Financial Aid and Student Loans in Minnesota

The state of Minnesota has a number of in-state scholarships, grants, and loan options to make college more affordable for prospective students. If you plan on going to college in Minnesota, these programs are ideal for helping you through the financial burden of higher education.

By having the forethought to pursue opportunities, such as scholarships and grants, that you or someone you care for might be qualified to receive, you can significantly lower the cost of college in the long-term.

As part of our state by state guide to financial aid, the following is an overview of scholarship programs, grant opportunities, and student loans in the state of Minnesota.

What Scholarship Programs Does Minnesota Have?

There are a number of different scholarship programs that students can apply to in Minnesota. Sites like Fastweb, Niche, and Collegeboard are great resources for nation-wide scholarship, but below we dive into a few of the more notable state-specific scholarships in Minnesota. 

Minnesota Academic Excellence Scholarship

The Minnesota Academic Excellence Scholarship is meant for students who have shown themselves to be extraordinary among their peers in specific subject areas.

These students will have demonstrated outstanding ability, potential, and achievements in english, creative writing, the fine arts, foreign languages, math, science, or the social sciences.

The scholarship can cover up to the full amount of tuition and fees for one full year. You can reapply annually and be awarded the scholarship for up to three consecutive years.

High school graduates must be accepted to enroll in a full-time, nonsectarian, baccalaureate degree-granting program at:

  • The University of Minnesota.
  • A Minnesota state university.
  • A Minnesota private, baccalaureate degree-granting college or university.

Students must enroll during the year of their high school graduation.

Minnesota Indian Scholarship

If you have Indian ancestry in your background, then you could be awarded this scholarship. The Minnesota Indian Scholarship is meant to provide financial assistance to post-secondary students who have a quarter or more of Indian ancestry and can prove a financial need.

Your award amount will be need-based and up to $4,000 per year for undergraduate students and up to $6,000 per year for graduate students.

You’re eligible to receive the award for ten years—five years in undergraduate courses and five years as a graduate student.

To qualify for this scholarship, you must be:

  • One-fourth or more American Indian
  • A Minnesota resident
  • Enrolled in an accredited college, university, or vocational school in Minnesota
  • An undergraduate student who qualifies for either a Pell or state grant, and demonstrates financial need, or a graduate student who demonstrates financial need

What Grant Programs Does Minnesota Have?

You should always do your own research and work to understand the grants that are available in your local area. Here are a few of the grant options available to students in Minnesota:

The Minnesota State Grant

The Minnesota State Grant offers an opportunity for the children of underprivileged families to find some money for school attendance. It is specifically for families who fall into the low-to-moderate income bracket. These funds will help you pay for school at any of the eligible Minnesota colleges or universities.

The maximum award for 2018-2019 ranged from $7,845 at a public two-year college to $12,345 at a private four-year college. The average award is approximately $2,603. The minimum award is $100 per year.

The award amount changes depending on the tuition of the school you select.

Public Safety Officer’s Survivor Grant

The grant provides benefits to dependent children and surviving spouses of fallen public safety officers who died in the line of duty. Those whose loved ones died after January 1, 1973, are eligible to apply.

The annual full-time tuition and fee maximum is $14,760 for students in a 4-year degree or graduate program and $5,790 for students in a 2-year degree program, prorated for term length and enrollment level.

Minnesota Teacher Candidate Grant

There is a significant shortage of skilled teachers around the country, and Minnesota is no exception. The state created the Teacher Candidate Grant as an incentive to students becoming teachers in Minnesota.

The grant provides financial support for post-secondary students enrolled in Minnesota teaching preparation programs during one term in which the student is completing a 12-week (or longer) student teaching experience.

There are two goals for this grant program. One is to encourage individuals, especially those underrepresented in the teaching workforce, to become teachers. 

Two, the grant is in place to motivate students to seek teaching positions in Minnesota in sought-after designated license fields and geographical shortage areas of the state.

You can receive up to $7,500 for one term on a fund’s available basis.

What Student Loan Programs Does Minnesota Have?

