Financial Aid Office

Financial Aid Process

Investing in your Future!

What to do and when to do it- so you get the funds you need to finance your education.

To be considered for financial aid, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for each academic year. After that, it's a process. There are steps you need to complete at each stage—after applying, reviewing your offer and ultimately receiving your aid and seeing it applied to your educational expenses.

Step 1: Apply
Step 1: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year!

The FAFSA needs to be completed each year you are enrolled as a college student. It is used for all types of financial aid, including federal, state, and institutional aid. The 2024-2025 FAFSA is available now!


When you fill out the FAFSA, the application will require you to enter the school code. The St. Cloud State University school code is 002377.

Step 2: Review
Step 2: Check your application status with the University.

Log in with your Star ID and password to review your Financial Aid Dashboard. This will show you if we’ve received your FAFSA, if your application is complete, and if you’ve been awarded.

Step 3: Monitor
Step 3: Check your personal/school email for any additional information requests.

After we receive your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you may receive a request for additional documentation by email to complete your application. It is best to provide that requested information as soon as you’re able so that it doesn't’t hold up your financial aid award package. You can send us your documents through our Financial Aid Secure Uploader.

Step 4: Review
Step 4: Review and Respond your financial aid award offer.

You will receive an email to your personal/school email address we have on-file when a financial aid award package has been offered to you. Your financial aid offer is based on full-time attendance for one academic year (fall and spring terms). The total aid is divided equally between the semesters. The amount of aid is based on your financial need, which is determined by:

  • A federal process that calculates your expected family contribution (EFC), based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) result, and
  • An assumption that you will be enrolled full-time.
Step 5: Accept
Step 5: Determine if you’ll need to accept any federal loans you’ve been offered.

If you choose to accept the federal loans you’ve been offered you may need to complete some additional steps. If this is your first time taking a federal loan you’ll need to complete a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling at StudentAid.Gov. A promissory note is the legal agreement that you will repay your loan(s).

Step 6: Start your classes and receive your financial aid disbursement.

If all prior steps are complete, you should receive your financial aid disbursement to your student account approximately one week into the start of the semester. When this happens, you will be sent an email to your University account indicating that your financial aid has been disbursed.

If your financial aid exceeds the university charges, you will have a credit balance on your student account. Sign up for direct deposit to receive your credit balance electronically to your bank account. If your financial aid does not cover the balance on your student account you will receive a billing notice via email.