Financial Aid

  • What is FAFSA, and why should I fill it out?

    FAFSA® is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form to apply for federal student aid such as federal grants, work-study funds, and loans. Completing and submitting the FAFSA form is free and easier than ever, and it gives you access to the largest source of aid to help you pay for college or career school.

    In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for state and school aid. Some private aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.

    There are major changes and improvements coming to the 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. This redesigned and streamlined FAFSA form will be available by Dec. 31, 2023.

    How to Apply for Financial Aid via the FAFSA

    The first step, before filling out the FAFSA, is to create an FSA ID, which serves as an electronic signature. All contributors – a parent, stepparent, spouse or anyone else required to provide information on a student's form – must create an FSA ID.

    To create a unique ID, applicants need their Social Security number (if they have one), date of birth and name as it appears on official documents. To create your FSA ID, visit:

    To help create your FSA ID, please use this step-by-step guide: Creating an FSA ID.

    Other FAFSA Resources


    Compare Your Aid Awards

    The College Board website helps students and their families understand their award letter, compare aid offers and learn about strategies for paying their share of the expense. 

    Tuition Reciprocity

    Minnesota has ongoing reciprocity agreements with Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, one institution in Iowa, and the Canadian province of Manitoba. The agreements reduce non-resident tuition prices and eliminate non-resident admissions barriers for residents of each state who attend a public institution in the other state.

    Learn more about tuition reciprocity on the MN Office of Higher Education website.

    Midwestern Student Exchange Program (MSEP)

    Through the MSEP, public institutions agree to charge students no more than 150% of the in-state resident tuition rate for specific programs. Private institutions offer a 10% reduction on their tuition rates. You must be enrolling as a non-resident student at a participating MSEP campus to receive the discount. All enrollment decisions are made at the discretion of the receiving campus and the campus may exercise its right to limit participation or set specific admission requirements for MSEP.

    Learn more about this program by visiting the MSEP website.

    Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS)

    This system offers a FINANCIAL AID SORT which is a favorite for the college bound Cougar.  It has a customization features that allows students to find scholarships that are a possible match based upon the individual's particular background, major of study, hobbies, etc....  This helps pull out scholarship opportunities from a national database and provides a tool for you to store and track progress on your scholarship search.

    To access MCIS simply select LOG IN with CLEVER button at the bottom of the sign-in page and then use the Google option to utilize the same username and password you do for logging into devices at LSHS or your school email.

    Once logged in, go to the EDUCATION tab and select:  Where can I get help paying for school?

    Please contact Amy Juaire at in the Career Center if you have any other questions or trouble loging into MCIS.


10 Common Mistakes Made on the FAFSA