Minnesota Student Loans And Financial Aid Programs
Minnesota has several private student loan and financial aid programs that can help you pay for college. If you're going to be attending college in Minnesota, you need to be looking to take advantage of these programs.
These programs are designed to help make college more affordable - so that you can get the education you need. These programs can include scholarships, grants, and student loans.
Don't forget that there are Federal student loan programs available as well. You can find out more on how to get a Federal student loan here.
There is also a specific order of operations to pay for college that we recommend students follow. These programs specific to the State of Minnesota can help you to avoid borrowing more money than you need to.
Minnesota Student Loan Programs
Minnesota has a low interest student loan program called SELF Loans. The SELF Loan is a student loan administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, and is unique to Minnesota. The SELF program is not funded by the state or federal government. Because of that, borrowers must have co-signers on their loans. They must also pay interest on their loans while in school. That allows SELF Loans to carry lower interest rates than many other college loans.
There are no processing, application, of guarantee fees. You can borrow up to $20,000 depending on your program of study.
It does have an interesting repayment structure:
You must make quarterly (every three months) interest-only payments beginning within 90 days of getting your loan. Once you finish college, you make monthly interest-only payments for up to 12 months. After that, your payments increase, and include the principal amount as well as the interest.
Learn more about the Minnesota SELF Loan.
If you're just looking for private student loan options, we recommend:
- Credible - Like the Kayak of student loans, they help you shop around and compare options. Try Credible here.
- Commonbond - One of the best private student loan lenders. Try Commonbond here.
For more private student loan options, check out our list of the best private student loans.
Minnesota Scholarship Programs
Minesota has several scholarships available to students who want to attend college in the state.
Minnesota Academic Excellence Scholarship
The Minnesota Academic Excellence Scholarship helps students who have demonstrated outstanding ability, achievement, and potential in one of several subjects: English or creative writing, fine arts, foreign language, math, science, or social science.
The scholarship may cover up to the full price of tuition and fees for one academic year. It can be renewed annually for up to three years.
Learn more about the Minnesota Academic Excellence Scholarship.
Minnesota Indian Scholarship
Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program provides postsecondary financial assistance to eligible Minnesota resident students who are of one-fourth or more Indian ancestry and demonstrate financial need for an award.
The award amount is based on need up to $4,000 per year for undergraduate students and up to $6,000 for graduate students. You can receive the award for a maximum of 10 years (5 for undergraduate and 5 for graduate).
Learn more about the Minnesota Indian Scholarship.
Minnesota Grant Programs
Minnesota also has grant programs to provide need based financial aid to Minnesota residents.
Grants are one of the best forms of financial aid because, in most circumstances, you don't have to pay the money back.
Minnesota State Grant
The Minnesota State Grants help students from low- and moderate-income families pay for educational expenses at eligible Minnesota colleges or universities.
The maximum award for ranges from about $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.
You can learn more about the Minnesota State Grant.
Public Safety Officer's Survivor Grant
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.
The annual full-time tuition and fee maximums are $14,488 for students in a 4-year degree or graduate program and $5,790 for students in a 2-year degree program.
Learn more about the Public Safety Officer's Survivor Grant.
Minnesota Teacher Candidate Grant
The Minnesota Teacher Candidate Grant provides postsecondary financial assistance to eligible students enrolled in Minnesota teacher preparation programs during one term in which the student is completing a required 12-week or more student teaching experience.
The program has two goals. One, to encourage individuals, particularly those who belong to a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in the Minnesota teacher workforce, to become teachers. Two, to encourage students to teach in Minnesota in designated license field and geographical shortage areas.
On a funds available basis, selected undergraduate and graduate students may receive awards of up to $7,500 for one term.
Learn about the Minnesota Teacher Candidate Grant.
If you already have student loans and are looking for options as a Minnesota resident, check out our Minnesota Student Loan Forgiveness Program page. That page has all the different options available to Minnesota residents to potentially get some of your student loan debt forgiven.
You might also look at refinancing your student loans and saving money in interest while also potentially lowering your payment. Check out our guide on the Best Places To Refinance Your Student Loans.
If you're looking for ways to save for college in Minnesota, check out the Minnesota 529 Plan and College Savings Guide.
Finally, check out the other student loan and financial aid programs by state.