College Financial Aid Information
Helpful Financial Aid Links
Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS)
Students can apply for financial aid to help pay for college. They can use their MCIS account to research and learn more about government financial aid, scholarships, grants and more.
- Log into MCIS (Log in with Clever, using student Gmail account user and password)
- Go to Financial Aid, Scholarships, Grants and Information
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Applicants can apply for federal student aid on October 1 of each year. Procrastinators, take heed: Take advantage of the start date because financial aid is often given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Filing early could mean more money for college for the next school year. Additionally, many colleges have moved up their financial aid application deadlines to coincide with the new FAFSA date. Check your student’s college’s financial aid web pages to avoid missing important deadlines.
Applying for FAFSA:
- Complete and submit a free application for federal student financial aid and to apply for most state and college aid.
- Applications beginning Oct. 1 and ending by June of each year
- Download and print the FAFSA Worksheet to assist with the application
- Obtain a worksheet and apply online at FAFSA.gov
- All State FAFSA Aid deadlines are posted on the website Worksheet and Application forms
- The current year’s taxes should be completed before applying to simplify the application process
- Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent to you after your online application usually within 3 days
Contact your prospective college with any SAR errors and correct them online with FAFSA
Types of student loans:
- Direct subsidized loans
- Direct unsubsidized loans
- Direct PLUS loans
- Direct consolidation loans
(Not all students are eligible for all of these loans)
- Federal Perkins Loans
Colleges may award these loans to students with the highest financial need, using federal government money. The fixed interest rate is low, and you don't make any loan payments while in college.
- Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
These need-based loans have a low interest rate and the government pays the interest charges while you're in college. This interest rate is fixed, which means it will not change over time.
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
These non-need-based government loans also have a fixed interest rate. But they allow you to borrow more money than a Direct Subsidized Loan alone. You can pay the interest while you’re in college or add it to the amount of your loan. The second option means you’ll end up paying more money over time.
- Federal Direct Plus Loans
These non-need-based government loans allow parents (and graduate students) to borrow the total cost of attending college, minus any other aid received and have a fixed interest rate.
- Private (Alternative) and State Loans
These loans from banks, colleges, private organizations and state government agencies are usually not need-based or subsidized. They may require good credit, which often means an adult with good credit must cosign the loan. Interest rates on these loans are often higher than on federal loans, and the rates may rise over time.
Tuition Reciprocity Programs
Minnesota has reciprocity agreements with Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota for the cost of tuition at state colleges and universities.
Midwest Student Exchange Program students attending school at state colleges in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, & Nebraska may be eligible for reduced tuition rates. Students will pay 150% of regular in-state tuition under this program. A 10% tuition discount may apply at certain private colleges in these states.
Military Financial Aid Resource
Financial Aid for Military Service Members and student veterans information is available with Best Colleges. Military Tuition Assistance Programs, federal student aid for service members and veterans with additional resources for financial assistance visit: Best Colleges