A new grant program offering tuition-free pathways for students in high-need career areas
We know that obtaining a college credential is critical for future career opportunities and total life-time earnings. Unfortunately, too often the cost of college can be a barrier for many Minnesotans
Enter the Minnesota Future Together Grants.
This new program will provide eligible Minnesotans with a tuition-free pathway for earning a certificate, diploma, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree at any public institution in the state. The grants are available starting spring 2022 through 2024 OR until all funds are dispensed, whichever comes first.
Who is eligible?
If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible for a Minnesota Future Together Grant:
- You are a Minnesota resident, including students who apply for state financial aid via the MN Dream Act Application
- You are attending a public higher education institution or Tribal College, this includes:
- All Minnesota State colleges and universities (See a list of Minnesota State campuses)
- All University of Minnesota campuses (See a list of all UMN campuses)
- You first enrolled during the 2021-22 or 2022-23 school year OR you are returning to college and have not been enrolled at any college in the last three semesters
- You are enrolled as a degree-seeking student in a program that leads to a career in one of the following high-need areas (Note: Specific programs will vary by campus, contact your college to confirm eligibility):
- Healthcare: High-need programs on your campus may include nursing, medical assisting, surgical technicians, healthcare social workers, EMTs, paramedics, dental assistants, dental hygienists, and substance abuse and mental health counselors.
- STEM: High-need programs on your campus may include software development, software analysts, engineers, web developers, statisticians, and agricultural workers.
- Business: High-need programs on your campus may include accounting, financial management, auditors, human resource managers, bankers, and project managers.
- Industry and Technology: High-need programs on your campus may include machine tool technologists, operations managers, HVAC technicians, front line supervisors, plumbers, construction managers, electricians/electrical line workers, heavy duty mechanics, welders, automotive service technicians, and auto body technicians.
- Education: High-need programs on your campus may include early childhood educators, childcare workers, school counselors and social workers
- Public service: High-need programs on your campus may include law enforcement officers, probation officers, firefighters, and public administration
- You meet all standard eligibility requirements for Minnesota Office of Higher Education programs including, but not limited to: Not in default on a state or federal student loan, Not on a SAP/FA suspension, and Not have already earned a baccalaureate degree
- You meet ONE of the following requirements:
- Have a Family Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) reported on FAFSA or State Aid Application of less than $100,000 and have worked in a critical industry listed in Executive Order 20- 74 at least part-time between March 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021; OR received unemployment benefits between March 1, 2020 - December 31, 2021; OR
- Have a Family AGI reported on FAFSA or State Aid Application less than $50,000
I’m eligible, what now?
If you answered yes to all of the criteria above, you may be eligible for a Minnesota Future Together Grant. Here are two easy steps to ensure you do not miss out on this exciting, tuition-free opportunity:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form OR Minnesota Dream Act Application if you haven’t already done so for the 2021-2022 school year. Completing the applicable form will serve as the application for receiving a Minnesota Future Together Grant, as well as other grants and financial aid resources. Access the FAFSA form. Access the Minnesota Dream Act Application.
- If you receive a Minnesota Future Together Grant, your college will contact you. They may also follow up with additional questions to determine your eligibility.
The fine print
Because there always is, right? Here are a few things to know:
- The Minnesota Future Together Grants are made possible through an investment by Governor Tim Walz with the federal American Recovery Plan funds.
- The grants are available starting spring 2022 through 2024 OR until all funds are dispensed, whichever comes first.
- Eligible programs will vary by campus. Contact your campus to see if your program is eligible.
- Student eligibility for the grant will be determined every semester. You will need to fill out the FAFSA each year. A student who receives a grant one semester is not guaranteed to receive funding for the next semester. Eligibility is subject to the availability of funds and any changes in your enrollment, FAFSA, or other financial aid may change the amount you receive each semester.
Reach out to your college if you have questions about your eligibility. Find contact information for Minnesota higher education institutions here.