University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota StudentA land-grant university considered the flagship of the state, the University of Minnesota is home to over 30,000 high-achieving undergraduate students at its Twin Cities campus. The University of Minnesota has four additional campuses throughout the state as well as  thriving graduate and professional studies programs as well. With students from 142 countries and over 2,500 students studying abroad, which is the third most out of all United States universities, the University of Minnesota is a prominent research university with many high-profile alumni.

Many students attend the University of Minnesota, the U of M, straight out of high school, and 90 percent of first-year students at the Twin Cities campus live on site where they make lasting friendships and are highly involved in the student activities and organizations U of M has to offer. Located on the picturesque banks of the Mississippi River and surrounded by the vibrant urban sprawl of the Twin Cities, U of M celebrates diversity, academics, and the arts as well as provides numerous recreational opportunities and over 800 student groups.

Calculating Cost of Attendance

Man calculating costsOnce you have decided on a path for higher education, the next step is determining how to budget and pay for college. In order to calculate your total cost of attendance (COA) at a college like U of M, you will need to consider several factors, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and money for recreational activities and other incidentals. The University of Minnesota estimates these costs for the 2014-2015 school year, including two semesters (fall and spring), to be:

Residents of North Dakota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Manitoba may also qualify for in-state tuition through a reciprocity agreement. Total costs per year will vary depending on your major and college of enrollment; however, general estimates place total COA at U of M for undergraduate resident students at $25,374 per year and non-residents at approximately $32,624 per year.

Applying for Financial Aid

students applying for financial aidIn order to determine your eligibility for financial need-based aid offered through the state, university, or federal government, you must first apply for financial aid. All incoming students who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens should complete this step in order to successfully budget for college costs. You never know when you will qualify for aid.

The first step is to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which requires your current income and tax information, Social Security number, and other personal information, as well as your parents’ financials if you are under age 24, unmarried, and have no dependents of your own. Your FAFSA calculates your expected family contribution (EFC) in order to determine how much and what type of aid you may qualify for. Financial aid may come in the form of scholarships, which are often highly competitive, grants that are based more on need, or student loans wherein you borrow money and have to repay it.

Once you have submitted your FAFSA and school information, U of M will receive a copy and review it along with your COA to help quantify your financial aid package. U of M will then present you with a Financial Aid Award Notice, or eFAAN, which is your formal offer of financial aid based on full-time attendance for both fall and spring semesters. This is an electronic process, and you will receive an email when your eFAAN is available. You will then need to submit any other necessary documents as well as modify or accept your financial aid package. Remember to only borrow what you need even if you are offered more.


You will automatically be considered for many grants based on your FAFSA and financial need. This includes the Federal Pell Grant, which provides undergraduate students seeking their first bachelor’s degree with up to $5,815 for the 2016-2017 academic year, depending on full-time status and plans to remain in school all year, the total cost of attendance, and financial need. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is another need-based grant paid with federal funds, although disbursed through U of M directly. These funds will vary year to year, ranging from $100-$4,000 a year, and early application is the best chance to receive FSEOG funds.

If you are a resident of Minnesota, by submitting your FAFSA , you are also automatically considered for the Minnesota State Grant, which is based on financial need. While amounts vary, the average award is around $1,800 a year. New undergraduate Minnesota residents, or eligible MN Dream Act students, are guaranteed a University of Minnesota Promise Scholarship (U Promise) if their family income is lower than $100,000 a year. These scholarships are campus-based aid and range from $570-$4,000 a year for four years for incoming new freshman and between $640-$2,000 for new transfer students.

You may be eligible to defer some of your tuition costs by working part-time on campus or off campus in service positions, through the federal Work-Study Program. Work-study jobs are flexible with your class schedule and designed to match up with your course of study or personal interests. This is a form of financial aid, and your eFAAN will indicate if you qualify.

There are a number of grants or tuition waivers that require an additional application or step in addition to your FAFSA submission. These may be service-related or based on your employment, disability status, or family situation. Please check the U of M One Stop Student Services webpage for more information on what may be available and what you will need to do to apply.


Types of Student Loans