Students should use student loan programs as a last resort when all other options have been exhausted on our “How to Pay for College Checklist.” Minnesota does have a state program for student loans, though.

Minnesota has a unique student loan program that sets them apart from other states. The low-interest student loan program is referred to as SELF loans.

SELF Loans

The fact that the program is administered completely by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education makes it unique. There is no federal backing for the program, and you will be required to have a co-signer on the loan.

You’ll also be required to pay interest on the loan while you’re still in school. It allows the SELF loan to carry lower interest rates than other traditional student loans, for example.

You’re able to borrow up to $20,000 depending on your course of study, and there is no application, processing, or guarantee fee.

The repayment schedule is interesting, though.

  • You must make quarterly (every three months) interest-only payments beginning within 90 days of receiving the payout of your loan.
  • Once you finish college, you make monthly interest-only payments for up to twelve months.
  • Then, payments increase and include the principal amount and interest.

Federal Student Loans

Prospective students and residents of Minnesota have the option of seeking government assistance in the form of federal student loans.

You’ll need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Private Co-Signed Student Loans

For private student loans, there is an array of options. Students seeking assistance in addition to federal student loans may opt for a private co-signed student loan, for example.

No Co-Signer Student Loans in Minnesota

Prospective students who don’t have or need a co-signer can take advantage of Funding U’s no co-signer student loans.

Eligibility and restrictions include minimum GPA requirements and graduation rate of the chosen college or university. These can be used in addition to federal student loans to receive further financial support. If you’d like to learn more, click here.

NOTE: Funding U does not offer loans to residents of the state of Minnesota.  However, if you are attending a school located in Minnesota and are a resident of another state that is eligible you may apply.

What Schools Does Funding U Lend To In Minnesota?

Funding U’s no co-signer loans are offered to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities. The organization does not lend to for-profit schools, 2-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools.

Our eligibility requirements are based on models that predict how likely a student is to graduate, so we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum 6-year graduation rates that schools must reach to be eligible.

Find out more about how we determine our eligibility here.

Below is a table listing all the schools in Minnesota that Funding U is currently lending to, with additional details on which grades we are considering based on the school’s six-year graduation rate.

School NameFreshman
6 yr
Grad Rate
Augsburg UniversityNoNoYesYes6477
Bemidji State UniversityNoNoNoNo4669
Bethany Lutheran CollegeNoNoYesYes5583
Bethel University (Minnesota)NoYesYesYes7785
Bethlehem College & SeminaryNoYesYesYes8894
Carleton CollegeYesYesYesYes9396
College of Saint BenedictNoYesYesYes8087
Concordia College at MoorheadNoYesYesYes7582
Concordia University-Saint PaulNoNoYesYes5965
Crown CollegeNoNoYesYes5266
Gustavus Adolphus CollegeNoYesYesYes7889
Hamline UniversityNoNoYesYes6384
Macalester CollegeYesYesYesYes9093
Martin Luther CollegeNoYesYesYes7385
Metropolitan State UniversityNoNoNoNo3973
Minneapolis College of Art and DesignNoNoYesYes6480
Minnesota State University MoorheadNoNoNoNo4974
Minnesota State University-MankatoNoNoYesYes5075
North Central UniversityNoNoYesYes5473
Oak Hills Christian CollegeNoNoNoNo3862
Saint Cloud State UniversityNoNoNoNo4467
Saint Johns UniversityNoYesYesYes7688
Saint Mary's University of MinnesotaNoNoYesYes6177
Southwest Minnesota State UniversityNoNoNoNo4660
St Catherine UniversityNoNoYesYes5681
St Olaf CollegeNoYesYesYes8692
The College of Saint ScholasticaNoNoYesYes6980
University of Minnesota-CrookstonNoNoNoNo4871
University of Minnesota-DuluthNoNoYesYes5977
University of Minnesota-MorrisNoNoYesYes6680
University of Minnesota-RochesterNoNoYesYes5969
University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesNoYesYesYes8093
University of Northwestern-St PaulNoNoYesYes6383
University of St Thomas (Minnesota)NoYesYesYes7788
Winona State UniversityNoNoYesYes6478
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