSA, you must be a U.S. citizen or national, a permanent resident, or an eligible non-citizen. If you are not, please see "Eligibility for Specific Populations" section below.
Once the FAFSA is submitted to St. Cloud State University (SCSU) and you are admitted to SCSU, the Financial Aid Office will review the results, request additional information if needed, and prepare either a Preliminary Financial Aid Offer or an Official Financial Aid Offer Notification. You will check this informaiton on your Financial Aid Status on e-Services.
The Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is your username and password that lets you to access all FSA online systems, including your FAFSA, student loan counseling, and sign federal loan agreement.
You will use personal information (e.g., name, social security number, date of birth, email, etc.) to create and manage your FSA ID. No one is authorized create an FSA ID for you or another person.
The Federal Student Aid (FSA) website provides helpful information on how to file the FAFSA, including information on creating an FSA ID. An FSA ID is required for both students and parents to sign the FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).
Transfer students: If you've already filed your FAFSA for your other school, remember to:
REMEMBER: The first word in FAFSA is FREE! High school counselors and financial aid administrators offer FAFSA assistance and advice for free and are not considered a preparer. If you use a paid preparer to complete your FAFSA, the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act requires paid preparers to include their name, company name (if applicable), address or company address, and either SSN or the company Employer Identification Number (EIN, assigned by the IRS). The preparer must also sign the FAFSA.
If you are considered a dependent student for financial aid purposes, you need to provide information about your legal parent(s) on the FAFSA. Watch this video to understand the Department of Education’s standards for determining dependent and independent status.
Legal parents are biological, adoptive, or as determined by the state (e.g., parent listed on your birth certificate). People not considered your legal parents (unless they legally adopted you): grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, brothers or sisters, aunts or uncles, and widowed step-parents.
If you have legally changed your name, before you file your FAFSA be sure to complete the following:
Once a FAFSA is submitted to St. Cloud State, the Financial Aid Office will review the results. If you are selected for verification (about 30 percent of students are) we will send you a letter via U.S. mail requesting additional information and documentation. You can also follow your financial aid status in your e-Services under the "Financial Aid" link.
To submit documentation securely you can use our Financial Aid Document Uploader.
St. Cloud State is committed to supporting its student veterans in their educational plans. Whether you are eligible for federal benefits, state benefits, or both, you will find information on the Veterans Resource Center website that will assist you with using military benefits to finance your education.
Eligibility for federal and state financial aid depends on your status as the student.
Federal financial aid is not available for undocumented students. State financial aid may be available for certain eligible, undocumented students. There may also be private scholarship and loan options to assist with your educational costs.
If you are or will be in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa, you are not eligible for federal student aid. A non-immigrant visa includes: F-1, F-2 or M-1 Student Visa, B-1 or B-2 Visitor Visa, J-1 or J-2 Exchange Visitors Visa, H series or L series Visa (which allow temporary employment in the U.S.), or a G series Visa (pertaining to international organizations). Individuals with only a “Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence" (I-171 or I-464) cannot receive federal student aid. However, you may qualify for other forms of assistance.
There are many resources for transfer students on the Transfer Admissions website.
Remember to include St. Cloud State University’s school code (002377) on your FAFSA.
Students enrolled in the PSEO Program are not eligible for federal or state financial aid as these students are considered to be enrolled in a secondary school pursuing a high school diploma.
If you are an eligible non-citizen, you are eligible to apply for federal and state financial aid. Generally, you are an eligible non-citizen if you are:
If you are a first year or transfer student entering St. Cloud State University in the fall semester, have submitted your FAFSA to St. Cloud State University, and have satisfied any additional information requests, the Financial Aid Office will send a Preliminary Financial Aid Offer to your permanent address in by the end of January. The Preliminary Financial Aid Offer provides you with an estimate of your financial aid eligibility to help you understand the costs of attending St. Cloud State University relative to your estimated financial aid offer.
Current or returning students do not receive a Preliminary Financial Aid Offer.
In early July, if your financial aid file is complete, the Financial Aid Office will send an email to your St. Cloud State University email account to review and respond to your financial aid offer notification in your e-Services. This is your official Financial Aid Offer Notification. Watch the "Review and Respond to Your Notification" video for more information.
The SCSU Award Guide is an extension of this financial aid offer notification. It is your responsibility to read and understand the Financial Aid Guide.
2023-2024 Financial Aid Guide (PDF) (fall 2023, spring 2024, summer 2024)
If you need to borrow loans, determine what you need by taking your actual costs minus your financial aid. Use this resource to help figure it out. If it is your first time borrowing Federal Direct Loans, you are required to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Loan Entrance Counseling. You must complete these requirements before your loan funds are disbursed to your account.
If you were offered student employment on your financial aid offer notification, you will see more information on how and when to apply for an employment position. All positions are listed online at Handshake. You will create a login and upload a resume in order to apply for open positions.
Sometimes the information provided on the FAFSA is not an accurate picture of the family’s current resources or ability to pay for college because the family’s financial circumstances have changed due to special or extenuating circumstances. The Department of Education requires individual Financial Aid Offices to take these situations into consideration on a case by case basis; below are some examples of situations that may be reviewed:
Please contact the Financial Aid Office to determine if your circumstances might warrant a review of your situation. You will be asked to provide written documentation with your request.
St. Cloud State University
Financial Aid Office