Great Value: Financial aid basics

We believe that making our world-class education affordable for families is the right thing to do. We are committed to helping you understand all of the resources available to make your U of M education affordable. At the University of Minnesota, you will learn from world-renowned professors at a top research university, all for a great value.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about financial aid. If you have questions about the University of Minnesota and financial aid, please don't hesitate to contact us! You can speak with a financial aid counselor through the U of M student services center, One Stop:

One Stop Student Services
(612) 624-1111 or 1-800-400-8636
TTY 612-626-0701 (for hearing impaired)
For alternative formats, call Disability Services at 612-625-9578.

What types of financial assistance are available?

We are here to provide you with great academics, great opportunities, and great value to support you and help you achieve your academic, personal, and professional goals. There are a number of things we do to help make the U of M a great value for you and your family:

  • We offer a Four-Year Graduation Guarantee, helping students graduate sooner and save money on tuition.
  • Each semester, every credit after 13 is free of charge, keeping costs down for families and helping students achieve graduation in four years.
  • At the U of M, we work hard to make sure your financial aid package reflects the best financial aid options available to you. Based on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), your package will include the combination of aid that is most favorable for you, because we consider you first for gift aid (grants and scholarships that do not need to be repaid), then work-study, and then loans. Each student's financial aid package covers the cost of attendance.
  • Merit scholarships are gifts of money that do not need to be repaid. Scholarships typically recognize special achievements in academics and leadership, and they can come from a variety of sources. The University of Minnesota sponsors a variety of highly competitive scholarships.
  • Student employment is not based on financial need. Every year, the University Job Center posts thousands of part-time jobs, both on campus and off.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Families can apply for financial aid from the University of Minnesota using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). One application is all it takes to be considered for aid at the U of M and at any other schools you are considering. We strongly encourage every family to submit the FAFSA, even if they think they may not be eligible for aid. Regardless of your income level, the best resources for financial aid (University, state and federal aid) are only available through the FAFSA.

We use the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for federal, state, and University aid programs. A financial aid package might include grants, loans, scholarships, and/or work study. We encourage you to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1st of your senior year of high school.

The FAFSA, available in both English and Spanish, is available online. Be sure to release your information to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities by including the U of M Federal School Code of 003969.

You may apply for aid before you receive an admission decision from the University of Minnesota. However, you won't learn what aid you've been awarded until you have been admitted.

When can I apply for financial aid?

The FAFSA will be available on January 1, the winter before you enroll, and we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. The sooner you apply, the sooner you will receive notification of your financial aid eligibility. The U of M's priority deadline to submit the FAFSA is March 1, the spring before you enroll.

What happens after I have submitted my FAFSA?

When we receive your FAFSA information, we will customize a financial aid package based on your eligibility and needs. We encourage you to submit the FAFSA by the March 1 priority deadline, so we can send your estimated financial aid awards beginning in April.

Where does financial aid money come from?

When your FAFSA is complete, you will be considered for federal and state aid programs, as well as for those funded by the University.

Throughout high school and especially in the fall of your senior year, you should also check with your high school, public library, local businesses, and community organizations for scholarships. You may also search the U of M's One Stop Student Services Grant and Scholarship Resources site.

How is financial need calculated?

Your financial need is the difference between our estimates of your cost of attending the University and the amount the federal and state governments expect you and your family to contribute to those costs.

Cost of attendance - Family resources = Financial need

Your total expected family contribution is calculated using a federal needs analysis formula and is based on income and other data you report on the FAFSA, including your own savings and employment income.

If you are found to have financial need, we will offer you financial aid to meet that need. The aid offered may be any combination of grants, loans, scholarships, or work-study.

We encourage you to use the University's Net Cost Calculator for Future Freshmen to get a sense for the need-based aid for which you might be eligible. (Future transfer students should visit this Cost of Attendance Calculator.)

How can I use my financial aid?

Financial aid money can be used to cover many educational expenses, such as tuition, housing, books, and transportation.

Where can I get more information about financial aid?

If you have questions about financial aid, contact One Stop, the U of M student services center. Our One Stop counselors are happy to answer your questions:

One Stop Student Services
(612) 624-1111 or 1-800-400-8636
TTY 612-626-0701 (for hearing impaired)
For alternative formats, call Disability Services at 612-625-9578.

For further information, you may also wish to visit these sites:

Is financial aid available for international students?

The University of Minnesota cannot offer financial aid to international undergraduate students. Please visit our page with costs, visa, and scholarship information for international students for more details.

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