Students planning to apply for a state grant to help pay for the rising costs of post-secondary education need to submit their applications within 14 days after the start of the term at their school, according to a new policy on deadlines effective July 1.
For the past several years, students have been able to apply for a state grant through June 30 of the year they attended and receive awards retroactively for the year.
Under the new policy, established by the 2003 Legislature, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and it must be received by the Federal Application Processing Center no later than two weeks after the start date of the first term for which they want a state grant at their institution.
The FAFSA may be obtained from high school counselors, financial aid administrators at post-secondary institutions, and from the services office. It is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA may be used to apply for a state grant, Federal Pell Grant, federal loans, as well as some loans and awards available at colleges.
The 2003 Legislature approved a $40 million biennial increase in funding for state grants. State grant appropriations will increase from $241 million for fiscal years 2002 and 2003 to $281 million in fiscal years 2004 and 2005. The total appropriation for the Minnesota State Grant Program is more than $140 million for each year of the 2004-2005 biennium. About 72,000 Minnesota students are receiving awards this year.
Minnesota residents who will be enrolled for at least three credits as undergraduate students at one of more than 128 eligible schools in Minnesota may apply for a state grant. The award is based on financial need and the price of attendance. In 2003-2004, an eligible student may receive up to $7,662, which is based on the combination of the state grant and Federal Pell Grant awards.
For more information about their financial aid, students should contact the financial aid administrator at the school they attend or plan to attend, or visit the services office Web site, www.mheso.state.mn.us.
Students can reach the services office at (800) 657-3866 in greater Minnesota. For information about federal student aid, call (800) 433-3243.
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