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Free Tuition!

Students who qualify can attend for free thanks to the scholarship and award programs at SMSU. 

Your Tuition Could Be FREE!

The President’s Regional Scholars Program, the Southwest Guarantee, and the North Star Promise can all lead to free tuition. These new opportunities provide funding to cover tuition for students who meet the requirements for each program. At SMSU, over 90% of students receive some type of scholarship or grant! Read more about the programs below. Not sure which you qualify for? Contact us and we’ll help you navigate all the options you have available: 


President's Regional Scholarship Program

The President’s Regional Scholarship Program, SMSU partners with area high schools to connect with outstanding students. Through a combination of their outstanding academic achievements and interviews with SMSU faculty, staff, and finally individual interviews with President Kumara Jayasuriya, four students are awarded full-ride scholarships. Launched in 2019, the Regional Scholars program features six scholarship levels that range from $2,000 to a full ride over four years. In 2024, over 80 students participated in Southwest Scholars Day and received scholarships at the different levels.  

North Star Promise Scholarship Program

The North Star Promise makes your path to college clear by eliminating financial barriers. Beginning in fall 2024, the North Star Promise (NSP) Scholarship program will create a tuition and fee-free pathway to higher education for eligible Minnesota residents at eligible institutions as a "last-dollar" program by covering the balance of tuition and fees remaining after other scholarships, grants, stipends and tuition waivers have been applied. This program is funded by the Minnesota State Legislature through the Office of Higher Education. For the details, connect with the SMSU Office of Admission at or visit:



The Southwest Guarantee

SMSU's guaranteed scholarship program for new on-campus, first-year students. If you meet the GPA or ACT level your scholarship is guaranteed. Top students are eligible to compete for one of our full-ride scholarships at the Southwest Scholars Day.

visuale of the southwest guarantee levels

Grade Point Average of 3.9+ OR ACT Score of 30+

  • $2,500 per year, up to $10,000 for 4 years AND Eligible for Southwest Scholars Day

Grade Point Average of 3.6-3.89 OR ACT Score of 28-29

  • $2,000 per year, up to $8,000 for 4 years AND Eligible for Southwest Scholars Day

Grade Point Average of 3.3-3.59 OR ACT Score of 25-27

  • $1,500 per year, up to $6,000 for 4 years

Grade Point Average of 3.0-3.29 OR ACT Score of 21-24

  • $1,000 per year, up to $4,000 for 4 years

Grade Point Average of 2.75-2.99 OR ACT Score of 20

  • $500 per year, up to $2,000 for 4 years

Other Awards & Scholarships from the SMSU Foundation

The SMSU Foundation offers a variety of scholarships and awards for both incoming and current students. For a complete list, please go to The awards are subject to change annually. Most can be applied for with one application. Some, such as the music scholarships, required an additional application or audition step.

Tuition is Frozen

SMSU tuition is frozen through Spring 2025. That means tuition will not change for two academic years. That means you can confidently plan for the cost of attending SMSU. Our tuition is already a great value plus we offer the same tuition rate to everyone regardless of where you’re from.