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Federal and State Grants

Southwest Minnesota State University offers a variety of grants that are available to those students who qualify.

Federal Pell Grant

Federal Pell Grant funds are available throughout the year. Grant funds are gift aid. Aid is made available to eligible undergraduate students who are enrolled in 3 credits or more. During the 2022-2023 year, Pell Grants will range from $692 to $6,895. The average Pell Grant received by an eligible student at SMSU during 2021-2022 was $4,063.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

This grant is offered to a limited number of eligible students. As mandated by Federal guidelines, FSEOG is offered to students who are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. The maximum FSEOG at SMSU is $600. Each institution has limited funding in FSEOG. Students are encouraged to apply to complete the FAFSA application by March 1 for top consideration of these funds.

Minnesota GI Bill Program

The Minnesota GI Bill Program provides postsecondary financial assistance to eligible Minnesota veterans and service members who have served after September 11, 2001 and to the children and spouses of deceased or severely disabled eligible Minnesota veterans and service members who have served after September 11, 2001.

An applicant must be a veteran who is serving or has served honorably in any branch of the United States armed forces at any time on or after September 11, 2001; OR a non-veteran who has served honorably for a total of five years or more cumulatively as a member of the Minnesota National Guard or any other active or reserve component of the United States armed forces, and any part of that service occurred on or after September 11, 2001; OR a surviving spouse or dependent of a person who has served in the military at any time on or after September 11, 2001, and who has died or has a total and permanent disability as a direct result of that military service.

The student must also be a Minnesota resident; Apply for the MN GI Bill benefits before the last day of the term for which benefits are requested; be less than 62 years old before the beginning of the term for which benefits are requested; be current on child support obligations, if applicable; be enrolled in an eligible MN postsecondary institution in a certificate, diploma, or degree program; be making satisfactory academic progress in his or her academic program.

Minnesota State Grant Program

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education annually offers grants to eligible Minnesota residents. The average State Grant offer to an eligible SMSU student during 2021-2022 was $2,752. Students must submit their FAFSA application to the Federal Processors no later than 30 days after the start date of the first term for which they are applying. Eligibility for the MN State Grant Program is exhausted after a student has reached the equivalency of 4 years of full-time enrollment.

MN Dream Act

The Minnesota Dream Act provides certain benefits to undocumented students who meet the following criteria:
     *Attended a Mn High School for at least 3 years; and
     *Graduated from a Mn High School or earned a GED in Minnesota; and
     *Complied with Selective Service registration requirements; and
     *Provide documentation to show they applied for lawful immigration status (once a process exists)
Students who meet this criteria will be eligible to apply for Minnesota state financial aid.   More information and the application is available online at www.ohe.state.mn.us

TEACH Grant

To be eligible for the TEACH Grant, students must be completing coursework to begin a career in teaching.  Undergraduate students at SMSU must be accepted into the Education program.  Graduate students can be current, former, or retired teachers and must be in a Master's degree program.  Students must have a 3.25 cumulative GPA to become eligible and maintain that 3.25 GPA to remain eligible.  The offer is up to $3,772 per year for full time enrollment.  Recipients must sign an ATS (Agreement to Serve) and commit to teaching for 4 years within 8 years of finishing their program, in a high need field at a low income school district.  If this service requirement is not met the grant reverts to an Unsubsidized Loan with interest accruing back to the date of receipt. 

Postsecondary Child Care Grant Program

The Child Care Grant program provides financial assistance to students who have children 12 and under, are not receiving assistance under the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), and who demonstrate financial need for grants, to help pay for child care while pursuing a postsecondary education.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizen; meet state residency requirements; not be recipients of MFIP; have an eligible EFC; be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree or certificate; not receive this grant for 10 or more semesters/terms as an undergraduate or graduate student; not be in default of any educational loan; be making satisfactory progress; not be receiving tuition reciprocity benefits from another state; be pursuing a nonsectarian program or course of study that applies to an undergraduate degree, diploma or certificate.

The offered amount will range from $650 to $6,500 based on EFC, and will be pro-rated by enrollment level per eligible child per academic year. The amount of the grant cannot exceed 40 hours of child care per week per eligible child. The Postsecondary Child Care Grant application must be completed and submitted to the Financial Aid Office.

Minnesota Future Together Grant

This program is designed to provide eligible Minnesota residents a tuition-free pathway for earning a certificate, diploma, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree in high-need careers. Funding comes from the State of Minnesota and is awarded to eligible students after grants and scholarships have been paid.

Eligible Educational Programs include healthcare, STEM, business, industry and technology, education and public service.

Income Eligibility:

  • Have a Family Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)* reported on the FAFSA or MN Dream Act Application of less than $50,000
  • Have a Family AGI* reported on the FAFSA or MN Dream Act 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.

* Family AGI for a dependent student includes parent and student AGI and for an independent student it includes student and spouse AGI.

Other Eligibility Factors:

  • You first enrolled during the 2021-2022 OR 2022-2023 school year OR you are returning to college and have not been enrolled at any college in the last three semesters
  • Meet the Minnesota residency criteria
  • Not have already earned a baccalaureate degree
  • Not in default on a state or federal student loan
  • Not on financial aid suspension
  • Student eligibility for the grant will be determined every semester. You will need to fill out the FAFSA or MN Dream Act application 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, your enrollment level, FAFSA data, and other financial aid funding
  • Details can be found at ohe.state.mn.us/sPages/FTG.cfm

If you are eligible for the MN Future Together Grant, we will contact you via email with an award amount. If you do not receive an email communication from us but believe you are eligible, please send us an email and we will check your eligibility.

Last Modified: 7/1/22 12:34 PM | Website Feedback