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SMSU Scholarships

Scholarships for Southwest Minnesota State University students are made possible by financial contributions received from alumni, businesses, foundations and other friends of the institution. Qualifications and eligibility requirements for scholarships vary.

Students who receive scholarships are strongly encouraged to write a thank-you letter to the individual, business or organization funding the award. Donors want to know that their money is being used to further the educational endeavors of their scholarship recipients.

New Undergraduate Student Scholarships

The Admissions Office and Academic Departments award Scholarships for New Entering and Transfer Students on campus. Visit our Scholarships page to learn more!

Continuing Undergraduate Student Scholarship

Scholarships for SMSU students are made possible by financial contributions received from alumni, businesses, foundations, and other friends of the institution.  Qualifications and eligibility requirements vary and we encourage everyone to apply.  The Financial Aid Office awards nearly $100,000 in scholarships each year for the following academic year.   Applicants must be current students seeking their first bachelors degree.  Visit our Scholarships page to learn more!

SMSU Scholarships

North Star Promise Scholarship

This is a program through the State of Minnesota that begins fall of 2024.  This scholarship is intended to cover the balance of tuition and fees AFTER all other scholarship, grants, stipends and tuition waivers have been deducted.  It is possible to be eligible for this scholarship and not receive an award if your tuition and fees are covered by other types of aid. For more information please access the North Star Promise Fact sheet by clicking this link.

To be eligible students must:

  • Be a Minnesota Resident          
  • Have a family Adjusted Gross Income below $80,000
  • Attend a Mn Public higher education institution or Tribal College
  • Not be in default on a state or federal student loan
  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards
  • Not already have a baccalaureate degree
  • Be enrolled in a program or course of study that applies to a degree, diploma or certificate.

American Indian Scholars Program

The American Indian Scholars Program was established in the 2023 Minnesota Legislative Session. This program provides a first-dollar tuition and fee-free pathway for Minnesotans eligible for resident tuition who are enrolled members or citizens of any federally recognized tribe or Canadian First Nation to attend a Minnesota State institution. Students not eligible for resident tuition who are enrolled members or citizens of a Minnesota Tribal Nation are also eligible for the program.

How much money can you get? 

This programs provides a first-dollar tuition and fee-free pathway for eligible students. This means your tuition and fees will be paid with the American Indian Scholars Programs.

Who is eligible?

In general, students must:

  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate certificate, diploma, or degree program at a Minnesota State institution;
  • Not have already obtained a bachelor’s degree;
  • Have fewer than 180 credits attended at the college-level; and
  • Be either a:
    • Minnesota resident who qualifies for resident tuition and an enrolled member or citizen of a federally recognized American Indian Tribe or Canadian First Nation; or
    • Student who does not qualify for resident tuition but is an enrolled member or citizen of a Minnesota Tribal Nation.

I’m eligible, what now?

Complete the American Indian Scholars application (found under forms) and submit with your tribal enrollment documentation (card or paperwork is acceptable)  Allow 2-3 weeks for processing of your application. You can view your award information in your eServices account.

Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program

The Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program provides postsecondary financial assistance to eligible Minnesota resident students who are of one-fourth or more Indian ancestry and demonstrate financial need for an award.

Scholarships are available to eligible Minnesota resident students of ¼ or more Indian ancestry attending eligible accredited institutions in Minnesota. Students are eligible to receive a scholarship for up to five years of study at the undergraduate level and an additional five years of study at the graduate level. Students in certificate, diploma or associates degree programs are eligible to receive the scholarship for no more than three years in order to reserve the remaining two years of undergraduate eligibility for the completion of a bachelors degree. Students may receive the scholarship for only one degree per undergraduate educational level and one doctorate or professional degree. The award amount is based on need up to $4,000 per year for undergraduate students and up to $6,000 for graduate students.

The on-line Minnesota Indian Scholarship application must be completed to be considered for this award.

Scholarship From Outside Sources

Scholarships awarded to students from outside sources are considered a part of a students financial aid package. These scholarships are awarded to students to help defray costs related to their attendance at a post-secondary institution. Students are required to inform the Student Financial Aid Office of any scholarship awards they may be receiving from their high school, community clubs, organizations, scholarship foundations or other resources.

Students are encouraged to contact their high school, local organizations and review information located at the library regarding scholarship dollars available. A few web sites that students may want to refer to are:

Last Modified: 3/29/24 10:29 AM | Website Feedback