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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 2020-2021 year, Pell Grants will range from $639 to $6,345. The average Pell Grant received by an eligible student at SMSU during 2019-2020 was $3,960.

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 February 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 2019-2020 was $2,611. 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


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 $3,764 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; be enrolled at least half-time (defined in statute for this program as six credits per term); not have earned a baccalaureate degree or been enrolled on a full-time basis for eight semesters, 12 quarters, or the equivalent; 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 maximum amount is $3,000 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.

Last Modified: 7/27/21 8:33 AM | Website Feedback