Paying For College
- Seniors can apply for financial aid the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) beginning in October
- Students are encouraged to apply as soon as they can
- Families should NEVER PAY for a financial aid application or any kind of scholarship search. Please have students contact their counselor or career advisor to get free information about filling out the FAFSA or scholarship searches. Click here for Scholarship information.
Things to complete BEFORE APPLYING for Financial Aid
Prior to Financial Aid Night if you intend to complete the FAFSA at that time
- Make a FINANCIAL AID FOLDER to keep all information together.
- Go to the Student Federal Aid website to register for an FSA ID.
- Seniors who plan to attend any postsecondary institution (technical, two year or four year college/university) should apply as soon as the FAFSA opens. (October 1 of Senior Year)
- Use your personal email NOT your school email to create your FSA ID
- If you are male and 18 years old or older: Go to the Selective Service Foundation website to complete the documentation needed.
- Research different colleges you may want to attend. The FAFSA has the opportunity to send your financial information to up to 10 different post-secondary institutions. Students can browse websites for different postsecondary institutions, their Naviance account or visit the career center to decide where they would like to attend after high school. The career center also has a form for college tours that students can pick up before they take a tour.
Steps to Apply for Financial Aid
- Apply for admission to one of more colleges (keep in mind that many applications are free during the last week of October).
- Apply for financial aid on the FAFSA website using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid after October 1 of Senior Year. Undocumented students should use the MN State Financial Aid Application instead of the FAFSA.
- Apply for scholarships offered by the colleges or other sources. Check out the free online scholarship sites such as www.fastweb.com to search for private scholarships.
- Receive college admittance letters (timing varies).
- Receive letters from colleges outlining your financial aid eligibility (usually March 1 or later, depending on when you submitted your FAFSA), and respond accordingly. Keep in mind that letters received may be an ESTIMATE and plan accordingly.
Financial Aid Information
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is for students to fill out to see if they are eligible for grants (free money), loans, or work-study programs at college.
- More information on the Federal Student Aid program
- 2020 Financial Aid Presentation has general information on how the financial aid process works.
- What you need to know about Financial Aid 2020 is a very detailed video about the financial aid process. The second half of the video (at 35:45 minutes) walks a person through filling out the online form.
Types of Financial Aid
Need-based grants from federal and state governments that you do not have to repay.
From federal and state governments or private entities that must be repaid with interest.
Jobs on or off campus, that enable students to earn money to help pay for the cost of attending college.
Provides reduced tuition for Minnesota students attending public colleges and universities in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Manitoba and one community college in Iowa.
Scholarships and educational benefits for students with special circumstances and abilities
Examples include child care assistance; military benefits; merit aid for good grades and academic achievement; or scholarships based on race, ethnicity or a special talent or life circumstance.
Students and parents are invited to make an appointment with the College & Career Center or Counseling Office to discuss financial aid opportunities. Several online resources are available, as well as local scholarships.