Though federal and most state financial aid is not offered to undocumented students, there may be private scholarships and loans to help you pay for college. It is important to contact the schools that are of interest to you to determine if they have assistance available. Many financial aid counselors are aware of and sensitive to your situation and will try to assist you as best they can.
State and Federal Grants
State and federal grants are awarded only to U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. To apply for a federal or state grant, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which requires the student’s social security number. To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or an eligible non-citizen. You are an eligible non-citizen if you:
- are a U.S. permanent resident with an Alien Registration Card (I-551)
- are a conditional permanent resident with an I-551C card
- have an Arrival Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security with any of the following designations: a refugee, asylum granted, a parolee, a Cuban-Haitian entrant, a victim of human trafficking or a holder of T-Visa.
You can still qualify for state and federal grants if you are a citizen or eligible non-citizen but your parents are not. When you complete the FAFSA, you can enter all zeros for your parents’ social security numbers.
Several organizations maintain online lists of scholarships. Here is a partial list of scholarships, both national and based in Minnesota, for which undocumented students would be eligible.
It’s important to check with the institution that interests you to learn more about possible (school-specific) scholarship opportunities.
Some public colleges and universities in Minnesota offer in-state tuition to all of their students, regardless of citizenship or state of residence. There is no universal policy in Minnesota dictating how tuition will be charged to undocumented students. The following public institutions charge the resident tuition rate to all students:
- Alexandria Technical College: Alexandria
- Anoka-Ramsey Community College: Cambridge and Coon Rapids
- Anoka Technical College: Anoka
- Bemidji State University: Bemidji
- Central Lakes College: Brainerd and Staples
- Century College: White Bear Lake
- Dakota County Technical College: Rosemount
- Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College
- Hennepin Technical College: Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie
- Inver Hills Community College: Inver Grove Heights
- Minneapolis Community and Technical College: Minneapolis
- Minnesota State College-Southeast: Red Wing and Winona
- Minnesota State Community and Technical College: Fergus Falls, Moorhead, Wadena and Detroit Lakes
- Minnesota State University Moorhead: Moorhead
- Minnesota West College: Jackson, Granite Falls, Worthington, Pipestone, Canby
- Normandale Community College: Bloomington
- North Hennepin Community College: Brooklyn Park
- Northland College: Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks
- Northwest Technical College: Bemidji
- Ridgewater College: Willmar and Hutchinson
- Riverland College: Austin and Albert Lea
- Rochester Community and Technical College: Rochester
- St. Cloud Technical College: St. Cloud
- Saint Paul College: St. Paul
- South Central College: Mankato and Faribault
- Southwest Minnesota State University: Marshall
- University of Minnesota, Crookston: Crookston
- University of Minnesota, Morris: Morris
Federal student loans, such as the Stafford Loan program, are not available to undocumented students. Minnesota offers a loan program called the SELF Loan Program, which is available to citizens and non-citizens alike. A separate application is used to apply for the SELF Loan, available through the college’s financial aid office. A qualified borrower who is an undocumented citizen must have a credit-worthy cosigner who is a U.S. citizen. For more information on the SELF Loan Program, visit www.selfloan.org.