Scholarships and grants are often referred to as “free money.” They do not need to be repaid. Grants are often need-based. Scholarship eligibility requirements vary greatly.
Grants may be federal or state gift-aid. Grant eligibility is determined by your FAFSA results.
Eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant is based on financial need as determined by the federal formula used in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Eligible students must:
The Federal Pell Grant Program is available to eligible students for three terms per year. Another great reason to consider summer enrollment. Summer eligibility requirements:
Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act
On March 23, 2018, the President signed the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act, beginning with the 2018-2019 award year. A Pell-eligible student whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while performing as a public safety officer is eligible to receive a maximum Pell Grant for the award year for which the determination of eligibility is made. To qualify a student must:
The federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant provides up to $4,000* per year to eligible students who intend to teach full-time as a highly qualified teacher in specific high-need fields, in a low-income school. Aggregate maximums: $16,000* (undergraduates) and $8,000* (graduates). Failure to complete the required 4-year service requirement may permanently convert the TEACH Grant to an unsubsidized Direct loan.
*TEACH Grants first disbursed after March 1, 2013 will be reduced due to federal sequestration.
Eligibility for the Minnesota State Grant is based on financial need and is available to undergraduate Minnesota residents. Students may receive the Minnesota State Grant for three (3) consecutive semesters during the course of a single fiscal year.
Eligible students must:
This program is designed to provide eligible Minnesota residents a tuition-free pathway for earning a certificate, diploma, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree in high-need careers. Funding comes from the State of Minnesota and is awarded to eligible students after grants and scholarships have been paid.
Eligible Educational Programs include healthcare, STEM, business, industry and technology, education, and public service.
*Family AGI for a dependent student includes parent and student AGI and for an independent student it includes student and spouse AGI.
Other Eligibility Factors:
The Minnesota GI Bill® Program was established in 2007 to provide postsecondary financial assistance to eligible Minnesota veterans who served on or after September 11, 2001. The MN GI Bill® program was enhanced in 2013 to include all eligible Minnesota veterans, non-veterans who served in the military, and eligible spouses and children. Full-time undergraduate or graduate students may be eligible to receive up to $1,000 per semester and part-time students may be eligible to receive up to $500 per semester up to $3,000 per academic year and $10,000 per lifetime.
Minnesota GI Bill® and other military educational benefits eligibility requirements and application.
Minnesota Post-secondary Child Care Grant Program is available to Minnesota residents who have children 12 years of age or younger may be eligible for child care assistance. The grant amount is determined by the size and income of the student's family.
There are two programs available to eligible students preparing to become teachers or who are completing student teaching requirements.
This is a pilot program to provide post-secondary financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students who are preparing to become teachers. Students must have demonstrated financial need and belong to a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in the state's teacher workforce.
Visit the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) website for eligibility criteria.
The annual award for full-time students is up to $10,000 per year. Full-time for undergraduate students is a minimum of 15 credits per semester. Full-time for graduate students is a minimum of six credits per semester. The scholarship is reduced for part-time enrollment. Lifetime amount for this program is $25,000.
Additional information available at the Minnesota OHE website.
The Minnesota Student Teacher Grant provides financial assistance to eligible students enrolled in Minnesota teacher preparation programs during one term. Students must be completing a required 12-week or more student teaching experience. Maximum one-time award up to $7,500.
T.E.A.C.H Minnesota Scholarship Program (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) is for child care/school-age care professionals currently working in the child care/school-age care field, either in a licensed or legally regulated child care program or a licensed family child care program. Individuals must be working towards an associate or bachelor degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Development.
The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood ® MINNESOTA Scholarship Program is not the same as the federal TEACH Grant program. Complete applications must be submitted to the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood ® MINNESOTA scholarship program. Do not submit your application to the school. For more information about the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood ® MINNESOTA program contact Child Care Aware of Minnesota.
American Indian Scholarship and Grants There are two primary sources of scholarship or grant funding for American Indian students:
Apply online at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. Application forms are also available in St. Cloud State's American Indian Center or the Financial Aid Office. Students must apply for federal and state financial aid before Indian scholarship agencies can determine eligibility for funding. It is important to apply early as many agencies have deadlines for consideration.
More information can be obtained by contacting the Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program:
Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program
1450 Energy Park Drive
St. Paul, MN 55108
Telephone: (651) 642-0567 or 1-800-657-3866
Some specialized funding programs are available for American Indian students pursuing areas of study in which there is a shortage of professionals. More information is available from the Indian Health Service, Bemidji Area IHS, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 522 Minnesota Ave. NW, Bemidji, MN 56601, (218) 444-0486.
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), 2021 and American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, included funding through an emergency grant program. Additional Emergency Grants were made to students through April 2022 based on the order applications were received. All available CRRSAA and ARP Act funds have been awarded and we do not anticipate any additional funds being available through these programs.
Students still in need of emergency assistance can check other on-going resources such as the Student Emergency Fund.
Minnesota Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) Educational benefits may be available to students who have a disability that is considered a handicap to employment. The amount received is based upon individual needs and program requirements. DRS requires students seeking assistance from its agency to first apply for financial aid.
For additional information contact your high school counselor, local DRS office, or the Minnesota State Office:
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)
390 N. Robert St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
Twin Cities: (651) 296-7114
Greater Minnesota: 1-800-657-3858
TTY: (651) 296-3900
Education Vouchers for Former Youth in Care are federal funds made available to states through the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act, and are intended to help current and former foster care youth ages 18 to 23 pay for postsecondary education.
You must be under age 21 by the application due date AND accepted into an accredited postsecondary program. You must also meet one of the following criteria:
Application information is available from the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Applications are reviewed once a year. You also must attach copies of your completed FAFSA, financial aid award letter, school acceptance letter, and most recent transcripts. Students may reapply for education vouchers every year. You have until July 1 to apply for vouchers for the fall term and Jan. 1 for the spring term. For more information, visit the Minnesota Department of Human Services Education and Training Voucher Website or contact:
Minnesota Department of Human Services
444 Lafayette Road North, 3rd Floor South
St. Paul, MN 55155
Tel: (651) 431-4663
The Public Safety Officer's Survivor Grant provides educational benefits to dependent children and the surviving spouse of a public safety officer killed in the line of duty on or after January 1, 1973.
Applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program or a certificate program after June 30, 2011 at an eligible Minnesota institution that participates in the Minnesota State Grant Program.
Awards must be applied for each term. Applicants must provide a certificate of eligibility to the Financial Aid Office at the school they attend or plan to attend. The certificate of eligibility can be obtained from:
Minnesota Department of Public Safety
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1000 NCL Tower
St. Paul, MN 55101
Tel: (651) 201-7164
The Supporting University Student To Alleviate Insecurity Now (SUSTAIN) Grant is sponsored by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and administered by the St. Cloud State College of Health and Wellness Professions. It provides support to students struggling with non-educational costs with the focus on addressing food, housing, transportation, child care, medical, and other needs.
Please visit the Campus Life "Basic Needs Resources" website for assistance with any of the above listed needs.