How it works, where to find it, how to get it
Although college prices continue to rise, they may not be as high as you might think. And few students or families are expected to pay, out of pocket, the full two- or four-year price of attendance. So don't let the apparent cost turn you away.
Financial aid is available to most students and comes in three forms:
- financial aid you don't repay (grants and scholarships)
- financial aid you must repay (loans)
- financial aid you earn (work study and community or military service)
Most students receive a combination of these in what's called a financial aid package that is put together by the school the student plans to attend or is attending.
Financial aid is intended to fill the gap between the actual price of the school and what students and their families can realistically contribute from savings and income to pay for this education. This is called financial need. It allows students to attend schools that they otherwise might not be able to afford. The student, the student's family, and taxpayers (through financial aid) share responsibility for paying for higher education.
Download or request a free copy of Financial Aid Basics to learn more about federal and Minnesota financial aid programs.