Student Registration & Financial Services

FAFSA, Verification & Award Information

The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once the FAFSA is submitted to St. Cloud State University, the Financial Aid Office will review the results, request additional information if needed, and prepare either a Preliminary Financial Aid Award or an official Award Notification. You can check your Financial Aid Status on e-Services.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

How Do I File for Financial Aid?

The Federal Student Aid website provides helpful information on how to get started filing the FAFSA including information on creating an FSA ID, which is required for students and parents to sign the FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).

Complete the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov. Watch the video “How to Fill out the FAFSA”. Include St. Cloud State University’s school code 002377 on your FAFSA. 

  • Use the IRS DRT to import parent and student tax information into the FAFSA. Both student and parent will need an FSA ID to use the IRS DRT.
  • After submitting the FAFSA, you (the student) will receive an email with a link to the Student Aid Report (SAR). Review your SAR carefully for accuracy. If you must make corrections, do so by logging into your FAFSA with your FSA ID Resubmit your FAFSA after you’ve made corrections.
  • You need to apply by filing a FAFSA each year. If you filed a FAFSA for 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.
  • Transfer students: If you've already filed your FAFSA for your other school, remember to add SCSU (school code 002377) to your FAFSA and also ask the school you are transferring from to cancel any pending financial aid for the term you are transferring to SCSU. 

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.

Am I a dependent or an independent student for financial aid purposes?

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.

Who is my legal parent for the FAFSA?

If you are considered a dependent student for purposes of the FAFSA, you will need to provide information about your legal parent(s) on the application. Legal parents are biological, adoptive, or as determined by the state (e.g., parent listed on your birth certificate). The following people are not your parents unless they legally adopted you: grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, brothers or sisters, aunts or uncles, and widowed step-parents. 

Verification or Missing Information

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  -- we will send you a letter by U.S. mail requesting additional information and documentation.

If we need additional information and documentation from you, we will mail you a letter. Follow your financial aid status on e-Services.

Eligibility for Specific Populations

Veterans

St. Cloud State University 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’s website that will assist you with using your military benefits to finance your education.

Undocumented Students

Eligibility for federal and state financial aid depends on your status as the student.

  • If you are a U.S. citizen or national, a permanent resident, or an eligible non-citizen - even if your parents are not - you are eligible to apply for federal and state aid and should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • If your parents do not have a valid social security number (SSN), they should enter 000-00-0000 (all zeros) as their SSN on the FAFSA. The parents should not use a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or an SSN that is valid for work purposes only.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security policy, known as "Deferred Action", for individuals under age 31 has no impact on current federal law governing higher education. Please review the Minnesota State list of "Deferred Action" FAQs.

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.

International Students

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.

  • Academic and Cultural Sharing Scholarship
  • Student Employment: International students are limited to working on-campus and must be enrolled full-time. Some exceptions may apply for international students to work off-campus; contact the St. Cloud State Designated School Official (DSO) with any questions about exceptions. Student employment positions are posted online at Jobs for Huskies. You must have a current profile in order to be able to search for open positions.
  • Loans: Private loans may be available to international students. Many of these loans require a credit-worthy cosigner who is either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. Contact the individual lender for specific information.

Transfer Students

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.

Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO)

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. 

Eligible Non-Citizen

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:

  • a U.S. permanent resident and have an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551);
  • a conditional permanent resident (I-551C); or
  • an other eligible non-citizen with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services indicating any of the following designations: "Refugee," "Asylum Granted," "Indefinite Parole," "Humanitarian Parole," or "Cuban-Haitian Entrant."

Other Language Resources

Financial Aid Award Information

Preliminary Financial Aid Award

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 Award to your permanent address in early April. The Preliminary Financial Aid Award provides you with an estimate of your financial aid eligibility in order to help you understand the costs of attending St. Cloud State University relative to your estimated financial aid award.

Current or returning students do not receive a Preliminary Financial Aid Award.

Official Financial Aid Award Notification

In mid-June, if your financial aid file is complete, you will receive an email inviting you to review and respond to your award notification in e-Services. This is your official Financial Aid Award Notification. The SCSU Award Guide is an extension of this award notice and your responsibility to read and understand. 

2017-2018 Award Guide (PDF) (fall 2017, spring 2018, summer 2018)

2018-2019 Award Guide (PDF) (fall 2018, spring 2019, summer 2019) - pending

Watch this video for more information on reviewing and responding to your award notification.

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 will be disbursed to your account.

If you were awarded student employment on your award notification, you will see more information on how and when to obtain an employment position. All positions are listed online at Jobs for Huskies. You will create a login and upload a resume in order to apply for open positions.

Special or Extenuating Circumstances

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:

  • Parent’s loss of employment;
  • Student/Parent becomes divorced, separated or widowed;
  • Income reduction of 20% due to factors beyond the person’s control;
  • Significant income reduction due to loss of child support;
  • Unusually high medical expenses paid in the tax year reported on the FAFSA;
  • One time increase in parent income due to IRA distribution, pension withdrawal, or something similar.  

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
320-308-2047
financialaid@stcloudstate.edu